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

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thank you for shopping at Record Town/FYE...

When I was a 17 year old shift manager working at the Pretzel Peddler in Westland Mall, I had a crush on "the boy with glasses" who worked at Record Town. One day, when he came to buy a large Pepsi from me, I asked him if he had What's Eating Gilbert Grape on VHS. He said he would hold it for me and I nervously went and picked it up from him after my shift was over. I'm sure we made some small talk and I giggled like a dumb girl at a lame joke he made and left the store feeling all giddy. That was the first "real" conversation Jeff and I ever had and the rest, as they say, is history.

Record Town (which later became FYE) is where mine and Jeff's relationship began. When we first started dating, I would hang out in the store for hours while he worked. Just talking to him, watching him help customers, probably annoying his employees. On the nights when we both closed, I would usually finish before him and sit on the Peddler counter waiting for him, while he and Ryan listened to Social Distortion or Dave Matthews. He ended up hiring my best friend, Carrie as his assistant manager, so that gave me even more reason to hang out there. I guess what I'm trying to say is that even though I never worked there and was never officially employed by them, I feel like I worked there by default. I have spent a lot of time in that store and the fact that it will no longer "be" after this weekend breaks my heart.

Sure, it's no secret that the music industry has changed A LOT in the last 15 years. With the internet, there really is no reason to have to go into a store and physically purchase a CD anymore but you don't get the atmosphere of a record store when you are shopping on Amazon or itunes. You don't get to ask the sales person what they think of a certain CD or movie and you don't get the casual conversation that comes along with that. I know it sounds old fashioned but there is something to be said about discussing your favorite band with someone in the middle of a store, surrounded by CD's and merchandise. It's fun.

Through the years, a lot of really great people worked there. Loyal people who would come back to the store and work Christmas after Christmas. A lot of wonderful relationships and friendships were born there. Lasting relationships and friendships that blossomed over conversations about music, movies or just pop culture in general. They had some incredibly loyal customers (and some crappy ones but we'll focus on the good here). Customers who would bring them donuts or candy on a weekly basis. Customers who enjoyed coming in and just looking around at their product. Customers who went out of their way to talk to Jeff about his family and even on occasion buy him lunch or bring in gifts for Charley. FYE was part of their weekly routine and believe me when I say that these are the people who are going to miss the store as much as the employees themselves. He has received such an overwhelming amount of support from these customers and for that, I can't thank them enough. Some of them, Jeff didn't even really know but it's so wonderful that they took the time to let the workers know that they appreciated them. That doesn't happen too often these days.

I'm so thankful for the friendships I made there. Without that store, I never would have met some of the most important people in my life and as much as the situation of the store closing sucks, I'm so grateful for the opportunities that it gave us. Opportunities like the Twilight Midnight release party where tons and tons of fangirls showed up (that will go down as one of my most favorite memories of all time). Opportunities like in-store signings with barely known bands and having the fortune of meeting new, very cool people.

I'm hoping that instead of sadness all around, some good will come from the store closing. New adventures for Jeff and his employees and they'll be able to look back on their experiences working there with fondness. Though it is merely a store in a mall and things like this happen every day, it's a big deal to a lot of people. As our friend (and former employee) Tim said, "it really is the end of an era".

 For now, just remember there was a lot of love that came from that store, a lot of laughter, a lot of good music and a little bit of Raspberry Sweetness.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

No. Yes.

Listen, I've been having a pretty crappy couple of weeks over here ("over here" meaning this side of the computer screen). You know how when you are cranky or sad, everything starts to bother you? Even little things that are meaningless start to eat away at you? You hear a song, see something and immediately think "No". Well, that's me right now. You know I love to make lists, so humor me for a few minutes and just take a gander at a list of things that have been irking me. No worries, this will not be a depressing post. As always, I will try to spin these irritations with my delightful sense of humor and throw in a few things that I love to balance things out. See? Win-win for everyone.

- The B52's "Love Shack". I'm going to admit it, I don't like this song. I may have liked it at one time but now it kind of makes my ears hurt. I don't want to hear it anymore.

- Getting pulled over. Yes, friends, for the first time ever, I was pulled over last night for speeding. I haven't even told my parents about this yet, so I'm guessing my mom is probably calling me an idiot as she reads this post (Love you, Mom!!). The cop was nice enough and let me off with just a fine but I still feel like a big dummy. I was weirdly calm when it happened too, which is surprising since I'm pretty quick to cry in a situation where I think I'm getting into trouble (you know, because I'm not a 31 year old grown up or anything). When I got home and informed Jeff about what happened, he laughed and said "I'm shocked this didn't happen sooner". So, apparently I drive like a speed demon all the time!

-Markers without caps. Drives. Me. Nuts. No one wants to see a perfectly pretty marker dry out! Put the cap on!

-Not liking a book I've just read. It is so frustrating to sit down and read a book, thinking it's going to be a really great story, only for it to turn out to be blah. For example, I just read City Of Bones by Cassandra Clare. It's the first in her Immortal Instruments series. It was lame. I knew everything that was going to happen before it happened and I was just annoyed with it. I won't be finishing that series.

