Always Aubrey: May 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012

San Diego Zoo

More San Diego Zoo photos... because animals are awesome! (even more after the jump)





Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Santee, San Diego, Coronado

San Diego Zoo!
Road Trip of Sisterhood! After pampering myself with a haircut at the gorgeous Joya Salon (at the Montelucia resort), Sissy and I hit the road for California!

Along the way we stopped to see Cosanti handmade wind chimes in Paradise Valley, then drove through some incredible vistas en route to Santee, CA. There were barren deserts, cacti, sand dunes, huge pile of boulders, giant wind turbines... and about a zillion Border Patrol cars! It was interesting to find myself driving in such different environments, all in one trip. Some of the desert reminded me of Kuwait and Iraq, minus the camels.

We arrived in Santee in time for a home-cooked dinner by DR and LR, a couple we've sort of adopted as great-uncle and -aunt. (There was a strawberry pie for dessert... gorgeous!)  We had a blast catching up with them; I feel like they've watched us grow up since we were little kids. They also made us a top notch breakfast (complete with the prickly pear jelly we brought them!) before we set out for my bucket list stop: the San Diego Zoo.

I have wanted to visit the San Diego Zoo since 3rd grade. My parents had given me a CD-ROM of the zoo to explore on the computer, and I think I had the entire this memorized by heart. When Sissy suggested that we go, I was like a little kid again! I especially loved seeing the pandas, giraffes, elephants, and tigers. Sissy liked the polar bears, gorillas, and orangutans. The whole place is lush and gorgeous... but I am glad we went early, as it started to get very crowded later!


After, Sissy suggested that we eat lunch at Hotel del Coronado, not too far from the zoo. It is where the Marilyn Monroe movie 'Some Like It Hot' was filmed. The place still looks like it is out of another era, and it overlooks the gorgeous beach. We had a great view from our lunch table!

Coronado

After that, it was time to head to Los Angeles to see the Korean side of our family... in which I drove in LA traffic for the first time and put a nasty scratch on my sister's car trying to park.  I think I'd better stick to driving in the Midwest/South.  More about LA later!  :)

Dessert at Hotel del Coronado

Monday, May 28, 2012

Playlists and Sisterhood

I took a recent vacation Arizona to see my one and only sibling, my baby sister AW.  (She needs a name here... Sissy works!)  We hadn't seen each other since Christmas, and I hadn't been out to Arizona since last year, so it was a long overdue trip.  But I'll talk more about our adventures later.

Sissy had to work the first day I was in town, so I spent some time setting up her new iPad and computer, specifically her iTunes account.  As I painstakingly saved her individual playlists (they don't transfer with the library automatically, at least, the method I had to use), I noticed just how different we really were.

It wasn't the genres of music; we both have eclectic tastes, though I think she is far more hipster than I will ever be.  It was the chaotic mess of playlists, titles, spellings, duplicates... the utter disorganization.  It made me frown, then made me smile.  I thought of my orderly, sorted, spell-checked tracks of my own iTunes at home.  I thought of the conglomerate of randomly placed foods in her fridge and kitchen, compared to my neat stacks and systematic sorting.  I thought of her beautifully decorated home and my pale attempts to spruce up my place.  I thought of her effortless style, and my search for my own look.

I've always been the academic one, the tech-savvy one, the practical one, the safe one.

She's always been the free spirit, the impulsive one, the sensitive one, the brave one.

We don't always like each other; I've always said that by our third day together, we've had at least one explosive fight.  But we love each other unconditionally, and I know she'll always be in my life, whether she agrees with what I'm doing or not.  When we're together, I can't help but think about how different we are... and how, sometimes, I think we wish we were a little more like the other.

But regardless, I'm happy inside when we're together.  Even when we're screaming and crying and feel like the other is wrong/selfish/stubborn/such-a-meanie.

I love my sister, and her infinite playlists of randomness.  Because in my ordered, organized existence, I love the excitement she brings to my life.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Make your luck!

I am going to recreate this.   It's brilliant, and so true.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Shades of Grey

(I promise I'll keep it PG-13 up in here!)

