Sunday, December 27, 2015

Xmas from the heart

My 10yo cousin very much still believes in Santa and the mysterious way in which he gobbles up the cookies every year while she's tucked away in her bed. As tradition, I wrote the 'thank you' note as Santa, thanking her and also telling her I hope she remembers the true meaning of Xmas and to cherish the time spent with family.

Incredibly enough, I realized my own neglect in this area: busy working what seems like around the clock and have not spent nearly as much time as I would like with friends and family.... Having C3 in the car shop for repair does not help matters either {insert sad face here}.

A few highlights from Xmas:

I was lucky enough to have more-than-accommodating parents who picked my working butt up after a short {ha!} 12hr shift at work and then promptly fell asleep at my Nana's house after texting a select few that cheerful "Merry Christmas" text as we do in this day and age, counting down the seconds until it is "officially" Christmas.

This year's outfit: crushed velvet ShopPriceless skirt, favorite pullover sweater {similar}, Star Wars belt, thigh-high stockings, and new loafers.

Gag gifts are inevitable. My fav? Poo-dough, complete with yellow dough to make realistic corn pellets.

I may or may not have worn this in public during the travels of the day....

Obsessed with new robe! And friends found it a real hoot when I posted on social media.

I'm all set for when my favorite Wookie comes a-calling for a romantic date....once he's done saving the galaxy, of course.

Mama set me up for my aspirations at becoming a savant in pancake-making with a super sweet griddle. Chocolate-chip pancakes, anyone?

While gifts should not be the focal point of the holidays, I do quite enjoy giving thoughtful gifts and spreading cheer with something they would like, or something they would love but would never buy for themselves.

Spreading the love, surrounded by good food and wine, and good company - that's what the holidays are about, eh? Taking time away from the real-world problems and focusing on what truly matters. Time's too short not to take time to unwind with the ones who have your back through thick and thin, and to share the love with stories and sweets.

Did I mention I loved the robe?

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Star Wars and Feminism

*WARNING: mild spoilers - character analysis*

Round of  applause for the All-Star cast in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, especially the incredibly strong female characters portrayed.

Yeah....I caved...and {power}walked the mile down the road to the nearest cinema. Being without a car for the {hopefully short} time being, means getting my lazy butt up and walking, something I should have done sooner.... And yes, I went alone, per my usual prerogative for adventures.

Oh! And before I forget, let me just leave this right here:

And also, THIS article on Harrison Ford - yes, i realize I used Hello Giggles for reference quite a bit, but this isn't my thesis paper, so....

Diva much? However, I like the author's last line: [she hopes that Ridley and Boyega] set a new standard of pay for women and people of color in the film industry in the process.

Where was I? Ah, yes!

Rey: new main character. Badass. Drives the Millennium Falcon, for fuck's Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater's sake. Han is hesitant to believe she's the pilot because she's a girl, but Chewie can sense there's something about her - umm, yeah, the Force is strong with this one.

Aside from the Force, she's strong, but also nervous and afraid, like any one of us may feel if we've been thrust into such chaos and the weight of the galaxy placed on our shoulders. She's relatable to boys and girls.


Carrie Fisher's Princess Leia was one of the few, if not only, strong female leads in the original trilogy. The prequels granted us Padmé Amadala and this upcoming trilogy is ever-expanding, introducing more female leads {I realize Padmé and Leia weren't the only, but the ones most familiar to all who've enjoyed within the spectrum of fans from casual to die-hards}. It does, however, disturb me that Disney made Fisher lose 35lbs to reprise her role...


Maz Kanata: voiced by Lupita Nyong'o {so many cool cameos in the film!!}, Maz is rather underrated. She lends her 1000 years-worth of wisdom and guidance to Han, Chewie, Rey, and Finn, as well as the audience with her comment she's seen Rey's eyes before...hmmm.

She's an entrepreneur with her own business and respect of all those in the joint despite her small statute {remember not to stare!}


Captain Phasma: yeah, I realize she's a "bad guys" from the First Republic, which reminds me quite a bit of Hitler's Third Reich....including a sinister autonomous arm salute following the speech of General Hux to the Stormtroopers.... None the less: she's second-in-command to Kylo Ren, the new big, bad Dark Lord in town.

There was a Reddit commentary going around stating that the armor isn't "feminine," whatever the hell that means. Do the Stormtroopers even have to have a gender?? I'm sure we all assumed they were male, based on the voices of those Stormtroopers heard in the original trilogy and the all-male Clone Troopers {they were clones of a male after all}, but I'm digging the addition of a female Trooper, especially one in charge.

Played by Gwendoline Christie, the one and same actress who portrays Brianne in Game of Thrones, could you expect anything less from this incredible woman?


These aren't the only one strong female leads, but certainly quite notable.

Thank you, Disney, for incorporating more characters little girls can look up to. Not all heroes are male....and neither are all villains.

Hmm...something tells me I'll be seeing this film once {or twice} again before it leaves theaters - for the kickass characters, Daisy Ridley, and for all of the Easter eggs {Daniel Craig cameo, anyone?}.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Star Wars - a new era

*Warning: NO spoilers*

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is officially out and beating several opening records....before the doors to the first screening even creaked upon their hinges. This global enterprise, which includes likely 100's of thousands of fans in its fandom and will likely boast nearly $5 billion {with a B} in merchandise sales, was destined for cinematic history before auditions began {hard to believe it's been 2 years since I waited in line for literally hours at Twickenham Park in London to audition for the role of Rey}.

However, you likely won't be seeing me in a theater near you... Thank you, social anxiety, albeit this is not the sole reason. As much as I love Star Wars, I feel the hype has become overrated, bringing people out of the woodwork, which does not bode well with someone who will require spending some time alone to recharge her batteries from being overly socially stimulated...

Growing up a mega nerd, I often faced mockery and ridicule for the very franchise which is now regarded as one of the largest in the cinematic and sci-fi industry, earning quite a few discerning looks by passersby in high school for my Chewbacca backpack. I find it fascinating that love for this conglomerate is now hailing one as "cool" - funny how that works, eh?

Hot Topic model with the same Chewie backpack I own...
except I don't look half as fab as she.

Trends come and go, cinematic and literary masterpieces gain and lose fandom momentum as the next "it" thing joins the scene...

....but I have a furry feeling that Star Wars may be one to stay, which is good and bad, because I really want to see the new movie without risk of an overcrowded and noisy theater and my R2-D2 ink isn't fading any time soon.

Thankful I have not seen any spoilers via social media, so at least people are being respectful, unlike so many countless other premiered movies.

Perhaps now that I have a few days off, I may venture off to see it...who knows, I just may get a little wild in my current state of being stranded and potentially going stir-crazy.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Luck of the Irish & other quips

Happy news....

My signed copy of Ron Pope's latest album: Ron Pope & the Nighthawks is en route to my humble abode and Hotel Room is available for a soothing, savory indulgement!

My other giddiness stems from the fortune I had in not spending a fortune on an impromptu purchase of a one-way {jk} two-way ticket to Dublin in February with a brief stop in Reykjavik, Iceland - it counts!

Excitement does not begin to describe the way I'm feeling, the chills and that inevitable oh, snap scared-shitless feeling of anticipation I always feel right before a big adventure. I absolutely love traveling, cruising off wherever my feet take me, or social anxiety as it steers me away from the masses and down roads less traveled. The little bit of nerves is perfectly understanding...I feel those are natural and also expected - in a sense, I've always been worried if I didn't feel nervous before a test of any sort. Those nerves keep me on my toes, otherwise, I get too cocky and might blow it.

I think I'm all ready to goooo, based on this questionable pic from my humble flat in middle-of-nowhere central PA... And hey, I just found out I have some Irish roots so I'm ready to roam the land of my people and lay a wet one on that ol' Blarney Stone.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Local Music Artists

"Local Music Artists" may, at times, receive a negative connotation, marking a band with a stigma which they have to overcome each and every time they take the stage, to prove they're not just a bunch of kids {or man children} who think they can be the next Dave Grohl or Brett Michaels because they can hold a 6-string.

It's drive, commitment, and tenacity, in addition to talent, which set the up-and-coming bands apart from the dreamers. True, you gotta believe to succeed, as they saying goes, but the gumption behind the prolific dreams takes it the next level.

I know, I know...I've gushed and bragged about my buds in Small Town Titans, but they're not the only ones. When it comes to music, I like what I like, and sometimes, after seeing a favorite artist take stage, they slowly recess into the smorgasbord of other music on my iTunes with me still appreciating their music but feeling they're much better off in a studio.

What prompted these feels and elaborate thoughts was a man by the name of Ron Pope, an artist from Nashville. His music gives me chills...his crooning and sweet melodies touch the romantic side of my soul, appealing to those memories associated with love in all her glory: the ups and downs; the warm, fuzzy feelings; and the heartache from heartbreak.

His most recent album, Ron Pope and the Nighthawks, is available here at Pledge Music, a wonderful site devoted to artists supporting themselves with only the 3 F's: friends, family, and fans. Hello, signed CD coming to my door shortly! >Okay, fan-gurrrrrling a little because I've been following him for a few years and I received a PM via Twitter from him ERMAHGERD<

While this may be a slight plug for Mr. Pope {and STT, sorry}, the real focus is local music. While local may not refer to simply your hometown, it's a broader term, looking at those artists who are pretty dang talented without the frou-frou garbage added by record lables {okay, I'm guilty of listening to it, too, Confident, anyone??}.

Mainstream Pop and Punk is pretty epic, but it's the small-town artists for whom I go a little a sense, rooting for the underdogs while they're paving the way to where they want to be, which may not be triple-platinum or millions in $$.

Leaving a few gems here....

>also geeking out over what little I've retained on my lessons of HTML<

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Is it too late to say sorry? / Baby, now we got bad blood

L'amour est doux et belle

The Sorry X Bad Blood cover by DNK is stuck in my head.

>Flashback to when I had the pleasure of working with them when I served as President at ValleyFest<

Quite fitting...and a nice segue into...

Outdated dating faux pas:

  • The one who cares less holds the power
This is a rotten way of looking at any relationship with someone, whether it be in family, friendship, or more. The only time "power" should come into play is whether someone has enough muscle power to help me move my shit because I'm a weakling.

  • Holding back feelings {to avoid being hurt}
This is just plain silly. Yes, many, many feelings can be undoubtedly protected from being hurt, but also so many wondrous feelings which would not be explored otherwise.
  • To not have basic expectations
It's impossible not to have some sort of expectations. Don't sell yourself shortly, nor expect too much of someone either. Be reasonable as you'd want on the reciprocal end. If you want non-committal, then expect non-committal.

Communication is key in everything: work, relationships, even with your pets or food {make that banana know that it will end up in your tummy and to stop giving you lip}. Set boundaries and declare a few expectations.. ex. is Netflix & chill legit Netflix & chill or is it the not-so-innocent innuendo meaning?
  • To accept neglect/less than you deserve
See above....and also, have you seen Perks of Being a Wallflower, or at least not read the book nor seen the movie, have heard the overly used and wildly popular quote: We accept the love we think we deserve.

If you believe you should be treated like a bag of poo, then by all means, allow it, but me thinks we'd all like to be treated like royalty from time to time, or at least like we matter and are special, especially in times when we feel much like a wallflower, blending in with our surroundings.
  • If they don't respond within the hour, they obviously don't like you
Obviously, they're not that into you. Obviously, you're jumping to conclusions.
  • Grand gestures are corny and cliché
Being that often willy nilly romantic that I am, I find small gestures are my go-to for showing my affection, platonically or romantically. Cooking or baking for someone shows we're on the next level; cooking has always been a way my Mum shows she loves us, making our favorites when we come home, and it's something I've picked up as my own habit. Sandwich-making, that is revolutionary as I will only willingly make a sandwich for three men, two of which are my Fajer and grandfather.

Grand gestures, on the other hand, can be corny, but they're those wild, sweeping actions to show you truly care, or that you know you fucked messed up and have no other feeling than to explain, make them see you're raving mad about someone so you drive to their house like a crazy person in the hopes they won't call the cops nor think you off your rickety rocker...

A grand gesture could be simply putting down the phone when you're constantly glued to it for work....providing your undivided attention to show they are a priority even amongst the hectic responsibilities required at work.

And now some accurate advice in a clichéd Internet block of text on a solid background to make it look as though it is a godly decree:

Admit your faults. Fess up to your sins. And when needed, ask, is it too late now to say sorry?

Monday, December 7, 2015

Heed Caution, Take Care

With hectic schedules and desire to care for everyone around us, we often put ourselves to the wayside, neglecting basic little routines or maintenance-keeping. Today was spent doing little things to pamper myself and actually put some effort into my appearance, and getting dolled up for the heck of it.

Today would have been Grammie's 89th birthday and it needed celebrated with good eats, sissy hugs, and dreaming of the wonderful, kind, and vivacious woman that she was {okay, I spent half the morning ugly-crying, but that's beside the point}.

Eyebrows freshly plucked; pores duly unclogged, extracted, primped; old nail polish removed; YouTube videos on makeup technique watched and absorbed; newly gained skills put to the test.

Bright, sunny day as Grammie's spirit lives on, making today especially vivid for her birthday.

I opted for curls on curls and my new Shop Priceless crop top paired with my never-fail ultra-high AE jeggings. Incredible: it's December and nearly warm enough to go without a jacket....nearly.