-Cooking. I've talked about it before but I truly hate cooking. The idea of having to plan a menu for the whole week, grocery shopping and rushing home from work to create a magnificent meal is so frustrating. If I could afford a personal chef, I would be ALL about that.

-Hockey Shoot-outs. I think they are a cop out. So what if the game ends in a tie? I feel like the shoot-out cheapens the flow of the game. Like it's forcing a winner upon us and it also takes away the effect of the penalty shot. They used to be so rare and I would get so excited to see one but the shoot-out takes away the magic of it because they happen allll the time. For lack of a better word, it feels unnatural.

-Not being able to help C figure out a level in one of his Wii games and having to resort to "cheating". By "cheating" I mean, looking it up on the internets. It's a video game for goodness sakes! it shouldn't be that big of a deal!

-Not having anything to write about. It makes me sad.

Ok, here are some things that I love to leave you all feeling happy and content...

-Charley, right after he gets his haircut. He looks like a little man and so fresh and his hair sticks up in the back (even more than it does regularly) and I just love, love, love it.

-The Bruno Mars song, "It Will Rain" from the Breaking Dawn soundtrack. I adore this song. I don't even know why because normally, I'm not all that crazy about Bruno Mars but I could listen to this song on repeat. Over and over and over again. I LOVE IT.

-That really great feeling of excitement you get after watching a new show and it was actually good. Case in point: Alcatraz. We watched the first two episodes last night and I kind of loved them. I didn't hate the lead girl character (played by Sarah Jones) which is a huge plus for me and it was Lost-y and intriguing and interesting and it had the #47 in it. So with all that, I'm sold. I'll keep watching.

-The smell of coffee. It's calming and delicious and perfection. Such a great smell.

-Seeing my niece Emily get excited about reading and writing the way that I do. It makes me all sorts of proud.

-Having a home-cooked meal by my parents. As I stated above, I hate cooking so when I don't have to, I jump at the chance not to. But, when I don't have to because my parents are cooking for me? Well, that is just the best. 

-Taking a day off during the week. Knowing that everyone else is at work, while you are not is a really great feeling.

- Watching TV with Jeffrey. It's relaxing, it's fun and I like that he puts up with my side comments and snarkiness after all these years without getting annoyed with me. I'm sure he gets annoyed sometimes.  I tend to go a little overboard at times, like while watching The Secret Circle (I can't help it with that show. The characters in it are so dumb and they say "Dark magic" every other sentence. We get it! YOU HAVE DARK MAGIC! Ugh! See?? I can't help myself.) and he has to say "can you maybe stop now?" but I appreciate that he says it lovingly.

So, there's your grumpiness combined with a little happiness. Thanks for bearing with me and letting me write a pretty pointless post. If nothing else, it has helped my crankiness a little bit.

Oh, and remember to watch your speeds out there, people!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Saturday Post.

I got about 47 new books for Christmas and I seem to be tearing through them pretty quickly. I'll give you a quick review of the ones I have read so far. Why? Because you know I love talking about things I've read. Especially if it's something that I really, really loved.

Case in point:
The Night Circus  by Erin Morgenstern. This is her debut novel.  I wanted this book based on the cover alone. It's so pretty and I love the colors (which are a running theme throughout the book). It has magic and romance and heartbreak and it has a haunting quality to it that really made me fall in love with it. I know, I know, when you think of "circus", you are thinking of elephants and clowns and whatnot. That's so not what this circus is about. It's fueled by magic and a longstanding duel of sorts between two illusionists (Celia and Marco). There is so much more to the story than all of that but I don't like giving stuff away, so read it for yourself and see just how lovely it is. Truth be told, the book did have a bit of a slow start at the beginning. It took me a few chapters to get into it but once I did, I didn't want to put it down. I keep telling Jeff that I want to live inside this book. The idea and detail of the story fascinate me and I am really looking forward to whatever else Ms. Morgenstern comes out with.

I finished the 3rd (and supposedly final) book in the Southern Witch Series, Halfway Hexed by Kimberly Frost. This book just made me smile a lot. The whole series is quirky. The books are fun, quick reads that will make you happy. It's about a twenty something pastry chef named Tammy Jo, who discovers she's coming into witch powers that all the other ladies in her family have. They developed their powers much earlier in life though, so everyone had given up hope on Tammy Jo ever getting hers. When she does start to get her powers, however, she's pretty much alone since her mom and aunt have left the country and she has no one to guide her. So, silliness ensues with spells gone wrong and her little town of Duvall, Texas thrown into chaos. Naturally, she turns to a handsome, rich (Irish) Wizard (who just so happens to be on her family's "do not touch" list) for help. Bottomline: They're fun.

Currently I am finishing up The Apothecary by Maile Meloy. She is the sister to none other than Colin Meloy of The Decemberists, who also has a book out right now called The Wildwood. Which I may be reading next. Maybe... I can't decide. Anyway, I have read a few of Maile's previous books which were more for an adult audience and enjoyed them quite a bit, so I was curious when I saw that she was coming out with a Young Adult novel. Listen, I don't put age limits on the books that I read. If it's a good story, I'm going to read it. This one is a good story. It's about a young girl named Janie, whose family has to move from Los Angeles to London in 1952 because her parents are basically being accused of being communists. She meets a boy named Benjamin and when it looks like his father, who is (you guessed it) The apothecary is being taken by Germans, they go on a hunt to try to find him and figure out what's going on. On the surface, it seems a little heavy for being a YA novel but it has lighthearted moments and magic mixed in with all the talk of nuclear bombs and war.

