May 31, 2011

End of an Era

I can't say I was a huge Oprah fan, I didn't religiously watch the show, but whenever I caught an episode I usually enjoyed it. For those in denial or grief over the end of her talk show, a few parting articles for you:

Time Remembers the Top 10 Oprah Moments

Top 10 Episodes

I admired Oprah for shedding light on people who normally wouldn't have gotten any attention. One of my favorite stories involved a woman who lived not far from my family. She was dying of cancer and started videotaping advice for her young daughter, everything from applying make-up to deciding to get married. It was beautiful and I know that her family was comforted by Oprah's support after her passing.

There's not really anyone to take Oprah's spot, but maybe that's how it should be.

May 25, 2011

Mother Nature's Wrath

Not to have another "living in Texas makes me an expert on ____" post, but here it is. Growing up in the lovely section of the country known as Tornado Alley has brought me a healthy amount of appreciation for Mother Nature and her temper tantrums, but also skepticism. I participated in tornado drills in school four times a year, but we never actually had to implement our tornado plan. I cleaned my closet at my parents' house every spring since that was our hideout spot (three people plus a jittery dachshaund terrier basset hound in a small closet did not a fun time make).

Last night, though, we had some crazy weather in Texas. For once I realized that simply chilling in the closet at my apartment (on the THIRD FLOOR) was not the best idea and "evacuated" to the semi-underground hallway on the ground floor of my building (where I huddled with about 20 other residents, smart people). For those not in the know, here's Tornado 101 as I know it (not to be substituted for actual warnings and advice from meteorologists/sirens/etc.)

1. Tornado Watch: suspected rotation in the clouds, storms capable of producing tornadoes in the area, stay tuned to the news.
2. Tornado Warning: actual tornado spotted, seek shelter immediately.
a. Shelter: lowest point of the structure (basements are best, underground parking garages are also nice), with interior-only walls (aka, no windows and no walls where the other side is outdoors). Bathrooms, closets, and hallways with doors are your best bet if you don't have an underground option (provided these have interior walls)

3. If you DO seek shelter, have a connection to the outside world. Last night I took my iPod which has a radio transmitter so I could still listen to the weather reports. Twitter was also handy as the media was able to distribute info about several areas at once and not focus in depth on one like they did on TV.

4. Grab a flashlight. True, I grabbed mine so I could still read my book club book if the power went out, but nothing is scarier than rain AND darkness.

5. Hunker down. I've really only "sought shelter" a handful of times, but better safe than sorry, right?

May 23, 2011


Texans love barbecue. Duh. However, thanks to my Texan-ness, I think BBQ sauce is an appropriate condiment for most situations: french fries, chicken drumsticks (dinner tonight), corny dogs (yup), etc. I don't get too crazy, I don't put the sauce on eggs or anything (hmmmm . . .), but you can't beat the delicious sauciness of BBQ sauce on something. My current obsession is with Stubb's Spicy Sauce. Is my mouth on fire at the end of the meal? Yes. Am I ok with that? Heck yes. Stubb's is an Austin restaurant/concert venue (yes, I saw a concert there this year, I felt so hip), but I bought the sauce before I knew that because it looked authentic on the shelf at Kroger. Can't beat my grocery shopping logic.

May 19, 2011

Summer Reading 2011

I'm finally getting around to adding new books to my repertoire, partly spurred by the new book club I'm in. I confess, I've always wanted to be a part of a book club, then I read the Jane Austen Book Club (which totally sucked) and I thought maybe they weren't as fun. No, just kidding, one book isn't going to turn me away from reading wi a bunch of gals. So thanks to Angela and some other ladies, we're going to be reading:

A novel based on Laura Bush's life, American Wife was pretty well-received when it came out, I'm so excited to read a book and be able to talk about it with people!

Then Borders sent me an e-mail with bestsellers at 50% off, well, I couldn't turn that down :-) I normally turn to Half-Priced Books for my reading needs, but these books were not hitting that store anytime soon.

I really don't know which one I'm more excited about. I can't wait to find out more of the story from Something Borrowed, laugh hysterically over Tina Fey's antics, or be fascinated by the science of Henrietta Lacks (yes, I'm excited about a nonfiction book about cells in a petri dish).

Check back for my reviews and a book club update!

May 16, 2011

Quotable 18 years Later

The bf and I have a movie-watching list--we each make a list of five movies that the other hasn't seen but we think they would like (my first list consisted of Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, Juno, Working Girl; his consisted of Fifth Element, Blood Diamond, Zombieland). We've moved on to list three, and the first ones up this weekend were National Treasure (his, in honor of our trip to DC) and Addams Family Values (mine)

You know how there are some movies that are just insatiably quotable (Finding Nemo, The Hangover). For my family, one of those movies is AFV. It's ridiculously clever, and while it plays off the Addams' blissful ignorance of how strange they are, it's stood the test of time. My parents and I saw it during Thanksgiving when I was in third grade and still quote it probably every time I'm home. We know it like the back of our hand, but it never fails to entertain. I was happy that the bf found it funny and that 8-year-old me had a well-developed sense of humor at that age.

If you haven't seen this, you should--rent the first one just to refresh your memory, but really look forward to the sequel that awaits you :-)

What's your quotable movie?

May 11, 2011

We need to talk . . .

If Glee and I were on Facebook, our relationship status would be "It's Complicated"

I used to be obsessed. I was a full-fledged Gleek, bought songs almost as soon as they were available, kept all the episodes on my DVR (no matter how much space it took up), changed my Facebook status to a quote from the latest episode, and counted the days until a new episode.

Then the spring hiatus of 2010 rolled around, and the show lost something. There's the occasional episode that's funny, and usually a good song or two, but I'm now three weeks behind. (I'm currently watching an episode, well, half-watching).

I miss my old favorite show and songs that literally made me burst with happiness ("Last Name" with my sorority sister, Kristen Chenoweth, "Halo/Walking on Sunshine" mash-up, to name a few).

I'm not giving up on Glee, or the 5% of my DVR each of the episodes takes up on my DVR (I record it in HD). But it needs to make the "grand gesture" sometime soon.