4.17.2017

Currently

Current Books


I read these two books about '80s movies last week. Searching for John Hughes was a memoir by an abused poor kid from a broken home in the Chicago suburbs who escaped by watching Hughes movies. He set out to write a biography of Hughes, but his story took a different turn. It was well-written, but all over kind of gloomy, which wasn't what I was expecting. Brat Pack America mostly just made me add a bunch of movies to my watch list. I thought I had seen them all, but there were so many mentioned that I'd never even heard of! It's pretty comprehensive, but also dry at times. I love that the book cover was made to look like a VHS.  

Current Playlist

Lorde - Green Light
The Chainsmokers ft. Coldplay - Something Just Like This
Zayn ft. PartyNextDoor - Still Got Time
Calvin Harris - Slide
Charli XCX - Dreamer
Harry Styles - Sign of the Times
Michelle Branch - Hopeless Romantic

I've missed Michelle Branch! Her new album is pretty good.



Current Show


I didn't know what to think about Thirteen Reasons Why for about five episodes. It was slow, it was nothing like the book, and it didn't grab my attention. But once I took it for what it was, I really liked it. (Although, I kinda hated that the entire series led up to the very dramatic and graphic suicide scene. It felt icky, for lack of a better word.) I love Clay Jensen and want to see the rest of the gang again if season two happens. I think there's a lot of story left to cover and it's important to talk about this stuff.

Current Need


Mani-pedi pictures are super weird! But yeah, that's what I need, like, yesterday.

Current Celebrity Crush



I'm super into Tom Schwartz from Vanderpump Rules right now.
I'm sad that the season ends tonight.

Current Indulgence


I gave up sugar for a while, but finally treated  myself to eggs and mini eggs of the
Cadbury and Reese's variety on Easter. And then I felt like puking.

Current Excitement



HAMILTON! Chicago too, but mostly because we'll be seeing Hamilton while we're there. We're taking a quick kid-less trip and can't wait to explore the city for the first time. Plus, pizza.

Current Movies


My iTunes randomly fell on a song from the Romeo + Juliet Soundtrack, so I listened to it on repeat for two days (it's still SO GOOD), then pulled out the DVD. Leo is just...sigh. The movie brings back all those teenage feelings about love and it's so visually stunning and fun and innovative. I wanted to see more Baz, so the next day I watched Moulin Rogue! (Also with an amazing soundtrack. Jacob and I love to duet to it.) As much as I like Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge! is still one of my favorite movies of all time. It's spectacular spectacular! And really heartbreaking. Watching these films made me remember the genius of John Leguizamo. 

Current Wish List Item


I'm dying to see Britney one more time before she leaves Vegas!

4.13.2017

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?


I finished Alyssa Mastromonaco's book Who Thought This Was a Good Idea?: And Other Questions You Should Have Answers to When You Work in the White House (terrible title!) last week. She's funny and I was fascinated with her career and what it was like to work with Obama, but her tips weren't all that informative and I really wish the book was organized better. But I still enjoyed it and it got me thinking about my own career, or lack thereof.

Alyssa was born in 1976. (I was born in 1979.)

She interned and campaigned for Representative Bernie Sanders in college. (I campaigned for Representative Rick Larsen in college.)

She graduated from college with a BA in political Science. (So did I.)

She was inspired to work in government, but couldn't find a job and became a real estate investment trust paralegal. (Same, but I became a criminal defense paralegal.)

In 2000 she became staff assistant to Senator John Kerry and eventually became the Director of Scheduling for his presidential campaign. (I volunteered on his presidential campaign). 

In 2008, after being the Director of Scheduling for Senator Barack Obama and Political Director for Obama's PAC and presidential campaign, she was appointed Director of Scheduling and Advance for President Obama's administration. (I got pregnant, quit my job, and had a baby.)

In 2011, she was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and left her job in 2014. Then she was hired as a contributing editor at Marie Claire, joined Vice Media as Chief Operating Officer, and wrote this book. (I had another baby.)

In another world, her job would have been a dream for me. Let's go back.

From five years old through junior high, I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up. In high school, after obsessively watching ER, I decided I wanted to become a nurse. I got a small scholarship and went to the community college in my hometown because it was cheap, I could live at home, my boyfriend would be going there with me, and it actually had a really good nursing program.

I didn't take it seriously though. My boyfriend and I broke up before graduation and I got with a new guy two months later. He didn't have a conventional job (he was a concert promoter for local shows) and I did see him much, so I stayed up late and skipped classes. I also realized that nursing really wasn't for me. It's not exciting or romantic or anything, you guys! Since I didn't know what I wanted to do, I dropped out halfway through my first year and worked at a day care full time instead.

I enrolled in the same community college the next fall and decided to go back to teaching. I was awesome with kids, I loved my job (I was co-teaching kindergarten at this point), and I could get my AA before transferring to a university to get my degree in elementary education/history. I had a goal in mind, I was determined this time around, and it helped that my friends were in the same boat. (My group of girls were a grade younger than me, so I was sort of just f*cking around until they caught up.)

My boyfriend and I were doing this horrible on-again, off-again thing and I didn't see a future with him. We moved into houses with our individual groups of friends and problems persisted until he ghosted me one day. No joke. He stopped coming over and avoided my calls for a week before a mutual friend told me he has a new girlfriend. WTF? I was sad about it, but we had both treated each other pretty poorly by the end and I knew I was better off focusing on myself.

I got my AA on time, moved on to my university, and applied for the education program. Halfway through my first year I took an education class that really opened my eyes. I realized I didn't want to be a teacher either! What was I going to do now?! I was already taking some political science classes for my history major and loved them. I also got involved in campaigning and loved that too. I kinda wanted to do it for a living. So I changed my major to political science and dreamed about moving to New York City or San Francisco to become a campaign manager or field organizer for high profile elections.

But then, I fell in love with a guy who I did see a future with. Enter Jacob. (Awwww!) We'd been together for nearly two years by the time I graduated (six months late because of that major swap) and he wanted me to move in with him, back in our hometown. So I did. I worked part time at the same day care center, went to another university to get my paralegal certificate, worked in criminal defense for five years, then had some kids.

While I read Mastromonaco's book I couldn't help but think of what might have been. And now that I want to go back to work this fall, it got me thinking about what might be. To be honest, I feel as confused as I did when I was 18. I don't want to work full time and I won't commute. I'm incredibly lucky to have that option and because I have a child with (mild) special needs, I want to be present as much as possible. I also know that I want a job that fulfills me and isn't just a paycheck. I'm not ruling out criminal defense, because I strongly believed in what I was doing, but part time jobs in that area are hard to find. I just know I want something that helps people or gives back or makes me feel like I'm contributing, even just in my small town.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Did you take a different path?

4.10.2017

Music Monday - Deep Like

My kids were on spring break last week and we ran all over the Puget Sound trying to fit some fun in when it wasn't raining. (February and March broke records with 15.5 inches of rainfall, and we have yet to hit 60 degrees this year. When will spring actually come???) We took a few hikes, rode a few ferries, watched a few movies, went to the aquarium, a kids' museum, and the Museum of Flight.

I was busy with them from sun up to sun down and hardly had any time to get online. And when I did, I wanted to crawl into a hole. Trump, you guys. Trump. But also, hunting hibernating bears, all that anti-abortion legislation, Kushner, Bannon, Gorsuch's bogus confirmation, Syria, Stockholm terrorist attack, etc. I'm happy to have had that distraction and probably need to take a social media timeout more often.

I did check into Instagram every day though. It's still my favorite app and it may be trivial, but it's positive and fun and makes me happy. On Friday night, I was looking through an ex boyfriend's pics, as one does, and accidentally liked a photo from six weeks ago. I unliked it immediately and liked one from the day before instead, but oh my god!

It was a picture of him and a girl at a fancy event and it had a tag on the bottom corner, so of course I clicked on it to see who she was. That didn't work, so I clicked again and there went the double tap. He posted a screenshot! There was no actual tag! So embarrassing. The guy and I are fine. We hardly had a relationship seventeen years ago and have been friends since then, so it shouldn't be that awkward, but it totally is. 

The very next day Kristen Bell re-posted a music video by comedian Jackie Tohn called Deep Like and it's so perfect and hilarious. I can only find it on Facebook, but if you have time it's worth a watch. 

Well there's a thing happening on the world wide web and this is what it is
It's when you go really far back on Instagram and like somebody's pics
See when you're that far back be careful where you tap as you go deeper and deeper
Cause that person's gonna wake up to the notifications and you're gonna look like a creeper
Deep like, baby, deep deep like, baby

4.03.2017

Vancouver and Victoria

Jacob and I went on two little getaways these past two months. And we went all the way to...Canada! We're lucky to live so close to British Columbia because we both love it so much. Victoria and Vancouver are each about four hours from us, so we like to get up there when we can.

Jacob says Vancouver is his favorite city we've ever visited (and we've been to London, Paris, Rome, New York City, Honolulu, etc.) and if it weren't for his job working for the federal government, he'd like to move there. I'm all for it! We've driven up there, taken the train, and even made a stop while on a cruise. We like to hit up all the tourist attractions, find new places to eat, explore the parks, go to concerts and hockey games, and walk around downtown. We even went up there for the Winter Olympics in 2010.

Last month we went up to see one of my favorites, Hasan Minhaj. He's a senior correspondent on The Daily Show, was the host of 2016's White House Correspondent's Dinner, and has been touring with his one-man show Homecoming King, which premiered off-Broadway in 2015. I missed it when he came to Seattle last summer, so I immediately bought tickets to Vancouver when he added more dates. The show is amazing. It's so funny and honest and sad. It's coming to Netflix this year, so keep an eye out for that. While we were there, we wandered around the city, shopped, had some awesome food and cider at Craft, and tried to keep dry because it was snowy on the ground and also pouring down rain most of the time.






The capital of BC is located on Vancouver Island and it's such a chill, walk-able, friendly city. I was a band geek in high school and we performed in the Victoria Day parade every year, which is like Canada's Memorial Day weekend. We went up on a Saturday afternoon, performed in a music competition on Sunday, and marched in the parade Monday morning. We LOVED it. We were teenagers running wild in a big city without supervision, where one of our dollars got us $1.40 CA. We had a curfew of 10:00 pm, but for the most part we were on our own. We loved meeting kids from other schools, talking to the locals, eating foreign foods (poutine and ketchup flavored potato chips) and seeing who could pass for 19 to score some alcohol.

So, I visited all three years of high school and my boyfriend and I convinced our parents to let us go up there alone for spring break our senior year. Our parents knew how safe the city was and I'd navigated it on my own twice before so they agreed to it. After high school, I went up a few times with my family and once with Jacob. I've had high tea at the Empress Hotel, I've watched the Parliament in action, and I've seen Butchart Gardens all lit up for the holidays. I love it there.

Two weeks ago we got up at 4:30 am to drive to Port Angeles (you might remember it from Twilight, when Bella goes dress shopping in "the city" with Jessica and Angela, then gets assaulted by some drunk guys, and saved by Edward) to catch the ferry to Victoria. We love our junior hockey team, the Everett Silvertips, and Jacob really wants to go to some away games, so he planned the whole trip around one. We had a great hotel on the harbour, ate good food, got some St. Paddy's drinks, shopped, and just wandered around town. Plus, the Tips won the game, which put them into the playoffs, so that was a blast. We also took a bus tour to see more of the city, including some amazing parks and beaches, which is something I'd never done before. We realized there is a lot for kids to do, so we'll be taking ours with us the next time we go.






3.28.2017

Top Ten Best Picture Winners


I'm linking up with Jenn at Quirky Pickings today for Tuesday Topics. The first prompt is ten favorite Oscar-award winning films. Karen recently did a post like this too about her favorite Best Picture winners so I'm following suit. I have to admit, I've only seen 37 out of 89 winners and hardly any from the '30s, '40s, and '50s, but here are my top ten anyway. And don't get mad at me Jenn, but a lot of them are musicals. 

10. West Side Story After Grease, The Wizard of Oz, and Mary Poppins, this was the next musical I was introduced to as a kid. I loved the updated Romeo and Juliet story, the sets/locations, the choreography (it was the first time I saw a dance off!), and the gorgeous Natalie Wood. 

9. Moonlight I've talked over and over about how amazing I think this movie is. It was heartbreaking, raw, personal, honest, expertly acted, and beautifully shot. It's an important film that didn't feel like it was shoving it's message down my throat. 

8. The Sound of Music I had seen this movie many times and new all the songs from it, but didn't actually watch it all the way through until I was in high school. It's long, but Julie Andrews is perfection and it's very visually appealing. I saw the musical on stage for the first time last year, and gotta say, I like the film adaptation better.

7. Slumdog Millionaire I love a good underdog story! The events in the movie are heartbreaking, but it also has humor and love and color and is upbeat at times. The acting (especially from such a young cast), cinematography, and directing are all on point. And you gotta love the ending and the final dance scene.

6. Forrest Gump I was fifteen when I saw this 142-minute film three times in the movie theater. My best friends and I loved it, instantly started quoting it, and listened to the two-disc soundtrack on repeat for months. It's honestly kind of all over the place and very sad, but also cheesy and fun. Tom Hanks is amazing.

5. Schindler's List Confession: I didn't see this 1993 movie until about five years ago. It's not an easy movie to watch and because it's over three hours long, I couldn't do it in one sitting. What an emotional gut punch! I think the cast is top notch and it's probably Steven Spielberg's best movie to date (besides Jurassic Park, of course 😉).

4. Argo I didn't know much about the Iran hostage crisis before seeing this movie. I'd learned about it, but it didn't really sink in. I was riveted, enthralled, captivated and literally on the edge of my seat. My exact quote at the end was, "Holy high blood pressure, Argo!" I was more impressed by Ben Affleck's direction in this movie than anything he's done before or since. 

3. Rain Man My best friend's mom showed us this movie when we were in 9th grade and we instantly loved it. It's got a lot of heart and it's very emotional, but you get through it without crying because there are so many funny parts. Dustin Hoffman is perfection and Tom Cruise holds his own along side him. 

2. Chicago There isn't anything to complain about for me on this one. It's gorgeous to watch, the performances are wonderful, the choreography is spectacular, and it's a little dark, but also fun and campy. I love it and I want to go watch it again right now.

1. Titanic My grandma was obsessed with all things Titanic, so my family took her to see the movie opening night. She passed away six months later, so I hold it near and dear to my heart. I remember crying like a baby and my 14-year old brother kept laughing at me, totally ruining the moment. I was 18 and in love and it just hit me. Plus, Leo. I made my boyfriend take me the next week and saw it with friends the week after that, bawling each time. When my parents bought it on VHS, my brother would only watch the second tape, when all the action and destruction occurred, and would turn it off before it got to Rose and Jack again. Haha!


Here's a list of all the winners. Check it out and tell me how many you've seen.
Which ones are your favorites?