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After hearing about the hype surrounding the Shades of Grey trilogy, I decided to go ahead and read the books.  It was an entertaining beach read, though the characters have some inconsistencies.  The storyline for these books began in the Twilight fan fiction domain, but they are definitely a very adult, erotic series.

I'm not going to give it all away, but there's a lot of BDSM/kinky stuff going on (excessive, as in nearly every chapter), but that's not why I'm convinced women across the nation have become obsessed.  What they're obsessed with, just as they were with Twilight, is the fantasy that a woman can actually change and tame a man.  And in both cases, the man is dangerous, volatile, filthy rich, and drop-dead gorgeous.

My opinion is that Shades of Grey is Beauty & the Beast meets Twilight meets porn.  And if you dig that sort of thing, read them, then check out another vampire series I've read, The Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Oh, and if you want a good laugh, check out Ellen Degeneres and Gilbert Gottfried 'reading' excerpts of Shades of Grey.  :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Gleek Peek: Goodbye

I can't believe so many of the Glee kids are graduating.  I was hoping they'd do a season taking place in the summer, something to draw it out.  With so many of the cast members going in different directions, what is Ryan Murphy going to do next year?  Turn some of the regulars into recurring characters?  Split between Lima, Ohio, and New York?  It's too unbelievable to have everyone stay in one place, and I wonder what will happen to the classroom set and Mr. Schuester.  (Not that I care much about Mr. Schuester... sorry.)

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I'm happy that they spent so much time on individual characters.  There were funny bits, and it felt like a pretty good episode compared to some I've seen.

I love music, and I think I'll always watch Glee while it's on the air.  Aren't the episodes hit or miss?  Yes.  But I've always wished real life were more like a musical, and this brought what I loved about High School Musical to a weekly series.  So Glee will always, so long as it's around, be something I am drawn to.

Oh, and Mike O'Malley doing the 'Single Ladies' dance?  OMG.  :)

Songs I'll Download: "You Get What You Give", "Roots Before Branches"

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe

I love the movie Fried Green Tomatoes.  I can't even tell you how many times I've watched it.  It's simply a classic.  Between Fried Green Tomatoes, Gone With the Wind, and Steel Magnolias, it is no wonder I fell in love with the South.

Fried Green Tomatoes was filmed in Juliette, Georgia, and the little hardware store they converted into the Whistle Stop Cafe remains open today as a restaurant.  Since it was along my route to Tennessee, I made sure to time it right to stop in for a bite.  I perused the adorable antique stores nearby (I found some amazing deals!) and sat down at the counter for some fried green tomatoes (of course!), fresh lemonade, and a hot ham & Swiss sandwich.  Yum!  The food was great, and the place looks just like it did in the movie.  It was in the middle of nowhere, with no cell reception, and it's right on the railroad tracks!  (A train even passed through during my meal.)

What a hidden gem of a place... so glad I stopped by, and crossed another thing off my Before I'm 30 list.



P.S.  I also knocked off another thing on the list, and drank a shot of absinthe.  It burned so much I felt it in my ears and eyes.  Never again, Green Fairy.

Whistle Stop Cafe on Urbanspoon

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Savoring Savannah...

The house is empty, but I'm still tying up loose ends in Georgia... so I decided to indulge and get a hotel room in downtown Savannah for the weekend.  Best. Decision. Ever.  And since it's a fond farewell to a beautiful city that has treated me so well since 2007, I also decided to continue this indulgent streak with some phenomenal dining.  So me and the boyfriend (oh yeah, I've never mentioned him... but from here on out shall refer to him as Duke Silver, a la Parks & Rec) hit the town and filled our bellies with some delicious and romantic delights.