Found these lovely boots at the thrift store down the street and I've been relying on them heavily to complete my {hopefully} BA outfits.

The end results: little loop curled into the wild curls, falsies {the last time I attempted these was senior year of high school, and Lovely had to apply for me}, eyeshadow {something I've avoided until today}, Star Wars lippy...

Quite pleased with the results.

While I did not really have anywhere I needed to go, I put this look to the test with my errands and a visit to see my Nana later that night.

Sister date warranted the Dragonite tee, so a swift change was in order! A stay-in night with pizza, beer bread, questionable&slightly burnt brownie bites, and Cranberry blush wine. Can't complain.

Grammie would always offer us good noms and Pap Pap would let us taste his wine, so in a way, we're kicking off her birthday shin-dig in a way she would have definitely approved ^_^

i carry your heart
i carry it in my heart

Happy birthday, Grammie. I miss you. I love you. I'll be seeing you in all the old familiar places.

*waterproof makeup is a lie as mine starts to leak down my face*

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Winter Blues

As days and daylight shorten with the ever-approaching winter weather, it's perfectly understandable to feel a twinge of sadness....daylight becomes more precious as there seem to be fewer and fewer hours of this wondrous phenomenon, fewer so with sleeping in to work my later shift, returning during the chilly hours of midnight and 1AM.

To all of you GoT fans, I'm sure you can appreciate the notion of "Winter is Coming." Yes, sadly, winter is coming, and all too quickly. However, with winter comes the magic clandestine moments of the first snowflakes and the snuggles which are sure to follow on days on during chilly weather. Flannel sheets + hot chocolate {with or without vanilla rum} make for a lovely combination for chilly weather.

A special treat was needed the other day, a 'licious Not Your Father's Root Beer float! A quick stop to Babbo's Italian Grille was in order for a panini and float. 

Fun fact: "panini" is actually the Italian plural form of the English word "sandwich." I'm okay with this as I quite love sandwiches {but won't make them for males out of pure principle}.

I say it's flannel season....but as you've probably noticed, I consider every season as flannel season. Equally ultra cozy on warm or cold days. Dark jeggings are good for anytime, no?

Grumpy gills per usual when waking up. Okay, it was also a close-up of this fabulous Star Wars lippy, of which I cannot get enough!

Long hours and long days....not getting adequate sleep....all lead to a grumpy gills me, but it's worth it when the hard work pays off {career-wise and literally since those loans won't pay for themselves!}.

Bundling up isn't all that motivating to get me out of the apartment, can be such a hassle! As much as I love this cashmere scarf, which was a Xmas prezzie many, many moons ago, I wish it wasn't needed as much as it is aka warmer weather, please! My buns are chilly.

I'm ready for a nice long snooze after I treat myself to a brisk walk outside...

Thursday, December 3, 2015

VIP Status

As unofficial spokeswoman of Small Town Titans, a title which I have granted upon myself and have since had approval from lead singer/bassist, Tree, I felt it rather necessary to include a post on their recent show in Hallam, PA {so happy I could finally attend a show since Halloween}.

After a lovely time in my hometown of peace and quiet, I was ready to be social and partake in social interaction, an activity I can only handle every so often with my social anxiety and relatively high levels of introvertedness.

To be the Small Town Titans' unofficial spokeswoman, one must dress to the nines aka like a BAMF rocker chic. Heelless heels + my new burgundy velvet skirt from Shop Priceless completed this look.

Even with the extra 5+" with my heelless heels, I'm still shorter than Tree....go figure.

Makeup on pointe with Star Wars lippy, curls, and a fresh coat of nail polish.

The guys did a phenomenally on stage! So proud of these rockers! They're doing what they love to do, pouring their heart and soul into the music they live and breathe....that, ladies and gentlemen, is rather inspirational. 

Tree: a lovely picture taken before the imbibed fans took the stage....literally. I guess they have that effect on people.

Oh, Jonny, your hair is always ace. The Beyoncé fan helps, I'm I've said before, I wouldn't mind having a Beyoncé fan follow me around for Instagram pictures. Knowing my luck, my hair would just look like a tornado swept through, aka every morning.

STT has such raw talent. They pour everything they have into every set, whether they're playing for 7, 700, or even 7,000 people. No backtracking, no froo-froo, no gimmicks, these guys are the real McCoy.

Okay, maybe I'm supposed to say that, but I wouldn't unless I genuinely meant it.

They're going somewhere.

Altogether good night spent with good people before a long, stressful shift at work. But this is why we have time off, non? Batteries recharged from time spent at home and at a sweet little venue to get back on track for work and kick butt.