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…

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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.

 

Just Dance

Lately I’ve been on an extended vacation in Shittymoodville. Here’s the thing about Shittymoodville, it’s not a fun place to be. There’s an unexplainable foul odor lingering in the air, the sky is permanently heavy with a grey fog, the fellow occupants of this town are particularly surly, and the longer you’re there, the harder it is to leave. You just get stuck.

In general, I’m not the world’s most patient person, so you can bet money that I have little patience for riding out crappy moods. I’ve tried everything to expedite my departure from past pit stops at Shittymoodville- wine, girl’s night out, meditating, wine, sappy movies, funny movies, scary movies, wine, hot baths, rereading my favorite books, googling pictures of Tom Hardy holding a puppy, WINE- but so far only one thing is truly effective, and since holidays can be a stressful time of year and lead many others to Shittymoodville, I thought maybe I would share this breakthrough…

Dance. It. Out.

I’m sure if you know me, or have read past posts and seen my affinity for dancing gifs, you know I am a booty shakin’ fan, but just trust me on this, dancing is a first class ticket out of Shittymoodville. It really is just that simple. In a funk? Get up and dance. Do it for 15 minutes. Put on some music, gulp a glass of wine first if you must, and just DANCE. Go see a jam band and do some Dave Matthews moves, go do a pole dancing class, a zumba class, a tap class, hell, just go to the club and twerk it out. tumblr_mtk0w8QqlY1rp68cjo2_250I’m telling ya, just move your damn booty for awhile and tell me you can’t feel the funk fading away. A particular favorite pick me up of mine is Billy Blanks Jr (yep, son to Tae Bo guru Billy Blanks, so you KNOW he’s good!) and his Dance Party Boot Camp. If you can get your hands on it I highly recommend you skip to the last workout in which he gets your heart pumping by dancing to gospel. Yes, gospel. Talk about mood enhancer!church-lady-live-gifI know, I know, dancing around your living room like the Church Lady to some gospel on a workout DVD sounds ridiculous. But, you know what? When it comes to dancing it out, the more ridiculous the better. Whether you’re at home or out in the club, you don’t have to look good, you don’t have to look sexy, hell, you don’t even have to have rhythm. All you’ve gotta do is shake what you’re momma gave ya. The times I’ve felt the best after a healthy dose of dance therapy was when I closed my eyes, let the music move through me, and just did like that good ol’ cliche told me and danced like no one was watching.elaine-dancetumblr_mic2yg7l2j1rw32xuo1_400

Some may laugh at my methods, but I 100% know I will have met my true love when he too believes in the power of dance therapy and, much like gangs in 1950’s era movies, we dance out all our fights thus keeping us from booking a couple’s retreat in Shittymoodville.44499-Jennifer-Lawrence-Bradley-coop-z1ns

So dear readers, throw on your Richard Simmons shimmy shorts and shake it out. Shake out any stress or sadness or seasonal depressions that are getting you stuck in Shittymoodville.

And, if I’m wrong and that doesn’t work for you…here’s a picture of Tom Hardy with a puppy, just in case. tom-hardy-puppy-3

A Clusterfuck of Crazy

You know those weeks where everything’s just off and you realize you’ve gained about six pounds and it’s all in your tummy and it’s totally obvious because all your shirts give you the fat-girl-in-a-little-coat feeling but that doesn’t stop you from stress eating a BLT because everyone at work is looking at you kinda funny because you turned down a new position but none of them know it’s because of your early onset mid-life crisis and then you stress eat French fries because people make it so damn complicated to get into graduate programs thus furthering your early onset mid-life crisis and those French fries end up helping your waistline almost as much as they help your skin, which you know is an old wives’ tale but nonetheless weird skin isn’t exactly easing your stress level for the week, especially when you are in the midst of a social life more active than your planner has ever seen and there’s nothing that makes an already painful activity like dating even more painful than bad skin, oh expect staticky hair, which you now have because you stupidly dyed it again, even though you knew it would leave your hair a staticky, split end mess but you still couldn’t stop yourself because the color on the box just looked so much better than the color currently on your head and this is kind of leading you to believe that you have a “grass is always greener” problem and then wondering if you only want things you can’t have, like boys in California and new lives in new cities when there’s a possibility that the life you have here and the boy you were out with last night are perfectly fine and there’s no need to go makin’ changes because then your life might turn into one big staticky mess? Yeah. That’s been my week. My brain has been a clusterfuck of activity, my thoughts scattered in a million different directions. The only thing calming this craziness?

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So happy Friday, fellow crazies!

A Case of the PRB.

As I sit here at my desk, on my last allotted break for the day, too tired to even make my way to the break room, or even outside for a short stroll due to the late night fire scare in my building last night (yes, apparently grown adults still burn shit in their kitchens and have to get the fire department involved…and then drink with their neighbors and whoop it up over all the excitement {yes, I’m looking at you neighbor directly below me} thus keeping others around them up until all hours, throat burning from the lingering smoke and smell of melted Tupperware.), I find myself having a bad case of PRB. No, not PBR. I’m not drinking a skunky case of Pabst Blue Ribbon (although, at this point in the day, even that is starting to sound better than another 100 minutes of work.). What I’ve got is PRB. Today I’m afflicted with a case of the Places I’d Rather Be. It’s clear to anyone who has seen me today that I’m suffering from the PRB. Even people who don’t really know me can tell by my restless leg shaking, constant sighs, and the glazed over look in my eye, all the classic signs of PRB. So here, dear readers, are the Places I’d Rather Be:

1. At a spa.

Not just any spa though. A spa that boasts miracle fat and cellulite reductions through intensive treatments of hot stone and deep tissue massages given by Daniel Craig look a likes and serves meals consisting of the world’s creamiest macaroni and cheese that is not only delicious, but is guaranteed to trim at least two inches off your waist (three if you add bacon to it).

2. A beach.

The beach from the movie The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio is what I’m picturing (but not actually with Leo there. Sorry, love, I’m not 13 anymore and you’re just not my type. But please, if your friend Tom Hardy is available, feel free to send him over… with a bottomless pina coloda. And tanning oil that prevents all forms of skin cancer while giving the perfect golden glow.).

3. At a cafe in Paris.

With delicious glass of cabernet, Steve Martin’s “An Object of Beauty,” and a warm, fresh, delicious baguette (that, again, would take at least two inches of my waistline if I promise to eat all of it. With herbed goat cheese.)

4. In a magical world.

And in this magical world, when you force yourself to be brave and put yourself out there for a guy, the guy has the decency to respond to you in an acceptable period of time (i.e; not a day later).

5. In an even magical-er world.

Where guys stop acting so laid back about everything and thus never forcing you to have to be brave and put yourself out there. Yes, this is most certainly a PRB.