Crazy Random Happenstance

Billy: So good... Hey, this is weird. I ordered one frozen yogurt and they gave me two. You don't happen to like frozen yogurt, do you?
Penny: I love it!
Billy: You're kidding? What a crazy random happenstance!
-Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

A Magical Gathering 6.27.2003

When we got married 15 years ago, we made a cd for all of our guests and used them as place holders at the reception. They contained a variety of songs handpicked by Jeff and myself that do a pretty good job of representing our relationship and the happiness we shared.

If you feel like perusing our song list, take a look below!

1. Storybook Love by Willy DeVille
From The Princess Bride, one of mine and Jeff's most favorite movies of all time. Deep in our hearts we have always wanted to be part of a fairytale. Sometimes I guess we get to pretend like we are in one by going to the Renaissance Festival, or watching Hallmark movies, or reading about knights and dragons and other realms. Amidst all the adventure and mayhem (and rodents of unusual size) in The Princess Bride, at the heart of the story is the love between Princess Buttercup and Westley. And that my friends, is why we picked this song for our first dance as Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Scott. It doesn't get much more lovey dovey than that, my friends.

2. I'm a Believer by The Monkees
The Monkees were the first band I ever fell in love with. My first concert. My first crush (long before Mark Paul Gosselaar and Zack Morris, there was Peter Tork). We were introduced into the reception with this song playing in the background.

3. Golden Years by David Bowie
Not only is this a fantastic song, it was in the 2001 hit movie, A Knight's Tale, starring Heath Ledger (long before he was The Joker,) Paul Bettany (long before he was Vision,) Alan Tudyk (prior to Firefly,) Mark Addy (way way before Game of Thrones,) and Shannyn Sossamon (before she was in Rules of Attraction with James VanDerBeek.) We love this movie. We. Love. This. Movie. We watch it every time it's on-- Watched it two nights ago in fact. It makes us laugh and smile every single time and damnit, it just makes us happy.

4. Mary Mac by Great Big Sea
There are several versions of this song. This one is our favorite. It's just a good time and it makes your toes tap. And it's a silly song about marriage, so what's not to like?

5. Have a Little Fun With Me by Glen Phillips
This from a kid's cd called For The Kids that was a compilation of children's songs by a bunch of artists we loved. We did not have Charley at the time, but we thought the songs were so clever and fun and who knows? Maybe we had future visions of playing it for our Chuckster without even knowing it at the time.

6. Come What May by Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman
This is from the movie Moulin Rouge! Listen, part of being in a secure, healthy relationship with someone is accepting the fact that your loved one will have crushes on celebrities and sports players and musicians. Ewan McGregor is that crush for me and the fact that Jeff let me add this super smushy romantic love song on our cd is a true testament to what a stand up guy he is. HAVE YOU SEEN THIS MOVIE?? If not, man, I am sad for you. It's a lovely song and I dare you not to go all gooey when you hear Ewan's voice (Nicole's voice is perfectly acceptable as well.)

7. Warm Love by Van Morrison
Who doesn't like Van Morrison? In the tradition of love songs, this one is a great one. Just listen to the lyrics.

8. She's a Rainbow by The Rolling Stones
If I remember correctly (and I think I do,) my niece (our flower girl,) Emily, liked dancing to this song. Me, wanting to do whatever I could to make her smile, included it because it made me think of her. Also, it's a great song.

9. Magic Dance by David Bowie
You guys, I don't really need to explain this one, do I? It's MAGIC DANCE and it's from my most favorite movie of all time, Labyrinth. I love it and Brian Froud, who Jeff has always loved, designed the goblins for the movie, so it has lots of special meanings for us. You totally want to go watch it now, don't you?. Go ahead. I approve.

10. Stay (Wasting Time) by Dave Matthews Band
Before These Crowded Streets was HUGE when Jeff and I first started dating. We listened to it all the time. This was one of our favorite songs off the album.

11. The Wonder of You by Elvis Presley
I didn't want to do the typical, Butterfly Kisses, daddy/daughter dance. I wanted a song from an artist that represented some of the music from when I was growing up, so I chose this one. One that was a little more upbeat and fun- You know, the kinds of things that describe my dad. Upbeat, fun and a good ol' rock and roller.

12. We Can Work it Out by The Beatles
Our bridal party was introduced to and danced to this song. it's not your usual song to dance to, but it's The Beatles and it wasn't slow and boring. And let's face it, us Scotts are anything but slow and boring! Right???

13. Sea of No Cares by Great Big Sea
We really really really liked Great Big Sea back then. 

14. Bobcaygeon by The Tragically Hip
The Hip represent so much to us as a whole. Phantom Power was released in the early days of us dating and we listened to it so so much. Gord's voice and his lyrics will never cease to amaze me. This song will forever and always remind us of those early days.

15. What a Good Boy by Barenaked Ladies
BNL was such a huge fixture for me at that time (you know, before Steven went and ruined everything). Carrie and I were obsessed and went to every show we were able to. We chose this song because my favorite (Break Your Heart) was obviously about a breakup and well that would simply go against this whole feel good, love theme, now wouldn't it?

16. Come Away With Me by Norah Jones
We adored this song.

17. Walk On the Ocean by Toad the Wet Sprocket
This is one of those really perfect songs. It's sentimental and easy to sing along to and it was our way of representing our little PPC family with Carrie.

18. The Hoppity Song by John Ondrasik
This is another song from that For the Kids cd- I told you we really loved this cd... This song is so much fun! That's it. And when Charley was old enough to listen and appreciate music, he loved it as well.

19. Ooh La La by The Young Dubliners
We saw these guys in concert years ago and had an absolute blast. They were energetic and had amazing stage presence. I bought a shirt that was mint green and said "Dubs" on the front. After the concert, the band members were milling about talking with fans and they were so nice and so appreciative and it's a great memory. Also, this whole album is fantastic.

20. Memories by Elvis Presley
Jeffrey danced with his mom to this song. You just can't go wrong with a little Elvis, am I right? It was the perfect mother/son dance.

There you have it. Those are our songs. And on this, our 15th wedding anniversary, I don't think I would change a thing. Happy Anniversary to us O'Scottahans, eh?!

Friday, November 3, 2017


My usual tradition to get ready for my birthday every year is to create an ultimate wish list, complete with attainable (shirts and books and whatnots) and not so attainable (hanging out with Andrew Lincoln, being serenaded by Ben Folds) things. I skipped my list last year because, well... I'll be honest, I just wasn't in the mood. Things in my own world and the world at large were pretty shitty and I didn't have it in me to prepare a list of things that seemed so far off the mark at the time.

A whole year has passed. And yes, the world is a scary place right now and things are balls out nuts, and my family has had one of the absolute craziest years to date, but all of the insanity and chaos and awfulness and freak accidents and weirdness has brought me to a very thankful place. I am so grateful for all of the good things and bright spots in my days that when the ickiness happens, it just makes me all the more appreciative for the smiles in my life.

So, instead of a wish list of 37 things for my 37th birthday, I am going to give you a list of 37 thank yous to celebrate my 37th year on this lovely little planet.

Feel free to contribute your own thank yous to my list and hell, start your own list. Making lists is fun and therapeutic!
  1. My mom and dad- My parents are just really great people. Really great people who take excellent care of their family and friends. I will never be able to repay them for their kindness and support and just for listening to me vent, complain and cry when I need to. I'm very lucky to have them.
  2. Coffee- It just makes me happy. The smell, the taste. Just the thought of coffee is happy times.
  3. Eternal Tattoo (and Doug Bickle!)- for making mine and Natalie's first tattoo experience one of the absolute best memories I will ever have. 
  4. My Dearborn Ophthalmology family- for being astoundingly awesome when Jeff had his fall/surgery. Between having to take sudden time off and being an absolute mess at work at times, they were supportive and understanding and always willing to give me a hug and make me laugh, or buy me coffee.
  5. On that same note, I'll give a huge thank you to everyone at the Westland OptimEyes/Ophthalmology. It is so rare to find a place of work with so many wonderful, generous, giving, kind people. Who would have thought that when I first worked in that office 13 years ago, that to this day, they still remain like a family to Jeff and I. 
  6. U-Scans- It's that whole me not wanting to interact with other people thing. It's just easy and convenient.
  7. My mother and father in law- When Jeff got hurt this past summer, he literally couldn't do anything when he got home from the hospital. My mother in law came over every day for two weeks to help him and Charley, so I could go to work. My father in law came over so I could attend some events I was supposed to go to. Parents taking care of their kids... It doesn't stop at 18, folks!
  8. Game of Thrones- For being one of the most visually stunning, creative, insanely well written series of television I have ever watched. You guys. IT'S SO GOOD. 
  9. Carrie- for being my LYBF and constantly, constantly listening to me, making me laugh, having really great conversations with me, loving my kid like her own, and for getting me out of the house when I needed it and finding an alcoholic beverage that I actually really enjoyed!
  10. Busy Phillips Instagram stories- I could have a really crappy day, or just be being feeling super blah and sit down and watch her instagram stories and they just make me so happy. She's funny and self deprecating and so pretty and her kids are adorable and I love her take on the world. Sometimes when I see something weird happening when I'm out, or read something online, I think to myself , "What would Busy think of this?" Seriously, if you don't follow her, follow her. She is a joy.
  11. Natalie- for being one of the strongest people I know and making me laugh and being so excited when I surprised her with our tattoo appointments. For always wanting to cheer me up and for always wanting to help me out and for always tagging me in ridiculous memes. For teaching me how to poach eggs... and getting me out of the house when I needed it.
  12. The Starbucks mobile app- I didn't order a pizza over the phone until I moved into my own house. I didn't go through a fast food drive-thru until I was 18. I have this weird anxiety about ordering things from people I don't know. That's why online ordering was invented for me!! It's the best thing ever. But you know what's even better??? BEING ABLE TO ORDER MY COFFEE ON MY PHONE AND THEN HAVE IT WAITING FOR ME WHEN I GET TO THE STORE. I don't have to talk to anyone!! And no matter how weird my order is, I just type it into that little handy app and voila! It's sitting there on the counter waiting for me, with my name on it (spelled correctly.) It's like magic. COFFEE MAGIC.
  13. Dawn- for being one of the best friends a girl could ask for. For calming me when I was sitting in a waiting room for 5 hours while Jeff was having surgery and bringing my kid McDonalds when she was very pregnant... and for getting me out of the house when I needed it. 
  14. The Gong Show- This stupid, stupid show that they brought back from the 70's made us laugh our asses off. It's absurd and stupid and can be completely awesome at the same time. From Tommy Maitland (Mike Myers) to the different judges every week, we looked so forward to sitting down for an hour every week and turning our brains off. After all, it was just for funsies! I really hope they bring it back next summer.
  15. Bill- This dude came over every week from August to October and cut our grass because he said it was stupid for us to have to pay someone to do it. Even though him and my bff were getting ready for their first baby, even though he worked 40 hours a week, even though he was busy every weekend, he still showed up and did it for us every week. I can't tell you how lucky we are to have a friend like that. He's an awesome guy and we will never be able to thank him enough for that.
  16. The Ranch- My parents kept telling us to watch this show on Netflix. With Ashton Kutcher, Debra Winger, Danny Masterson and Sam Elliott. We watched it right after Jeff's surgery and it made him laugh out loud for real. It made me happy to see him happy after all the doom and gloom with his hand and arm, and to be honest, it really is a good show. We still have a few episodes to go but we really enjoyed it.
  17. Ben Folds- Through all the concerts and all the music and all of his projects, he has remained consistently entertaining. He's brilliant and clever and funny and he is so damn talented. I absolutely adore him.
  18. Harry Potter- Because Freeform is always having a Harry Potter weekend, because Charley and I are re-reading the series, because when people ask me questions about the books or movies it makes me so happy and because there is always something magical around to remind of it. It brings people together and it makes people read and it is just constant. Always guaranteed to make me smile.
  19. The Office- At Chuck's request we have been re-watching the series. Mine and Jeff's second go round and C's first. I was obsessed with this show for so many years. It is so cool to see Charley laugh at all the things we laughed at, cringe at Michael when he's awful, roll his eyes at Dwight and root for Jim and Pam the way we all did when it originally aired.
  20. The Tragically Hip- I've talked about them before so I won't get all gooey about them again, but with the recent passing of Gord Downie, I realize how incredibly lucky I am to be able to say, "I saw them live." I was able to see Gord sweat his ass off and sing his ass off and shoot hoops like he was playing basketball. I was able to see him sing my favorite song, Ahead By a Century, live and I am so fortunate to be able to share those stories with Charley about how much his words and his voice meant to his dad and I. He was such a great guy and goddamn, it's so freaking sad that he's gone, but we were so lucky to have him for as long as we did.
  21. Every single person who attended or contributed in some way to Jeff's FUNdraiser- I still cannot get over how fortunate we are to have so many thoughtful people in our lives. Jeff and I were so overwhelmed and humbled and grateful that night. You all blew us away. Seeing our families, friends, co-workers old and new and some people we didn't even know come to help us out was absolutely astounding and we are so so appreciative. 
  22. Organizations like First Step and S.A.F.E. Haven- These places that help domestically abused women are so important. They donate their time and money to create a safe environment for women who have never experienced a safe, calm place before. They give them a starting point when they feel hopeless. They give them a home when they have nowhere else to go and more importantly, they give them hope. Hope is such an important thing for someone who feels lost and completely alone. They do such good work and the world is a better place having people like them in it.
  23. Michael Ausiello and Zachary Levi- Every July I look so forward to San Diego Comic Con. No, not because I get to go, but because these two dudes have the best coverage of it on the internet. No one else feeds their fans the way these two do. They don't do the typical question/answer thing when it comes to the best pop culture news, they make it fun. And even though my beloved NerdHQ didn't happen this year, Zach still found a way to be involved and have his nerdom follow up with him. They are my pop culture heroes. 
  24. My neighbors- The good ones, not the bad ones on the other side. They went above and beyond the day Jeff fell. Helping him call 911, calming Charley down and even destroying that asshole wasps nest so he wouldn't have to worry about it when he got home. They checked in with me every night and even gave me a big hug when I had a bit of a meltdown the first night Jeff was in the hospital. They are good people and even though we hate this tiny house that we live in, we are lucky to be next to such good people.
  25. Dave and Chuck the Freak- They make me look forward to my morning drive to work. Sure, they can be pretty gross and inappropriate at times, but oh, how they make me laugh.
  26. Little Caesar's $5 pizzas and crazy bread. You guys, it's just a really good deal. When I am at work all day, I don't feel like cooking by the time I get home and you know what is super easy and inexpensive? a five dollar fricken pizza. Yeah, it can taste like cardboard sometimes, but those days when it's piping hot, fresh out of the oven? Delicious. 
  27. St. Mary's Hospital- Most of the people we encountered there from the emergency room to physical therapy were awesome. That's so huge when you're dealing with a medical crisis. It's huge. The ER nurse made us feel like we were her best friends and did everything she could to make Jeff comfortable. Not an easy task when your arm is the size of a large balloon animal.
  28. Leftovers- I love leftovers because most of the time it means I don't have to make lunches for the next day. And you know why that's so great? Because I hate making lunches for the next day.
  29. Charley- My Chuckster can be super awesome. He can also be super frustrating, but when he's super awesome, I am on top of the world. Like, last night, he was laughing so hard at me for doing a Donald Trump impersonation (I don't know why I was doing it. It was to make fun of him though, obviously) and anyway, he laughed so hard. That honest to goodness full belly laugh that made me laugh just as hard. I loved it. See? Kids are fun. 
  30. SWORKIT- This is a stupid exercise app that I guess originated on that Shark Tank show. I love it because it lets me exercise at home, without having to embarrass myself in a gym and it makes me feel good about myself by presenting me with medals when I log in consistently and telling me how many calories I (probably) burned. The workouts are simple and they have examples of each exercise and sometimes Charley does it with me and that's cute. 
  31. Chris Hardwick- I am thankful for him because he is a genuine fan of all the things he loves. Watching Talking Dead every week after WD makes me so happy because HE is so thrilled to be there interviewing the actors and talking to fans who are just as obsessed as he is. I love listening to his podcasts because he is an excellent, excellent interviewer. His excitement and nerdom brings me pure joy.
  32. My poopers- Bristow and Bryn are really annoying sometimes, but you know what? They are dogs and most of the time they don't know any better. But really, they are great dogs and they make me feel better when I am sad, and some nights Bristow literally keeps me up all night long because he wants me to feed him breakfast at 2am or 3am or 4am, but sometimes he gets so excited when I pet him that his teeth chatter. And Bryn loves when I pet her so much that she'll knock me out, trying to paw at me to put my hand back on her head, but they are special and sweet and soft and cuddly and I love them a lot. 
  33. Sleeping in on the weekends- I don't need to explain this one. It's the best, guys.
  34. Bookstores- because I love being able to walk around and smell the books and look at the books and touch the books and see other people buying books. Just walking into a bookstore is enough to chill me out. Go buy some books. It's so relaxing. 
  35. Google maps- because if I had to rely on a paper map or written directions to get anywhere, I would be absolutely screwed. Google maps is one of the best things to happen to this planet. The end. 
  36. Hallmark Movies- All Hallmark movies for ALL seasons! I don't care if it's Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter, 4th of July, Fall, Spring, Summer or Winter- I will take whatever cheesy Hallmark movie they want to make forever and always. As long as Lacey Chabert and Candace Cameron want to keep starring in them, I will keep watching them. Jeff and I will spend entire Saturdays or Sundays watching movie after movie and you know what? It's great. You know what else? Charley absolutely hates it, hahahahahahahaha
  37. My Fred- because even though he has had the worst last few months and had to endure an insane 5 hour surgery and can't move his fingers or hand, he still has a sense of humor. I may have to remind him to stay positive sometimes, but he's been working so hard to try to get back to 100% and I'm so proud of him for that. I love him, dead hand and all XOXO
There you have it. A small portion of my every day smiles. I know there is a running theme throughout this list that always ends up circling back around Jeff's accident, but listen guys, it was a big deal and it was pretty awful. Sure, some people out there have it far, far worse than us, but when something disrupts your lifestyle so quickly and harshly, it's difficult to readjust. It's all good though. With the world being insane and having some really horrible people in it, we are extremely lucky to be thankful for so many things and so many people. I am so grateful for everyone's kindness and love and I hope as a favor to me, for my birthday, that you are all nice to each other. Tell someone they look pretty, or pet a dog, or tell someone what an awesome person they are. After all, it's not cool to be a dick. Nice people are the nicest. 

Here's to 37, ya'll.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

So Long, Joe

Sitting front row for Steve Yzerman's 500th goal
 When I was in high school, I had to write a paper on my favorite place for one of my English classes. I chose to write about Joe Louis Arena. My dad (and Uncle & co.) had Red Wing season tickets the whole time I was growing up. When he started taking me to games it was like a whole new world opened up for me. A world of sportsmanship and heart and passion. So much passion. I loved walking into that arena, seeing everyone in their jerseys, the ushers handing out programs, people buying popcorn and beer, but most of all I loved opening the curtain to the rink itself and smelling the ice. There's nothing like that smell. That cool crisp, smack you in the face excitement of seeing your favorite players skate and pass a puck around. 

We sat in section 219 in the very last row. I suppose they would be classified as "nosebleed seats" to some, but not to me. I loved those seats with all my heart. We had no one behind us and the best view of the entire arena from where we were. The first thing I noticed about the place when the game started was how quiet it was. In between the "Let's go Red Wings!" and "Ozzie!" chants, you could actually hear the skates glide on the ice and the puck hit the players sticks and boards. Those sounds were like magic to me. And then we would score. When we would score, the place would go nuts. I would clap and hollar, and my dad would bang on the wall behind us, and everyone around our section, whether you knew them or not, would high five each other. It was glorious. 

No one celebrates like a Wings fan. 

I have been to countless games in that arena; NHL and college. Endured a plethora of "Osbad" jibes in that arena, seen two concerts, several fanfests and a few Joe visions and I cherish every single memory of every single experience. I used to come home from every game and write in my journal about how great my night had been and then talk to people at school the next day about how good (or bad) Chris Osgood had played. My dad thought he was just taking his daughter to a few games, but he was really creating a lifelong lasting memory and bonding experience that I would not give up for all of the Chris Osgood meet and greets in the world. 
After scoring his 500th goal

Through all those games and all those wins (with some heartache thrown in), all those Stanley Cups, all those stairs climbed (so many stairs), all those times of wishing I would just "happen" to run into Chris Osgood, smiling when they showed the orange hat guy, laughing (and maybe rolling my eyes a bit) when they would show Mo Cheese dancing in the aisle, saying hello to all the ushers, all those people mover rides, Joe Vision trips, and late nights... at the base of it all was a building. A meeting place for an entire Hockeytown to get together, have some snacks and a ginger ale or three, and take absolute joy and pride in a team that made them so happy. One rundown building where so many memories and stories were born, where people complained about the bathrooms and said it smelled of sweat and beer. A place for thousands of fans to call home for a night and cheer their hearts out for a team they love.

Chris Osgood (and Sergei Fedorov) during pregame warm ups
The new arena will be fancier and have a new name. I know some people hate what they chose to call it, but it's not about the name of the arena. It's about the memories built inside of it. It will house an entirely different sport and team along with our beloved Wings. It will have fun new food, better bathrooms and escalators(!). It will have an updated concourse and nice new digs for the players and staff, but it won't have the authenticity and heart of The Joe. Not yet anyway. It's up to us to make Little Caesars Arena just as special as our beloved Joe Louis Arena is to us. It will take some time, but fueled by the memories of the past 38 years, I think it's possible. 

Many many many thanks to my dad and my mom for always nurturing and respecting my love of hockey. Thanks to my dad for always picking the games I requested (my birthday and anytime we played the Islanders or the Blues after Osgood was traded) whether he wanted to or not, and to my mom for always writing them down for him (even though I'm sure he was made fun of by my Uncle and his friends when he showed up with a list. Ha.)

                                      So long, Joe. Thanks for the decades of memories. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

So Long 2016

So... 2016, eh?

Sure there was a lot of death... and depressing things... and sometimes it was downright unbearable, but it couldn't have been ALL bad, could it?

Some highlights of the year for me:

-Taking Charley to Chicago for Spring break. There were a million other people who had the same idea as us, and the weather wasn't that great, but we had a really great time together.

-I was able to take part in one of my best friend's wedding. Weddings are a lot of work and stress and worry, but in the end they are radiating with so much joy and love and I was so happy to play even a tiny part in Dawn and Bill's special day.

-Stranger things on Netflix. It's been awhile since a television show has pulled me in and made me excited to watch the next episode. This clever little series about a group of 12 year old boys and a girl named Eleven did just that. It's smart and nostalgic and so entertaining. I can't wait for season two.

-Harry Potter and The Cursed Child came out and we celebrated the release with the most fun Harry Potter party at Barnes & Noble in Northville. I was sorted into Gryffindor (of course), kicked butt at HP trivia and made my very own wand. It was the absolute best to be surrounded by fellow Potter nerds who understood the excitement of a new story being released into our magical little world.

-Rogue One was released, and while I admit that I was nowhere near as excited for it as I was for The Force Awakens, I am so happy to say it pleasantly surprised me. The story was so smart and I love how connected everything in the universe is. The acting was fantastic, and while SPOILER ALERT it's really extremely, super f'ing sad, (like, really sad, you guys. Like, I had tears streaming down my face and Jeff and Carrie and Charley were all looking at me like I had lost my mind,) it made so much sense and the end is pretty phenomenal.

-The Gilmore Girls revival; Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life finally came out. A long time ago when Gilmore Girls was on the CW (pre-Charley), I remember coming home from work every Tuesday and spending my evenings with Luke, Lorelai and Rory and losing myself in Stars Hollow for an hour every week. Just a tiny getaway where everyone talked fast and pop culture, family and love ruled. If Lorelai said a quippy one liner, I would save the episode and make Jeff rewatch the scene with me. It was fresh television floating around in a sea of reality TV shows and shows about over privileged rich teenagers with no parents. It made me happy and it made me want to live in their world. When it ended in 2007, I never in a million years thought they would bring it back, but as the years went on and a new generation of fans found it and fell in love with it for all the same reasons I had adored it, and all of the actors had to endure that same repetitive question of "will there be a movie/reunion/follow up?", Netflix decided to do this amazing thing and help revive it. And revive it, they did. With four 90 minute episodes (Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall), they brought back every single one of our favorite characters (except Max Medina, which I am still a little sad about) and made me want to live in Stars Hollow all over again. I was able to enjoy every one of those new episodes with my 17 year old niece. We had pizza and ice cream sundaes and coca cola and we were so excited when it was starting that we were both a little giddy.  it is quite honestly one of my most absolute favorite moments of the whole year. It's something that I will remember my whole life. If you are not on board the Gilmore train yet, what in the world are you waiting for??

-Game of Thrones, The Battle of the Bastards. One of the absolute best, most phenomenal hours of television I have ever seen.

-Going to one last Red Wing game at The Joe with my dad. My parents surprised me with tickets for my birthday and what a great time we had. Growing up, the Joe was my happy place. Man, I loved it there. It's where my love for Chris Osgood and the Wings was always always accepted and it's where my heart was broken a few times over losses and swelled over wins. I have such fond memories of that place and to be able to share one last time there with my dad made me really happy.

-Seeing Green Day at The Fillmore with my brothers and sister. We have seen Green Day together countless times over the years, but this one seemed so much more special. I don't know if it was because we got tickets unexpectedly at the last minute, or if it was just because we hadn't seen them live in so long and we were just happy to be at one of their shows, but holy moly did we have fun. We weren't even all sitting together, but we still had the best time. My sister and I sang our hearts out, so much so that we were sick for two weeks after from losing our voices and probably inhaling all the germs surrounding us. But damnit, it was so worth it.

-Discovering the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. This was one of those series that I always looked at and was kind of curious about, but could never pull the trigger of actually buying/reading it. I found the first book at a used bookstore and the rest is history. I was hooked from the first chapter. HOOKED. I got lost in the relationship between Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall completely and fell utterly in love with Scotland through the descriptions in the book. The best thing about this series is that I have approximately 1 million, 47 pages (give or take a few thousand pages) left to read of it and the TV show that accompanies it is just the icing on the cake.

-Carrie came home for good. Carrie came home for good! After accepting a position at Grand Valley State University, my LYBF returned to the Mitten this past summer and my heart is so happy.

-Adopting Bryn. After the heartbreak of losing our Logan Lebeau last year, Charley wanted a dog he could sleep with and call his best friend. We went to the "Meet your best friend at the zoo" event in May, with no guarantees that we were going to come home with anything. We circled all around those tents at least three times and finally asked Charley if any of the dogs had caught his eye. He walked right over to Bryn's crate, where she was curled up in a little ball and looking like she wanted to hide under a blanket, and said "this one". We chatted with the rescue group (P.R.O.U.D. Detroit) and after petting her, and learning that her name was Bryn (sounds great with Bristow, doesn't it?!) and getting all the info we needed, we walked out with this 50 pound pitbull mix who had been through a great deal prior to being rescued (with the scars to prove it) and who was absolutely terrified of us. After a bit of a rocky start (destroyed crates, couches, shoes and Charley's bedroom), we are absolutely head over heels for each other. She is the sweetest, cuddliest pup there ever was and always wants to be by, if not on top of, one of us. And though Charley didn't get a dog who wants to sleep in his bed every night, he did get a dog who is fiercely loyal and very loving, and Bristow got a sister who loves to play tug of war as much as he does. She's our little defunct dalmation from the ghetto and we can't imagine life without her now.

-The Olympics. I love the olympics. I love them. I love reading about them and hearing the feel good stories and watching the competition and seeing all the happy, ecstatic faces and feeling for all the athletes who came just shy of the ultimate goal. It's full of competition, and heart and excitement and for two weeks it makes me feel like I could achieve some phenomenal feat like all of those other extreme humans have done. Let's be honest though, I'm just going to sit on my couch, drinking a coffee drink and feel inspired by watching them. I'm not about to go out and become the ultimate fencing queen. But that's part of the beauty of the olympics... It makes you feel like it's actually a possibility.

-The final Tragically Hip show. The Hip have always been one of our favorite bands. Canada's ultimate rock band has brought Jeff and carrie and myself many, many, many happy memories. Gord Downie is one of the best performers you will ever hear/see live. He is an artist with words and the microphone is his paintbrush. Back in May, when he announced he was battling terminal brain cancer, my heart plummeted. The band decided to do one final farewell tour throughout Canada. We tried to get tickets to the venues closest to us, but it wasn't happening. Those tickets sold out in seconds and rightly so. In August, CBC decided to air their final show live and uninterrupted (during the olympics) for whoever had access to see. It was one of the most beautiful, heartbreaking, exquisite things I have ever seen, and to be able to experience it with Jeff, Charley and Carrie, it's something I will cherish for the rest of my life.

-Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them. You want to give me more stories in the world of Harry Potter? You go right ahead. I will be right there to see it. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and the characters, and I loved the subtle shoutouts to original Harry Potter characters/settings. I'm happy that the story made sense and it felt authentic to the HP world. I look forward to seeing the rest of the movies as they come out.

-Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Negan on The Walking Dead. I have never ever wanted a bad guy to get what he deserved more, but to still remain on the show because he is So. Damn. Good.

-Seeing/meeting Kris Allen for the 3rd time. Not only were Natalie and I able to attend another Kris Allen show, but we were lucky enough to meet him again. He is such a nice guy and so thankful for his fans. He chatted with us, took pictures with us and then put on an excellent show. I love that my sister and I can always count on him to put on a good show.

-My mom turned 65. And what a celebration we had! Dennis orchestrated the most amazing birthday video for her compiled with old video clips, songs, and tons of well wishes from her friends and family from all over. It was a lot of fun and I know she appreciated it and we had so much fun watching it.

-The Me Before You movie was released and it was beautiful and lovely. Just like the book.

-Working with some really great people. I know it's corny, but I feel truly lucky to like and enjoy being around the people I work with. We are always laughing with each other and trying to make the best of the situations that aren't so great. We have a good team and it makes me happy to be a part of a group like that. Something so small can make a big difference in your every day life, I tell ya.

Those are my highlights. Honestly, there were way more than I thought there would be and that's pretty cool to look back on, considering a lot of the year was a crapshow (we won't talk about those here though). I truly wish you all a very happy, healthy, safe 2017 filled with the things and people you love, and if bad things come your way, try your best to sprinkle some positivity glitter on it. That's my glass half full, January 1st, page 1 perspective on this brand spanking new year. Thanks for reading my thoughts and being my friend and loving me as family (and if you don't love me, that's okay too because I'm pretty awesome and you're just missing out).

I don't make resolutions, but here is a list of maybes for the year ahead:
-Maybe we will finish painting our kitchen that we started painting last February.
-Maybe I will write more.
-Maybe I will continue on my ophthalmic journey to becoming certified.
-Maybe I will learn to try to be a more forgiving person.
-Maybe I will learn to be a little more patient.
-Maybe I will try to take a little more time for myself.
-Maybe I will stop having mom guilt all the time (HAHAHAHA that's not going to happen)
-Maybe I will read more.
-Maybe I will be a better friend, mom, wife.
-Maybe I will find some motivation to organize my house.
-Maybe I will want to workout (L O L)
-Maybe, just maybe I will go to London and see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on stage.
-Maybe it will be a really great year

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Canada's Shakespeare

Music has always been a huge part of my life. Growing up with my parents, we were always always always listening to music. By the time I was six, I had already attended my first concert (The Monkees) and was a big Beatles, Van Halen, and Squeeze fan (to name a few). Weekends were filled with music around my house. So when I grew up, it was pretty natural that my 17 year old eyes were drawn to the handsome manager of the music store across the hall from where I was peddling pretzels.

Jeff opened my ears up to enjoying country music and listening to The Cure and The Smiths. He talked about bands I had never heard of before. One in particular stood out among the rest. That band was The Tragically Hip. The Canadian rock band from Kingston, Ontario. You know how sometimes when you hear a certain band or song, you are instantly transported back to a specific moment in time? Almost like the soundtrack of your life? The Hip is one of those bands for me. I remember early on in our dating era, Jeff was SUPER excited for their new album. On July 14, 1998, Phantom Power was released. The first time I heard Gord Downie's voice, I was riveted. I didn't want to stop listening. God, that man can sing. We listened to that cassette tape in Jeff's Ford Ranger over and over and over again. It was so damn good. From the first single "Poets" to the haunting "Bobcaygeon," every song was, well, music to my ears.

The first time I saw them live, they were at Pine Knob in late July. We had pretty decent pavilion seats, and I remember looking over before the show started and realizing that Jeff was sitting next to Dino Ciccarelli. Not only were we surrounded by Canadians, we were surrounded by hockey players and Red Wing players that I grew up obsessed with. To say we were happy is an understatement. Already overflowing with an excitement that was about boil over, Gord D, Gord S, Paul, Rob, and Johnny came out on stage. It's so hard to put into words what a live experience with The Hip is like. Gord Downie has such a presence. He exudes liveliness. He sings his heart out, and dances his butt off, and talks to people who aren't there (or maybe they are? Who am I to say?). He shoots hoops and talks to the microphone stand and carries around a signature hankie and paints pictures. He. Is. Mesmerizing. I loved watching him. I loved his black shirts and vests and his hats. When you are at one of their shows, there is no one more alive than Gord. I loved watching him and listening to him. Thereafter, we tried to go to their shows every time they came into town. We recruited Carrie into loving them as much as we did and we went to their concerts together. 

Over the years they released several more albums and Gord even released a few solo records. All the while his words and songs reading like a book of poetry. Believe me when I say, this man is brilliant. On May 24th of this year, I received an email from the band with the subject header, "An Important Message From The Band." Thinking they were announcing a new tour, I quickly opened it up to read it. I couldn't have been more wrong. The email was a statement letting their fans know that Gord Downie had been diagnosed with an incurable brain tumor called glioblastoma. Brain cancer. They were going to embark on a 15 show tour of Canada for one last go round. I stared at my phone, teared up and immediately texted Jeff and Carrie, asking if they had read their email. I couldn't think straight. It didn't make sense. Iconic rock stars aren't supposed to get a diagnosis like that. Especially one as seemingly untouchable as Gordon Downie. 

A little heartbroken that they wouldn't be coming to the Detroit area, we tried to get tickets to a couple of shows close by. Even though we knew that it was going to an emotional roller coaster, the three of us wanted to experience it one last time together and this time bring Charley along. But of course, all the shows immediately sold out. Of course they did. It would have been absurd if they hadn't. We were super bummed. Then the CBC announced that they would be airing their final concert in their hometown of Kingston, Ontario live. LIVE. Have you ever heard of such a thing? This band is so well loved and their country is so devastated by the diagnosis of this one man, that Canada was basically shut down for 4 hours while they aired the band's final show live and uninterrupted. How phenomenal is that?

We made a night of it. Carrie came over and we watched as Ron Mclean (in a Hip t-shirt) and The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau (in a Hip t-shirt) discussed their love for the band and Gord in particular. Thousands of Canadians who couldn't make it to the show gathered from all over to watch the live stream of the concert together in parks, arenas and their homes. We watched as Gord came out in his shiny outfit and his JAWS shirt and feathered hat. We watched him sing and perform his heart out. For nearly 3 straight hours. He took breaks every now and then and spoke a few times, thanking the fans for pushing him. They did an unheard of 4th encore and ended the show with my most favorite song, "Ahead By a Century." It was perfection. You could feel the outpouring of love from an entire nation for this one man and his band. It was absolutely breathtaking. Passion like that is so rare, if ever seen. It was something to behold, let me tell you.

I feel so grateful that I was able to share in that experience with some of the closest people in my life. People are going to remember that show for years and years. Even though the event that brought everyone together is so tragic, it was an exquisite thing to be a part of and witness. 

Thank you, Gord. Thank you for your words and music and your impeccable showmanship. Thank you for letting us celebrate you. Thank you for letting us say goodbye and wish you well. Thank you for bringing an amazingly close friendship between 3 people even closer. Most of all, thank you for being a part of the soundtrack of my life, because after all, no one's interested in something you didn't do.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!

Let's talk fun things!

One of the things I have been doing to brighten this winter is watching Friday Night Lights (the show about a high school football team, in a small town in Texas, and the happenings and goings on of all the people within the city)... ten years late. I remember this show (along with Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton) getting so much hype when it was on. I was always curious but never jumped in to fully commit myself to watching it. I guess I just didn't want to add another show to my already overflowing TV regime. Better late than never I suppose because I adore it. The acting is so fantastic, I feel like I'm watching a real life documentary most of the time. Listen guys, I am in love with Kyle Chandler. He could act an entire episode just by making facial expressions and not uttering a single word and I would be riveted. He's so good. SO GOOD. He's so grumpy and serious and dedicated as coach Eric Taylor, that when he smiles you know something great is happening. His whole face lights up! Those who know me know how much I hate football but this show makes me so anxious when the games are played. Seriously, my heart actually beats faster and I get all nervous, hoping they'll win. It's so stupid but I love it. I just finished the first season and I can't wait to watch more. Also? Jeff likes it too. Don't let him fool you. He always ends up watching the episodes with me and asking questions. I love it.

The UP network has started showing reruns of Ed. Remember that show? It aired from 2000-2004 and starred Tom Cavanaugh as Ed Stevens, Julie Bowen as his crush, Carol Vessey, Michael Ian Black as Ed's co-worker Phil Stubbs and a plethora of other big name actors nowadays. It's such a fun show and I really love Tom Cavanugh and it makes me want to move to Stuckeyville. They are showing an episode every day at 4pm. Needless to say, our DVR is crammed with episodes but it's the only way to watch this series right now, so we are slowly but surely working our way through.

Speaking of working my way through... My Doctor Who journey has officially been put on hold until further notice. I just wasn't quick enough with trying to catch up and Netflix stole it away from me like a Dalek extracting information from a human's mind. This makes me sad but I am hopeful that if enough people bitch about this (and I know EVERYONE is mad about it), maybe they'll change their minds and bring it back.

Have you all seen the Fuller House trailer? It looks super fun. I hate Kimmy Gibbler but any cast who is willing to go back to their roots and relive the roles that made them famous in the first place gets huge, major, major props in my book. So much respect for people like that. It starts February 26th, on Netflix.

Continuing with more Netflix news... The Gilmore Girls revival is currently taping. I am not exaggerating when I say that I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS TO COME OUT!! Going back to what I was saying before about actors reprising the roles that made them famous? This is the perfect example. Pretty much every single actor that starred on the show in one way or another is coming back to be in the revival. I freaking love that. I'm holding out hope that Sebastian Bach will pop in to portray Gil from Hep Alien once more. Come on, if they are bringing April back (blech), they can bring Gil back.

A couple new shows that we have been watching are... The Shanarra Chronicles, based on the book series by Terry Brooks that airs Tuesdays at 10pm on MTV and The Magicians, based on the book of the same name by Lev Grossman on the SyFy channel, Mondays at 9pm. Both of these series fulfill our magic/adventure cravings, with the former leaning more toward Dungeons and Dragons/Lord of The Rings mythology and the latter being more similar to Harry Potter/Chronicles of Narnia, with a twisted, adult, raunchy edge thrown in. I think I am currently enjoying The Magicians more than the Shanarra Chronicles right now but both series are pretty new and I'm interested enough to see where they go.

Do any of you ever watch Dinner at Tiffani's on the Cooking channel? It stars Tiffani Thiessen and she's on Wednesdays at 8pm. She has simple recipes (which I am all about) but mostly I watch to see who her guests for dinner will be. Last year she had her White Collar husband, Tim DeKay on, her 90210 co-star, Jason Priestley and none other than Jesse Spano herself, Elizabeth Berkley. Well, this season she is having Mark Paul Gosselaar on and I am so excited (ha, no pun intended), I can't stand it!! If you love food and pop culture like I do, you should check it out.

Jeff and I watched Kingsman:The Secret Service with Colin Firth and Samuel L. Jackson. What a great movie. Full of all the fun spy stuff that I love, humor and I got to look at Colin Firth for 2 hours. You can't go wrong with that.

How great was The Force Awakens, you guys?? I know it's been out for a few months now but I haven't had a chance to voice how much I loved it. I am so proud of JJ Abrams for doing such a spectacular job with it. The acting was phenomenal and Harrison Ford was wonderful and I think Charley has a bit of a crush on Daisy Ridley. What a kick ass lady she turned out to be, eh?? I can't wait to see what the franchise has in store.

Jeff and I recently watched a movie called All's Faire in Love, starring Christina Ricci. It came out in 2009, and I think Jeff bought it during one of the many FYE closings on clearance. Our January was pretty crappy so we wanted something to laugh at. It's super silly and takes place during a Renaissance Festival. !! They shot a good portion of the movie at the Michigan RenFest, to be exact and I THOUGHT THAT WAS SO COOL! We didn't know that going in, but we recognized a lot of the signs and stands while we were watching it. I googled it and low and behold, we really were watching our beloved RenFest on the screen. How much fun is that? Anyway, it's a goofy little movie but it sure made me smile. Huzzah!

I watched Top Gun for the first time ever a few weeks ago. I enjoyed Tom Cruise's smile and the relationship between him and Goose. Let's be serious though, it's basically just an advertisement for white t-shirts and aviators, with Berlin's "Take My Breath Away" thrown in as background music. Am I right??

Sidenote: Remember that VH1 show, Bands Reunited back in 2004?? It was only one season, but Jeff and I loved it. They should bring that back and do one with Barenaked Ladies. Oooh, or Guns n Roses!

I've given up on a few shows this year. I don't know what the deal is. Either I am losing my patience with the shows I once loved moving too slowly or they just aren't as good as they used to be. Either way, I have little time and not enough DVR space for mediocre TV these days. Here are a few series I have recently broken up with:

Castle: This one hurt. I love Nathan Fillion so much. SO MUCH. But I can't handle the "will they? won't they? yes they will! no they won't... just kidding, yes they will!" storyline anymore. I've had it. Get together and stay together or break up and stay apart. No more yo yo'ing. It's not interesting. It's annoying and the crime stories themselves aren't enough to hold my attention. Now, if they brought back Michael Mosley as the 3XK killer, I'd be all about it.

Once Upon a Time: Ack. I'm going to get yelled at for this one. But before anyone does yell at me, know this... my time apart from OUAT was more of a break so to speak and less of a full on break up. That's right, WE WERE ON A BREAK. I hated the Dark Swan storyline. I felt like all the characters were whispering all the time and I didn't like seeing King Arthur as a bad guy and I hated Emma's hair, but now that they are passed that nonsense, I am thinking of jumping back into it when it returns in March. I miss my Hook. So here's hoping they make things a little more fun and a little less blah this time around.

Reign: The show is somewhat based on real life events so I always knew that Francis wasn't going to be around forever, I just didn't realize how sad I would be once he was really gone. The combination of missing his character and hating Queen Elizabeth intensely made Jeff and I give up on it. They turned Elizabeth into a whiny (ugh, sooooo whiny), crying, lovesick Queen instead of the confident, strong ruler she should have been. I can't take it anymore and I have serious doubts that the show will get anywhere near a renewal for a season 4.

Shadowhunters: I read the first book, City of Bones and did not like it at all. I know I'm in the minority when it comes to that series but I just didn't care for it. I was curious about the TV show and Jeff seemed interested in it, so we checked it out. The first episode was pretty okay but the second one was like nails on a chalkboard. I just don't like the storyline. I think it's dumb. That's really all it amounts to.


I loved Rainbow Rowell's latest, Carry On, based on the characters with whom Cath was obsessed with in Fangirl. It made me sad that there wasn't a sequel to continue with after I finished it. I loved being in the world of mages if only temporarily and I adored Simon and Baz's relationship. That woman could write and entire book on a role of paper towel and it's pretty much a guarantee that I will be obsessed with it. I love her.

Speaking of love, After You by the lovely JoJo Moyes was excellent. I was so happy to be with Lou again and see what she's been up to, (Sidebar--- I know I sound like a crazy person talking about these characters like they are my bff's but cut me some slack. They ARE my bff's and I love them.) If you liked Me Before You, do yourself a favor and read the sequel. It will make you happy. Also, check out the trailer for the movie because it looks absolutely exquisite (heart emoji, heart emoji)

I read Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll and really enjoyed it. The story kept me riveted and I loved the way she wove the flashback stories into the present day occurrences. It was so seamless. Writing like that inspires me. I'm sick of stories being compared to Gone Girl or trying to be the next Gone Girl. This book was one of the ones that was compared to it but really, the only similarity between the two is that the main female character is basically an emotional mess. It's kind of disturbing at times but definitely intriguing. Check it out if you are looking for something to read.

I saw this commercial the other day:

Guys, if you are having that much trouble cutting your nails, just kindly ask someone else to cut them for you, okay? My goodness.

Charley wants you all to know that the series finale of Gravity Falls is on Monday at 7pm on DisneyXD. He's super bummed that it's ending but secretly, it warms my pop culture loving heart that he cares so much about a TV show.

Enjoy your Valentine's/Galentine's Days! Read some books, eat some cookies, smell some flowers or sit in your jammies all day doing nothing!

The Walking Dead comes back tomorrow, so we will be hanging with Rick Grimes and some zombies. Nothing says love like murderous brain eating walkers!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Magic Dance

One of my most vivid memories of being a kid was when I was 6 years old and my Aunt Mary was babysitting my brothers and I at her apartment. She sat us down and popped in a VHS tape and wanted to show us the new Jim Henson movie that had just come out. The movie was Labyrinth. I remember feeling really awful for Toby and thinking it was super cool that I had the same name as the main character. I was mesmerized by David Bowie's hair, I loved the songs, Dennis and I wanted to take our heads off like the Firey guys and we laughed hysterically at the Bog of Eternal Stench. I wanted Hoggle to be my companion, Ludo to be my friend and I really wanted to have a cup'a tea with the worm and his misses while Sir Dydimus and Ambrosius guarded the door. To this day I proudly say that Labyrinth is my most favorite movie ever. It's magical and funny and thrilling. I love sharing it with Charley and making any friend who has never seen it, watch it while I mouthed all the words to every scene. Plain and simple, it makes me happy.

So, on this day where everyone is saying goodbye and paying respects to David Bowie after an 18 month battle with cancer, and while I appreciate him for his music, his originality and his enticing portrayal of Jareth the Goblin King, I want to take the time to thank my Aunt Mary for introducing me to this movie. You see, today my family and I, along with my uncle and cousins, laid her to rest. Needless to say it has been a shock to my whole being this past week. 

Grieving for someone who was so damn good to us as kids and seeing my Grandpa and mom and dad, brothers, sisters, niece, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins pay their respects and celebrate her life has brought back a flood of memories these last few days. So many of my childhood memories include her. She had a way of making everything fun. Whenever we would have a family get together, we would always ask "will Aunt Mary be there??". She took Dennis and I to a double feature of Scrooged (another one of my most favorites) and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? when they came out and I remember it being one of the most fun days ever. She always made a point to make us feel special on our birthdays. I used to bite my nails when I was a kid and to get me to stop, she told me there were little worms in them that I was biting every time I did. I never bit them again. We spent countless weekends at her house with my cousins, where her and my uncle would let us transform their basement into a studio and we would spend hours upon hours making music videos. From Guns n' Roses to Envogue, we covered every song we could think of. She would help us hang sheets and set up the tripod for the video camera, call us up for meals and make us popcorn after we had finally called it a night. I remember I loved just sitting and talking with her. I may have talked too much and drove her crazy but she never showed it. She always always patiently listened to whatever teenage story I had to tell her. She loved Halloween. Boy, did she love Halloween. I would bring friends over to her house just so I could show them her Halloween display. When she loved something, she loved it hardcore. 200%. She was creative and giving and loved to have fun. She loved taking pictures and we always gave her a hard time about it because we never got to see the pictures she took.

As time went on and life happenings happened, we didn't see each other as much. We all got a little older, had our own families and tried to see each other when we could. It may not have been as much as of late but I hope she knows how much everyone loved her because she truly was. She always made her own path in life, and I think one way or another, she made a point to love all of us too. As I say my final goodbyes to her, I will always have her in the back of my mind every time I watch Labyrinth from here on out. I always thought of her when I watched it before but I guess every time I watch it now will make it that much more special.

I love you, Aunt Mary. I hope you saw that beautiful service Mike gave you today and felt all the love and laughter in the room. As my mom said, we celebrated your life these past few days. I kept expecting to see you walking around, mingling and telling silly jokes every time I looked up. Until we meet each other again, dance that magic dance and give our love to Grandma wherever you are and know that you will be sorely missed.