All this reading has made me yearn for the library I will one day have in my house. Yes, one day... I don't know when, but one day we will have an entire room in our house devoted to our books. No more piling random books on top of each other wherever space will allow in our bedroom. We will have honest to goodness shelves upon shelves of wonderful stories, organized and set in a cozy room full of wonder and imagination.The website Pinterest has been feeding my yearning by allowing me to look up a plethora of potential items for this future library. Fun shelves, tables and spaces devoted to my favorite hobby. I have an entire board ----- > Shhh... devoted to this totally (ha) attainable dream. If nothing else, I truly love looking at the designs that other people have thought of to make these comforting little book nooks.

Just a few miscellaneous annoyances that have been irking me for the past week:

* I totally get that the Adele album 21 is a good album. I agree with the whole entire world's sentiment that Adele's voice is beyond amazing and her songs are kickass, but please, radio people, for the love of everything, stop playing her songs every other song. When it gets to the point where I am driving to work and hear the same song by her on 3 different radio stations at the same time, one would have to think that it's a bit excessive... don't you think?

* The same goes for that Colbie Caillat song, "Brighter Than The Sun". Yes, it's totally catchy and poppy and fun. No, we don't need to use it in every commercial/movie trailer there ever was.

* Did you watch The People's Choice awards on Wednesday? No worries, I watched them for you and you didn't miss much (aside from almost ALL of my TV/Movie boyfriends being there) because it was mostly one giant advertisement for CVS. Half the show was dedicated to the store plus all the beauty products they sell. Those awards are lame anyway but the commcercials within the show just made it sad.

A few Miscellaneous FYI's:

*Daniel Radcliffe is hosting Saturday Night Live tonight. !!!! I haven't been a consistent viewer of this show in years but in addition to DVR'ing it, I may actually stay up and watch it live. I'm real, real excited about it!!

* The Golden Globe Awards are this Sunday at 8pm on NBC. Ricky Gervais is hosting again and I am looking forward to watching him. A lot of people were irritated with him last year because they said he was too mean to the celebrities. He's a comedian... what do they expect? Besides, he at least gives people something to talk about other than how boring these things can get.

* HBO announced the premiere date for season 2 of Game Of Thrones. Set your DVR's friends, because winter is coming April 1st at 9pm. Huzzah!

* The last business day for the Westland FYE is January 26th. As of right now, all the merchandise is 50%-80% off (unless it's already on sale). If you wanna check out some deals and say hello to my handsome husband (or offer him a job, haha), go ahead and stop by the store.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Happy New Year, gentle readers!!

Now that 2011 is all done and I have had a few days to process it, I feel like giving you guys a little round-up of sorts of my favorites and least favorites from last year. Let's begin with music...

*Favorite album: The King Is Dead by The Decemberists. I have always enjoyed The Decemberists but I listened to this CD on repeat. Over and over again. Every song is great and I never ever got sick of it. It's upbeat (with the exception of a couple slow songs) and fun and I just really love it. My favorite songs from it are Down By The Water and Rox In The Box. 

*Favorite Movie(s): Now, anyone who knows Jeff and I, knows that we don't see as many movies as we should. We barely ever go to the actual movie theater unless it's for Harry Potter or a Twilight movie (in my case) or a kids movie that C wants to see. My point is, I'm sure there are a TON of really great movies that came out last year that we were unable to see. I am basing my favorite(s) on the few that we were able to check out. So, without further ado: Super 8 and Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 2 are both at the top of my list. If you have been keeping up with this here blog over the past year, you'll remember I wrote reviews for both. Super 8 was so well done and left me smiling and loving J.J. Abrams even more. Deathly Hallows Part 2 left me emotional and satisfied while wanting more at the same time. If you have not checked out either of these films yet, I suggest you do so.

For favorite TV show, I'll separate these into 3 different categories (come on, with all the TV I watch, I can't just choose ONE, sillies):
*Favorite New Show: Once Upon A Time. You know why I'm picking this one. For the Lost-ness of it, for the magical-ness of it, the creativeness of it and the freshness of it. I love everything about it.

*Favorite Surprise Show: By "surprise" I mean that I was completely unprepared for enjoying it as much as I did. That show is Game Of Thrones. I knew nothing, absolutely nothing about this story. All I knew was that Jeff and Carrie were both excited to watch it. So, i watched it and became completely enthralled by it. Amazing storytelling, amazing acting and an overall amazing production. I can't wait for April to get here so that we can all see if winter really is coming...

*Favorite Regular Show: "Regular" just means that it is already in my TV line up. Vampire Diaries never disappoints me. It's the little CW show that could and the people behind the show and who write the scripts are brilliant. They never, ever drag out a storyline and always, always, always surprise you. So many shows leave their jaw-dropping moments for season finales. