A Few of My Favorite Things 2015

Another year, another list of favorites. Here are my favorite things of 2015:

Favorite Movie: Mad Max: Fury Road. Come on, this had to seem obvious, right? Yes, yes, because Tom Hardy is in it. But really what made it my favorite of the year wasn’t just getting that warm fuzzy feeling from Tom on the big screen. It was the strong, ass kicking, feminist character, Imperator Furiosa. The movie is truly about Furiosa, and then about Max who, for all intents and purpose, is her sidekick. I could go deeper into this, about how the film itself is a study in how women are treated now, how would women be treated in the apocalypse, but, to put it simply, Mad Max is my favorite movie of the year because damn do I love to watch a woman take the lead in an action movie and not have to use her sexuality, to truly just kick ass using nothing more than physical and mental strength, wit, and resourcefulness.

Some runners up are Trainwreck, Jurassic World, The Martian, and Fifty Shades of Grey (because sometimes train wrecks are just REALLY hard to look away from). It should also be noted, I slacked in the movie department in 2015. There are many that still need to be seen, and will likely be better than any I’ve listed here.

Favorite Album: You know me, I can never have just one! Last year I was lucky enough to see my top two artists live (and will get to see them again this year) and their performances only solidified my love for both of their new albums. At Bonnaroo during both Florence and Mumford’s sets I was brought to tears because both albums brought out so many emotions in me throughout a turbulent Spring. But, despite having both How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful and Wilder Mind on repeat, I once again had 20 albums I just couldn’t get enough of…

spotify:user:thalia58:playlist:6XdCfWwzUPLb9gnlOT1Xlk

Favorite Book: Why Not Me by Mindy Kaling was by far my favorite new release. Partly because I didn’t read a lot of recent releases in 2015 (I found myself reading a lot of murder mystery series… don’t ask me why. I just can’t seem to get enough of serial killers as of late.) and, mostly, because Kaling has this voice I cannot get enough of. She is easy to relate to, open, and whenever I read her I’m always fairly certain we should probably be best friends.

My non-2015 runners up were Yes Please by Amy Poehler (also on my list of imaginary best friends) and the Archie Sheridan and Gretchen Lowell series by Chelsea Cain (like I said, allll the serial killers, please!).

Favorite TV Show: Laugh if you must, but my favorite TV show last year was the amazing (and awful) The Only Way is Essex. This is a British reality show (slightly akin to Jersey Shore- think lots of plastic surgery, make up, and tanning, but less partying and physical fights) I discovered by chance three years ago. The reason it became my favorite this year is because as I was catching up with the 15th season, yes FIFTEEN SEASONS, Mr. T caught me watching it and instead of being embarrassed by my terrible taste I told him he had to watch it with me from the beginning. It began as a joke, but now it’s something we love to laugh at together, something that, early on in our relationship, truly showed me that he was the type of man who could laugh at the absurd with me. Also? I just truly am an anglophile. Give me more Brits, dammit!

Runner up: Jessica Jones. Yes to all female ass kickers. YES.

Favorite Concert: If I thought the 150 shows in 2014 were hard to choose between, the nearly 250 shows I saw in 2015 are even more impossible. This was the year of amazing music for me. This was a year unlike any other, and a year I will probably never get to repeat again. Tiny ten people shows, arena classic rock tours, Coachella, Bonnaroo, local music fests… all of it made for a year that was, quite literally, music to my ears. But the best shows have to be the nights I got to see women who have influenced my life. From childhood to adulthood there have been a handful of strong, vulnerable, beautiful, romantic women who have shaped me through their music. Heart, Blondie, Florence and the Machine, and Fleetwood Mac have been the soundtrack to my life throughout the years. I have cried and loved and danced my way through happiness and heartbreak to the Wilson sisters, Debbie Harry, Florence Welch, and, more than anyone, Stevie Nicks and each of their shows surpassed everything I hoped they’d be.

Favorite Purchase: Pearl! My 2012 Hyundai Accent. It was a sad day when I finally had to give in and put ol’ Ruby, the first car I had every truly owned, out to pasture. But driving home in a new (to me) car that I knew wouldn’t break down every month (literally. Every. Single. Month. I’m looking at you, Ruby…) gave me such a feeling of comfort and relief. In the 367 days that I’ve owned Pearl I’ve put 10,800 miles on her. Two trips to Denver, one to Mobile, Alabama, and soon, a quick trip to Omaha. Yep, it’s great to find a gal that loves to travel as much as I do.

Favorite Meal: Having a meal made for you is always a treat. Having the best steak you’ve ever eaten (literally. This is not a joke, people. Buttery, medium rare, mouthwatering steak.) made for you is even better. In our relationship, I am more often than not the one cooking for Mr. T, and I very much enjoy it. But one night, for no special reason, he grilled up a steak on his salt block (look it up. Buy it. You’ll thank me.), sauteed me some veggies, and baked me a potato. It was not only a sweet gesture, it was absolutely delicious.

Great. And now I want steak…

Favorite Date: This is by far the hardest for me to determine. For possibly the first time in my life I had SO MANY good dates, I’m having a hard time just choosing one. Mr. T has surprised me with concert tickets (to shows he definitely would not have wanted to go to, but I definitely did), taken me to the drive in, out for my favorite comfort foods when I’m needing it, out to breweries, on road trips, taken me home to meet his friends and family, and even out for sunset walks on the beach in the Gulf Shores, so trust me, it’s really hard to choose just one date. But, if forced, I guess there is one day that always sticks out in my mind.

Our first mini-road trip together was to Omaha, where we will soon celebrating our six month anniversary (yes, because I’m cheesy). The week prior to the trip over Labor Day we both had been battling summer cold/tummy sickness and overall, just not feeling the best. This was still lingering on our second day there and I was worried this would put a damper on our brunch and brewery tour plans. By the time we were halfway through brunch though, I knew we had nothing to worry about. Our food was amazing and we both ended up feeling better than we had in days. We found some of our new favorite beers, we talked and laughed all day, and even when the rain started to roll in and we both had a few too many to really want to hit anymore breweries, the date continued back in the hotel room with pizza and HGTV. (Seriously, if you haven’t made fun of the people on House Hunters, you really haven’t lived. Go, do it now.) In a way, the actual date was nothing special, just a day exploring the city. But in another way, it was and always will be one of the most special to me. At this point I was already crazy about Mr. T, happy and in love, but being in a different city where it really is just the two of us I fully felt the certainty that if it was always just the two of us, no matter where we were or what we were doing, we would always find a way to have fun.

Favorite Guy: I think this one may possibly, just maaaay be a given…

Almost six months ago (5 months, 26 days, and about 8 and a half hours ago if you want to get specific) Mr. T met me at the shitty dive bar I mentioned I’d be at and my life has been infinitely happier ever since. He is this caring, giving, cute, loving, goofy, sincere, loyal, committed, sexy, appreciative, happy, serious, music loving, crazy about me guy I have spent years dreaming of. At times I still find myself questioning us, like after all the years of struggling with bad relationships things can’t go this smoothly and feel this right, can they? But every time that inkling of doubt even creeps it’s way in my mind something comes along to remind me yes, sometimes things can be this easy. That’s not to say it’s always easy and it’s perfect, but that does mean that there is finally a person there fighting for me as much as I am fighting for them when things aren’t easy. There is finally someone who makes believe that maybe all these years I haven’t just been a hopeless romantic believing that someone was out there who would compliment and also challenge me in ways I’ve always wanted and ways I didn’t even know I needed until I felt. It wasn’t me just being a hopeless romantic, it was just me waiting patiently, and more often that not, impatiently, on the two of us being at the right place and the right times in our lives to finally have this love. There is finally someone who makes me fully believe in the phrase ‘when you know, you know.’ And I very much know. He is my favorite guy of 2015, and will be for many more years to come.

 

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All I Want for Christmas

Y’all, the holiday season hasn’t been kind to me thus far. First there was a lengthy battle with a fever-so-high-we’re-taking-you-to-the-hospital-virus and then there were the piles of work to catch up on due to being off the job while battling said super fun illness. Needless to say, I’ve had a hard time not focusing on all of that and allowing myself to get into the Christmas spirit. But then, finally… a Christmas miracle occurred! A few days ago I awoke from a restful sleep where I hadn’t coughed through 80% of the night. Joy to the world, indeed! Even though work is still acting as a Debbie Downer to my holiday cheer (seriously, working 7 of the next 8 days? NOT A WAY TO BRING ON HOLIDAY CHEER!) I’ve started to embrace the season. My tree is trimmed and my holiday goody bags are ready and wrapped. But now that everyone else’s gifts are ready to go, I decided to put a little thought into what I’d like Santa to bring me this year…

Thalia’s Christmas List

Lasik. But not just any ol’ Lasik. Lasik where they can knock you out so you don’t have to be awake while a laser beam attacks your eyeball. Seriously, how has science and technology not advanced Lasik surgery that far yet? I know, you can’t feel the laser, blah blah blah, I’ve heard it all before. I guess having my right contact repeatedly rip while on my eye just isn’t annoying enough yet for me to test that pain-free laser theory out though. (And seriously, am I the only person with contacts this happens to? I get a rip right down the middle of my right contact while it’s on my eye. I’m starting to worry that all those times people said I have daggers in my eyes is true…)

Two Extra Hours a Day. But not just any ol’ two hours. Two magical hours where all I can do with one hour is workout, and all I can do with the other is write. Oh productivity, how wonderful you’d be if these two hours existed.

A New Face. But not just any ol’ new face. A face that can pull off short hair. All I want for Christmas is to look good in a pixie cut, damnit!

So there you have it, dear readers. If any of you happen to know a wizard or a gypsy (or maybe even the real Santa?!) that can somehow bring this wish list to life, I’d be oh so grateful! I promise, I’ve been (slightly) less naughty than nice!

Until then, here’s wishing you and yours a very wonderful and love-filled holiday…Image

The Most (Un)Wonderful Time of the Year?

Y’all, being single doesn’t REALLY suck. I mean, it’s not always ideal, and for some people it’s a fate worse than death, but for me, it’s not that bad. There are worse things in this world than being single, like being stuck in a dark cave listening to a never-ending playlist of Nickelback, Creed, and Rascal Flatts (apologies if those are your favorite bands. Seriously, apologies to your ears.). If you have good friends and good family and lots of good activities to keep your social life busy, being single just ain’t all that bad. Except for on one occasion… HOLIDAYS.

I have a feeling a lot of non-single people are going to disagree with me on this one and be like “But Thalia, you just don’t realize how easy you have it! No dealings with in-laws and kids and trying to fit in his family’s Thanksgiving and your family’s and figuring out what to buy him for Christmas, etc, etc, etc.” All valid points, I’m sure, but if that’s the case then all I have to say is feel free to get your own blog to write about those complaints, because I ain’t tryna hear it, ya heard?

Here’s a few reasons why holidays are unfriendly to the singleton:

Office Parties
When I started working in the corporate world nothing excited me more than the possibility of a big, fancy holiday party. And boy did I get everything my heart desired when I attended my old company in Denver’s holiday bash. It was at a hotel, it was swanky (I got to dress up for once!!!), the food was amazing, the bar was OPEN, there was good music, and we even got discounts on posh rooms overlooking downtown Denver with late check outs and spa services. When I heard about this wonderfulness I had visions of eating good sushi and drinking good wine and stumbling up to my room with my dreamy date, but soon realized taking a casual date to a company party is tantamount to introducing them to your family. These are the people who see you more than your family. Think your aunts and uncles can embarrass you with stories?! Just wait til your coworkers get a few in them and start rambling on about the time you burst into the wrong conference room and in an attempt to make a hasty exit, fell smack on your face through the doorway. No, casual dates are not the way to go at corporate functions. So it’s either significant other or stag. Don’t get me wrong, I still had fun when I went stag, but let’s just say I didn’t end up cuddled up in a plush king sized bed with room service breakfast. Nope, instead I got tossed a few pity slow dances from my supervisor’s husband and then ended up drunk and shoeless, dancing in a gay bar.

Holiday Cards
Now, friends and family reading this, please know that I LOVE receiving your cards. It’s just there’s no better way to be reminded of your singleness than being presented with card after card of “Look how adorable my significant other/kids/animals and I are!” A coworker suggested that I pick out a few favorite pictures taken over the year, because it has been a huge year for me, and making a collage to send as my card. I considered the idea, found some cute pictures taken at concerts, ballgames, girl’s nights, and on my trip abroad, but I soon realized every single picture included me holding a beer. Or a glass of wine. Or a WHOLE BOTTLE OF CHAMPAGNE. “Yes, friends and family, you may have adorable children, but I have BOOZE!” I am guessing this isn’t what’s meant by holiday “spirit”…

Family Get Togethers
Another pitfall of being single is going solo to family functions. I know, I know, family gatherings don’t scream “date night!” But, at 30 I have yet to spend a full holiday with a significant other and my family. This bums me out for two reasons: 1) My family has fun on holidays and it’d be pretty swell to share the eat a little too much, drink a little too much, get a little too loud while playing games-ness of my family with someone and 2) I am the ONLY single person in my family. Well, this isn’t technically true. Everyone under the legal driving age is single. And me. Me and the kids. Yep, even people younger than me are married with kids now. Imagine how much fun that is! Props to my family though for not really being one of those “When are you finally going to find someone?” types of families because I’ve seen my friends suffer through that horror and am pretty happy to not be subjected to it (much).

Presents
It’s no secret, I LOVE getting presents. (But really, who doesn’t?) But here’s the presents part of the holidays that makes me bummed to be single- giving gifts. I know the present part of the holiday season tends to stress a lot of people out, but not me. I am a gift giving genius when it comes to significant others. Seriously, I’ve gotten pretty damn good at it. When I’m gaga about a guy I love spoiling him when it comes to gifts and I have a knack for getting guy gifts right. I have even purchased Denver Broncos paraphernalia for a former flame, I was just that excited to give someone I loved something they would love. Stellar mixed tapes? Your favorite baked goods? Tickets to that random band that we both secretly love? Something dirty that I won’t go into detail about because my mom and aunts read this? Better believe I have every base covered. I usually have these gifts all ready to go by the beginning of December and it’s pure torture trying to keep quiet about them!

So how does one keep from getting the single girl holiday blues? Well, for one, don’t sit at home watching Love Actually on repeat (just trust me on this one, it will do nothing but make you a puffy-eyed mess). Focus on what you do have- good family, good friends, and a good social calendar! Get to planning a fabulous holiday outing for you and your fellow single pals. Celebrate the fact that, while you may not have everything you want in your life- like someone to kiss under mistletoe or watch Meet Me in St. Louis with or put together ridiculously large Christmas gifts for- you have plenty to be thankful for. And, if all else fails, in my experience you rely heavily on boozey eggnog, enjoy absurd amounts of whipped cream on pumpkin pie, and use the money you would have spent on a significant other’s present to treat yo self to the new boots you’ve been eyeing and maybe a nice hot stone massage. And, if even that fails to make you appreciate the holiday spirit in a single state, then you have my permission to watch Love Actually on repeat…or at least, watch this part of it:hugh-grant-dancing-o

You’re welcome. AND HAPPY HOLIDAYS!