Bellini Tini @ Jazz'd
My Picks:
The Chart House:  Tenderloin Medallions w/ Teriyaki Glaze & Mango Sauce, Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes, Sizzling Mushrooms, & Hot Chocolate Lava Cake, and a Strawberry Basil Caipirinha to drink

Pakwan:  Chicken Tikka Masala, White Rice, Garlic Naan, and more treats from their buffet

Jazz'd: (Tapas for Two is phenomenal!)  Five Onion Soup, Jazzy Chèvre Tomato Dip, Southern Crab Cakes, Tapas Lasagna, Lamp Chops with Garlic & Rosemary, and a Bellini Tini to drink

Soho South Cafe:  Modern Grilled Cheese & Tomato Basil Bisque (smoked gouda, Cheddar, gruyere, and pimiento aioli on sourdough bread)

Vinnie Van Go-Go's:  Pepperoni & Pineapple Pizza... by the slice, because they're HUGE!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Empty house.

Growing up as an Army brat, moving all over the globe, "home" meant wherever my parents and sister were.  Countless houses, duplexes, apartments... but wherever that feeling was, I was home.

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Now, as I look at my empty house here in Georgia, preparing it for future tenants, I can't help but reflect on the four years I spent here.  True, one of those years I was in Iraq... but still.  This was the first place I really ever lived outside of my parents' house or a barracks room.  It's the first place I sort of furnished/decorated (I tried not to get too attached) and the house that I lived in before and after my divorce.

I've always called my parents' house in Indiana 'home', but I called this house my 'home' too.  Even though I hated that it was too big for me and a pain to clean, or that things would need expensive repairs on occasion, or that it was a bit too far from good shopping or restaurants.  It didn't really feel like 'home' to me after I started living there alone... it felt like a temporary space with semi-empty rooms I never even used.  But now, as I prepare to leave it... it's a surreal and semi-sad feeling.  I'm more than excited to move on, but there's just a strange feeling in my stomach, almost a nervousness, as I prepare to turn over the keys.

But then again, that monthly mortgage payment will continue to keep me connected to the place, right?  Sigh...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Gleek Peek: Nationals

It's Nationals time again!  The episode moved quickly, but they always do with competition episodes.   I love hearing three songs in a row.  :)

I did like that New Directions seemed to feature everyone's voices during the competition... and the song choices were right up my alley!  I pretty much found myself singing through the episode, without even thinking.  Rachel singing Celine Dion?  Reminds me of when I saw Celine in Vegas; GOOSEBUMPS.  I also loved that she got the NYADA recruiter to come see her in action, a well-deserved second chance.

I was so excited to see Unique again.  She was full of diva moments, but killed it!  And yes, Unique needs to transfer schools next year, to McKinley!  I do think Vocal Adrenaline's dance numbers impress more than New Directions though.  It's their specialty.

Who won?  I'm not going to spoil it for you.

Overall, I had a blast with this week's show.  I think they brought their A-game, and I hope they keep it up.

P.S. Lindsay Lohan, Perez Hilton, and Rex Lee (Lloyd from Entourage) as judges, all in the same room?  I DIE.  :)

Songs I'll Download: "Edge of Glory", "It's All Coming Back to Me Now", "Starships"

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Paperless Post (@paperlesspost)

Do you know what I miss about snail mail?  E-mail lacks that 'paper' feel.  It doesn't feel like you're opening a beautiful card.   It doesn't feel special.  But then I heard about Paperless Post from my friend Jean, and a few days later received a Paperless Post invitation for my cousin's graduation.

What is Paperless Post?  It's this awesome website that sends e-cards, but not the cheesy animated e-cards you're used to.  These are gorgeously designed, customizable, and 'feel' like the real thing.  There are plenty of free options, and you can send them to people and stay both wallet- and environmentally-friendly!

Since I'm moving, I'm using paperless post to send a Change of Address announcement.  I love the selection, and think I will use this website frequently in the future for any kind of event or even just little notes.  It's classy, though I will always maintain a little collection of stationery for snail mail occasions.




Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Success & Friendship

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Craig Holiday is a seasoned mentor, life coach, and business consultant.  One of my best friends has been taking a free course with him online, and recently posted a message he wrote for that training.  As soon as I read it, I felt like I had an epiphany.


Craig Holiday:
"We need to be around people that support us as much as we support them...  You want to be with people like you who are dreamers that want more out of life. Think of it like you are putting together a team. People don't realize the type of people they are hanging out with until they start having some success. There will be people in your life who will say you are changing but they have no desire for more or to change and grow in their own lives. They are uncomfortable watching you grow because it points out the lack of growth and effort in their own lives."

Holy. Cow.  You know, my friend LD has been telling me for ages that you don't find your true friends when you're at your lows in life, but your highs.  It really does seem like people flock to support you when you need them, but when you're successful, there can be resentment and changes in relationships.  Maybe it's schadenfreude, maybe it's suddenly having fewer things in common, but something seems to happen when things start to get better for one person and not the other.  I kind of alluded to this in My Declaration of Independence.

magerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I would have to say that 2010 and 2011 were crappy for me, with a few exceptions.  When I was going through my divorce/depression/etc., I had plenty of people offering support and being positive friends.  But once I got out of my funk, the people who were there to celebrate my achievements and successes weren't all the same people who were there when times were tough.  Is it jealousy or resentment?  I know that I have changed, and that some people won't like the person I've become; they got used to me in my prior state.  But I've never been happier, personally or in my career... so I need people who will cheer me on and grow with me.  I think I've become more confident and outspoken, no longer obsessed with doing what others expect.  I know what I want, and I'm driven to go after it.  I have worked hard to earn my lifestyle.  So maybe I'm not so meek and malleable as I used to be, but I wouldn't change a thing.

Oprah once said, "Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down."  LD told me she read that and instantly disagreed; it's the people who will ride in the limo with you and be legitimately happy for you that are your true friends.  And I'm proud that I have a tight-knit group of friends who would fill up that limo in a heartbeat, but also help me dispose of a body/provide an alibi in hard times.  Ha!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Just the Fax (FaxZero)

Who remembers fax machines?  I remember that annoying sound on the phone when my parents were receiving fax at our house... that old machine would print indecipherable text onto that funky waxy paper, and we'd have a message.  But that was before e-mail.  Why fax when you can send a multi-paged PDF instantly, to multiple people?

As I prepare to move, I'm trying to end various contracts at my house (satellite TV, security system, etc.) and finding that I signed on for longer contracts than I anticipated.  I'm hoping to avoid paying the penalties/balances and plead my case with the companies, hoping they're understanding of my need to move with military orders.  That said, I was told I need to FAX information to them, with no e-mail option.

Well, that's not very convenient, is it?  Not wanting to have to schlep all over town to find a fax, I looked up online fax services.  I found FaxZero, recommended by PC World, Kiplinger, and more.  You can send a FREE fax (in .doc or .pdf format) to phone numbers, through your e-mail.  I attached my documents, received confirmation of successful delivery, and was done within minutes.

Presto!  Where there's the Internet, there's a way, right?  So don't get stuck searching for a fax machine; you can handle it at your fingertips.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Painting Furniture (I put the shabby in shabby chic...)

Like most twentysomethings, I have a hodgepodge of furniture in my house.  Some of it's that cheap, assemble-yourself stuff that you find online or at a discount somewhere.  Since I couldn't get buyers for some of the pieces on Craigslist, and some had some surface damage, I decided to paint some of it while I still had a garage to work in.  I'd read online that you can use this primer on laminate so you don't have to sand.   I bought some semi-gloss paint for the furniture.

I bit off more than I could chew.  I am not good at painting stuff.  It looks like an amateur did it, because I did.  And while some people would prefer the furniture the way it was pre-painted, it just didn't fit the aesthetic I wanted, or it was damaged and had to be painted.

Sigh.  I don't know if I'll ever do this again; I had visions of the lovely stuff I see at Two Women & a Warehouse.  It was an ambitious project, and I am relieved to be finished.  I know I seem very blah about it, but I decided to post the photos anyways.  Why not? :-/
Desk/Sewing Table

Damaged Table and Bookshelf
Coffee Table (the box was loose, now it is fixed)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Gleek Peek: Prom again?

Glee had another prom.  I will admit, I tend to like the prom episodes, because they have a lot of danceable songs.  I wasn't disappointed in this regard; I think they stole their playlist from my iPod!

That said, once again I was lost in the story lines.  I think the lame anti-prom idea and Becky side story were pretty weak.  But on the other hand, Quinn once again showing her true colors, and Santana's brutally honest and impeccably true confrontation of Rachel was brilliant.

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It's not that believable that Quinn and Santana would make Rachel into prom queen, but it was clever to have them counting the votes; they dislike each other enough to keep it honest.  It was a selfless thing they did, and I think the depiction of Rachel as totally unsure and nervous about winning was accurate.  I'm kind of waiting for Rachel to have a meltdown, because she's scarily calm about everything that's going on.

It was also nice to see everyone be so accepting of the same-sex couples at the prom, as well as legitimately happy for Rachel for winning.  Rachel really has come a long way from the schoolgirl she once was, and her transformation has been interesting to watch.

I like this episode much better than last week, but Glee really needs to step it up... I really don't know how next season will be, but I have been known to stop watching formerly great shows for lack of time and interest.  (Cough cough, Gossip Girl!)

Songs I'll Download: "Love You Like a Love Song", "What Makes You Beautiful"

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Meeting @Paula_Deen

Photos by Christine Hall Photography
When many people think of Savannah, they think of Paula Deen.  She started off delivering lunches, built a restaurant (The Lady & Sons) and now runs a veritable empire of cooking shows, products, and multiple restaurants.

Paula put Southern cooking on the map, even though she took a lot of heat for pushing butter-laden and fried foods onto the already-obese American masses.  Her recent admission to having diabetes brought on another onslaught of criticism.  But throughout it all, she's remained the picture of a Southern lady, with her charming accent and blinding smile.

Paula and her son Bobby recently did a book signing at The Lady & Sons, so I headed to Savannah to meet and greet the pair and get my Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible autographed.  Since they limit the signing to 350 people, I showed up early to get in line.  I wore a cute dress and cardigan, but then the weather happened.

As we were standing outside in line, a torrential downpour started coming down.  Even though a couple of tourists let me huddle under the edge of their umbrella, I got completely drenched.  Drenched like I jumped in a pool.  I shivered for two hours as I waited to meet Paula and Bobby... and then it was my turn!

They were smiling and super nice, and Paula looked GREAT.  She looks like she's lost a few pounds, but she is positively glowing.  You can tell that the person she is on television is the same person she is 100% of the time.  It was a fleeting moment when I got to meet them, but I am glad I did.  After all, how could I leave Savannah without meeting the woman who helped put it on the map?  She's done some amazing things for the city, and I'm glad I got to see her in person.

Melissa confronted Teresa!!! #RHONJ

I don't do episode-by-episode reviews of Real Housewives, but after the latest New Jersey episode, I had to gush!  Melissa finally confronted Teresa!!!  I've always felt like Melissa exhibited great poise in the face of Teresa's ridiculous insults and jabs.  She has taken the abuse for a long time (and vented about it to trusted friends/family, as she is entitled to do), but FINALLY in the latest episode she stands up for herself.
Bravo
I am Team Melissa all the way.  She and Joey have a great relationship, she cares about her family, and she has the most singing ability of any Real Housewife aside from Kandi.

Teresa is green with envy.  She gets angry when people state the facts about her husband (don't argue semantics like 'going away' and 'jail', Tre!) and wants everyone to think she has the best of everything.  But really, if I had to choose between her life and Melissa's, it's no contest.  And I think that kills her inside, to the point she has created such a rift in her family and with her brother.

I'm so proud that Melissa finally stood up for herself and her family, and Teresa sounded like an idiot even trying to defend herself and fight back.  I really wonder how Teresa can watch the show's footage and not realize how wrong she is; that's real delusion.

Switching gears, I was so saddened by the Lauren Manzo weigh loss storyline.  I know her brothers think they are hilarious, but their jabs about her appearance are just sad.   I really expected my Mama Caroline to come out and be more supportive of her, but it just wasn't as much as I wanted to see.  I really hope Lauren gets in shape for herself and her health, and not everyone else.  She and Vito are a sweet and stable couple.  I love them!

P.S.  Desperate Kim still wants to be on this show, so she pathetically follows the drama.  She is more Botoxed than ever; I barely recognized her!  Stay away, Kim, you're super sad.

P.P.S. Did anyone see Gretchen perform on #RHOC?  Poor girl... she was totally tone deaf.  They should have just had her do a dance feature; I think the Pussycat Dolls regret that decision.  But at least she and Vicki are trying to et along a little better.

Monday, May 7, 2012

New Blog Design

So, as you may have noticed, I've done a blog redesign! I am playing with Blogger's dynamic views. The level of customization isn't available yet, but I really like the organization and focus on images.

If you want to see posts by label, you can hover over the grey/black hidden tiles on the right side of your browser (not available on your mobile phone) to look at Labels, Archives, etc.

I am in love with the Pacifico font.

I have been super busy prepping for the move, but I wanted to do some spring cleaning online and try out the new Blogger app for my iPhone! :)

Stay tuned, as both this site and me are both under construction.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Savannah Nights

Savannah Tall Ships Challenge
This weekend, I spent Friday and Saturday night hanging out in Savannah with some friends in from out of town.  I hadn't seen my girl LK in forever, and she brought along a couple of other girls I knew too!

I was working on moving/house stuff this weekend, but I let myself have the evenings to have a little bit of fun.

Friday night, I headed downtown a little early, to catch sight of the Savannah Tall Ships Challenge, which brought some gorgeous boats in along the river.

I also took a walk around downtown, passing by Debi's, the restaurant where Jenny worked in the movie Forrest Gump.  Forrest Gump was filmed in Savannah, so there are a lot of little places you can find from the movie.



Once the girls got into town, we grabbed some beer and pizza (DELICIOUS pizza) at local favorite, Vinnie Van Go Go's.  It's probably the best slice in town.  It's cash only, always packed, but the slices are as big as your head!  I always make the mistake of ordering two, and never finishing.  So take my advice and order just one!  Afterwards, we hit up Bar Bar and danced until I had to head home.

Last night, I picked up the girls and we ate another awesome meal at Churchill's Pub.  We started with the soft, sourdough pretzels, then we each enjoyed some amazing dishes: prime rib sandwich, crab cake sandwich, and fish & chips.  YUM.  I also had a Forrest Gumptini, which was delicious.  It was sweet tea vodka, lemonade, sour mix, and a sugared rim martini.  Yay!  We finished out the night with a trip to the always-raucous Savannah Smiles, listening to dueling pianos into the night.  Savannah has a great night life, and I'll definitely miss downtown!


Friday, May 4, 2012

@Clarisonic Mia

Clarisonic Mia
I've struggled with skin care issues for a long time.  And while I feel I've gotten my acne under control (minus a few random pimples every few weeks), I don't feel like my skin has that 'glow'.  I've been hearing about the Clarisonic brushes for a long time now, but I never wanted to take the plunge.  After all the classic model costs about $195.

But then I read about the other Clarisonic models, and found that the brushes are good for three months.  That's actually pretty good!  And it's rechargeable.  So I decided to purchase the Clarisonic Mia.  I got it in an adorable yellow color (there's a rainbow of them!) and tried it out for the first time after it charged.  It's still a little bit of a splurge, but I have spent SO much on skin care in the past, I figured it was worth a shot.  But if you register your Clarisonic, you get a $25 credit, which I plan to use on brush replacements.

My skin feels amazing.  The brush is set to run for a minute, 20 seconds each on forehead and nose/chin, then 10 seconds for each cheek.  There is a sample of the Clarisonic cleanser that you can apply to the brush head, but I plan to use my Cetaphil and use the sample for travel.  I always feel like my skin care routine sucks when I'm on the road, and now I can bring this brush with me to change that!

I can't wait to see how my face looks and feels after a week, if this is how it looks after a DAY!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Gleek Peek: CHOKE

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Was I the only one who thought this episode was all over the place?!  Sigh.  Why doesn't Glee carry one or two consistent story lines and resolve them, instead of come of with serious, random stuff out of the blue?

Storylines that need resolving: how Sue's pregnancy is going, Quinn's recovery, Sam+Mercedes, and more.  New to this episode?  Coach Beiste's romantic, awesome husband is abusing her?  Puck's suddenly not graduating?  WTF?!  And why is Sue being so freaking nice?  Is it hormonal?

I thought Chris Colfer was brilliant, and true to himself.  His NYADA audition was awesome.  And Rachel's failed audition was shocking and devastating.  You really felt for her.  But I hated Puck's 'My Fair Lady' moment, and there was just too much going on.  I felt lost.

The musical numbers were the best part of the episode.  I thought the ladies did an awesome job with 'Cell Block Tango', and the songs were well done.  But I didn't get it.  I miss the flow.

I continue to watch, because I love it, but I'm sad that it isn't what it could be, or used to be.  And I worry that since they're graduating the characters, instead of drawing out the high school years like other shows, they're just going to get lost and more ridiculous.  Why couldn't they make an entire season out of the summer, for example?  Sigh.

I realize this post is as discombobulated as the episode was, but I guess it makes sense.  I mean they're doing ANOTHER PROM.  Seriously.  And get rid of the Glee Project kids, except for Harmony and Unique.  Bring them back, in spades.

Song I'll Download: "Cry"

Bonaventure & Telfair Museums

Bonaventure Cemetery
Since I had some free admission passes and free time, I decided to head back to downtown Savannah to enjoy another gorgeous, sunny day!

First off, I took a detour to Bonaventure Cemetery, which was featured in The Book and The Movie that helped make Savannah even more of a destination: Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil.  I read it before I moved here, and it definitely led to me visiting Mercer Williams House and seeing the famous drag queen, Lady Chablis!

Bonaventure is gorgeous.   I couldn't imagine a more beautiful place to be laid to rest.  The willow trees were definitely striking, and the headstones were eerily beautiful.



I headed downtown directly after my walk through the cemetery, to visit the Telfair Academy and Jepson Center.  I'd been to the Jepson Center before for a wedding, but both of these were great stops.  I especially loved that the Telfair used to be a home, and that you could see the bones of what that great house used to look like.  The modern architecture of the Jepson is stunning as well.

All in all, I had a great day downtown, checking off a few more things on my Savannah bucket list before my move to Tennessee!
Jepson Center
Telfair Academy



Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Happy days are here to stay!

Forget your troubles, come on get happy!

http://www.five-words.com.au via Pinterest
I am on Cloud 9.  I recently completed my military service, and went on dozens of interviews for different jobs around the country.  I'm just so thrilled at the different prospects out there for me, and that people WANT me!  It's insane to me... my self-esteem is through the roof.

I had a great, albeit short (5 years!), military career.  I accomplished all of my goals, I deployed to Iraq twice, and I made true, lifelong friends.  That's not too hard when you have to trust others with your life, right?  :)   I really thought my last day in uniform would be bittersweet, but it was truly only sweet.  I have no regrets about serving; the leadership opportunities have brought me the career opportunities before me today.  I also had a chance to be one of the <1% of Americans who have been in the Armed Forces, just like my father and grandfathers.

I just wouldn't be the person I am today without my experiences.  And I can't remember the last time I was so happy.  You know how I declared 2012 would be my year?  IT IS.  2010 and 2011 just weren't.  They may have been the worst.

But this is bliss.  This is amazing.  This is everything good coming back into my life.  I feel happy.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Moving.... to Franklin, Tennessee!

You heard me, I'm moving to Tennessee!


I'm so excited.  Not only is Franklin an amazing town, but it's close to Nashville (MUSIC CITY!) and one of my closest gal pals, VB!  I'm thrilled to be making a career change and having such a great opportunity to meet a new city.  Seriously, there is so much to do, so many great restaurants and stores, and I've landed a great job to boot.

I am already checking out the amazing concerts and events in Nashville, as well as planning to visit places like Carnton Plantation.

A little more about Franklin:

  • 2010 Most Romantic Main Street-National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • 2009 Distinctive Destination-National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • Money Magazine's Top 10 Places to Retire
  • Money Magazine's Top 100 Best Places to Live (only City in Tennessee to make list)
  • Tree City USA 
  • Great American Main Street Award 
  • Preserve America Community 
  • Number One Small Town in Tennessee
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