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Posts Tagged ‘things i’m good at’

This is going to be a multi-faceted post. (I think I’ve always wanted to use that hyphenated word to describe something I did. So…there it is.)

Firstly, if you’re anything like me, you love fall. I totally get it up for fall and yes, even the ubiquitous Pumpkin Spice Latte. Though, I have to say, the recent advertisement boom for my favorite latte is a little annoying. Just call me a wannabe hipster, but I totally drank it before it was in magazine ads. Anyway! I love fall and all things pumpkin. And this. is. hilarious. Pumpkin In Stable Condition After Being Humped by Blogger (stolen from Rachel Wilkerson) – yes it is what it sounds like and yes, you can laugh at yourselves, fellow pumpkin-humpers. That being said, I made these tonight and they are fantastic. Jenna at Eat, Live, Run literally has the best recipes. You can’t screw them up. Go check her out.

Secondly, I think it’s time again for Things-I’m-Good-At-Thursday (or, GAME DAY SATURDAY BITCHES! GO BLUE!). After spending the labor day weekend in glorious Plymouth, MA (see photo below) for my (extremely successful) cousin’s wedding, I could use some reminders about things I’m good at before I cry myself to (I’m-a-failure-and-I-can’t-get-out-of-bed) sleep. Here’s a couple I had saved in my phone for such a time.

Plymouth Rock - underwhelming.

Making Everyone Feel Awkward

Now, I can’t remember the instance where I decided this was important to add to my list, but I’m sure I blocked it out of my mind due to embarrassment. I say the strangest things sometimes and generally it just makes people uncomfortable. Whether it’s going into too much detail about my missing front tooth (long story – it involves an Amish community, gin and tonic, cement steps and college), or saying something that’s completely out of context to a polite conversation, I’m the champion awkward times creator.

Gift Giving

I love buying people gifts. I don’t even have to know you that well to buy you a gift either; if I find something that I think you’ll love, I’ll get it. (Within reason of course  – this might relate to the “making everyone feel awkward” category above.) I am creative with my gift giving and I love surprising people. You probably should be my friend.

Filling Out Forms

I read a book once where the girl was rich (I think?) and lost everything and realized that the only thing she was really good at was filling out forms. When I read that book, I realized, Hey! I’m good at that too! As we can see from this post and the last one above, I’m good at more things than just filling out forms, but it is another one of my stellar traits. I can probably beat you in filling out medical forms. Don’t even try to race me on a questionnaire. I got that in the bag!

Remembering People I Meet

I suppose most of us all good at this to some extent, or else you probably have that disease where you can’t recognize faces, even people who are your family. (That is sad.) I have a knack for remembering everyone I meet or even hear about in a small capacity, which makes things awkward for people 5 years later when you tell them that you already met at a party of a friend of a friend and they were the ones peeing in the corner on top of the keg. Not that that’s ever happened. Hypothetically. It can either make you sound like a stalker or just crazy. It never really works out well. No one is flattered, really, when they don’t remember you back…which is why I started to pretend I don’t know anyone. I think it’s probably lose-lose, because now people who remember meeting me just think I’m a self-absorbed a-hole.

Remembering Song Lyrics

I’d give my left arm (useless anyway) to be about to be a performer with an Adele-like voice (or even Katy Perry). I want to be a singer. I don’t understand why I can’t be a singer. Voice lessons didn’t help me, either. I just have to live with the curse of being a lyrics savant and not be able to do anything about it. One time, I whined to my good friend Tara, asking, “Why are some people good singers and some people not? It’s not fair.” It was supposed to be rhetorical, but she told me it had to do with the positioning of my vocal cords. I finally stopped feeling sorry for myself that day. Just kidding, I still feel sorry for myself. Sue me.

Well, now it’s your turn to think about things you’re good at. Are you a good singer? If so, sing into my shell right here…

ahh-ahh-ahhhhh, ahh-ahh-ahhh! (That's Ariel singing.)

On my way home from Plymouth, I read the book Visions In White (Bridal Quartet Book #1) by Nora Roberts. My two sappy friends recommended this series to me and at first I wasn’t really interested. I like romance, but Nora Roberts never really seemed like my thing. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book by her before and if I did, I don’t remember it. I was afraid the book would be terribly cheesy, which, I’ll admit, it was a little in some parts, but otherwise, it was good. I look forward to finishing the series.

The basis for the series are four friends who own a successful wedding business together called Vows. Mac, the photographer, is the main character in this first book. She is single (oh, but not for long, I’m sure you can guess) and lives on the property of the business. It is an estate that was owned by Parker’s (the manager, essentially) family. When her parents died, unexpectedly, Parker and her brother inherited the land. That’s when Parker and her friends took over and made it into a business to put happy memories into a sad time.

There’s really not a huge plot to this story. It isn’t overtly intelligent or thought-provoking, but I liked that. It was an easy read, but there was still enough depth to keep it interesting. The top three things I liked most about this story were:

1. The information about photography and the description about Mac’s photos. It made me wonder if Nora herself dabbles in photography. I think this added a nice element that made the story more “real.”

2. I love the idea of owning a business with your friends, especially something so fun (most of the time) as wedding planning. Wouldn’t you love to own a business with your friends? Oh, it’d probably tear you apart and ruin your lives? Money changes everything? That’s why this is FICTION. So you can pretend it’d be perfect.

3. I love that we learn bits and pieces about the other characters that will most likely tie into their stories in the other three books. I love any story with connections to other stories. (See : Stephen King books, Emily Giffin books on smaller scales.)

Now there is one thing I didn’t like about this book and it was the dialogue! Well, not all of the dialogue, but some of it. In the nicest way possible, Nora tries to be “young” in her phrases and rhythm of dialogue and it doesn’t always work. The characters are in their early 30s and they say the most ridiculous things sometimes. I’m all about turbo-weird phrases and exclamations (see), but hers were distracting. I can’t even think of an example of one right now, but the characters said some strange,  not-in-anyone’s-vocabulary phrases.

If you’re looking for an easy read this lovely fall day, pick up this book. And maybe a pumpkin spice latte. PUMPKIN HUMPING!

 

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In an attempt to be not-so-pessimistic, I decided to add a little special section to my blog on Thursdays called “Things I’m Good at Thursday.” (It might be on random days of the week, actually, because if there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s being inconsistent.) I think it’s a good idea for everyone to think about what their strengths are, no matter how seemingly silly or weird, just to give yourself a little ego boost once in awhile. So before the book review about Stiff by Mary Roach, here are some things I’m good at:

Being Inconsistent

I think I mentioned this one before. This goes along with my own personal vow to write in my blog every two days. Woops!

Reading Fast

I don’t need any speed-reading lessons or to run my hand over the page while I read (who remembers those commercials!?). I am a viciously fast reader naturally. And I remember what I read. (Unless it’s characters’ names. WHY?)

Guessing Plotlines or Endings

Maybe it’s because I’ve read a ton of books from being a super fast reader, but I can guess an ending like nobody’s business. Or maybe I just read too predictable of books or watch too predictable of movies. Whatever, I’ll take it. I’m good at it, okay?

Following Confusing Storylines

Memento? That’s easy. Inception? Never a confusing moment for me. I’m not kidding. This stuff just makes SENSE, which is weird, because everyday stuff is kind of confusing for me. Like I don’t understand the phrase, “behind the 8 ball.” Don’t even try to explain it to me. I won’t get it. Because I have my OWN way of explaining it okay? Or, I never understood why a goatee was called a goatee until I saw a picture of a goat and my boyfriend said, “Look at his little goatee” while pointing at his goat beard. Ohhhhh.

Remembering Conversations

I will remember nearly every conversation I have with someone…given that I am interested in what the other person is saying. Don’t ever get into a competition with me about what I said or didn’t say. You won’t win. I remember things too clearly sometimes.

Kids Love Me

I am the baby whisperer. Or the child-under-the-age-of-twelve-whisperer. Kids just get me and I get them. I’d love a job working with kids, but I don’t like all kids. And I don’t really want to babysit full time. Sooo where does that get me? Suggestions welcome.

Goateeeeee...ohhhhhh

So now that we’ve established six things I’m good at, you should think about things you’re good at. Now. Before you read the book review.

Okay, now that you’ve thought of your five things, today’s book review is going to be a quick one. This book is hard to explain but you’ll either be into it or not. So go with it. It’s called Stiff as I mentioned and it’s by a columnist/comedian named Mary Roach. Now, I’m not sure if it’s the same Mary Roach we all remember and love on American Idol a few years ago with the major camel toe, but it doesn’t look like it from her author photo. Maybe it’s because the author photo was devoid of camel toe. But irregardless, Mary Roach writes some awesome stuff…and maybe has some pants issues.

Hard to see, but maybe that's a good thing.

Mary (I really have an urge to call her “the roachmeister” but I can’t explain why) wrote Stiff after spending many hours with dead bodies. Yes, dead bodies. She traveled to other countries, many different U.S. states and learned as much as she could about the history of cadavers and what we have done with them historically. This book is incredibly interesting. I’m not really into death – in fact, I’m terrified of it. This sounded like a book I would absolutely hate, but I decided to give it a try and I loved it. Completely, utterly loved it. (It was recommended by the awesome blogger Rachel Wilkerson a while back and she had me convinced it’d be good. Actually, she might have recommended Boink, Mary’s book about sex, but regardless, I knew it would be equally awesome.)

There’s not much to say about this book in terms of plot line, naturally, as it is non-fiction, but the book is a fairly fast read, even for people who aren’t crazy fast like me. She adds a lot of humor to her writing, which is refreshing, especially in a book that talks about composting dead bodies in Sweden. No lie. Look it up. It’s interesting, albeit a little (a lot) horrifying. Go green when you die! Let your family grow veggies with you! Just kidding, they recommend non-edible things.

If you’re looking for something different to read, this definitely is your book. You can fill your mind with facts about uses for dead bodies and what really happens when you donate your body to science! You can learn about body snatching! Most importantly, you can learn that maybe death isn’t so terrible. I’m lying. That’s not a message at all in this book. (I wished it was.)

Go read it now. And then don’t forget to think about five things you’re good at. Every Thursday. Or sometimes Tuesday.

 

 

 

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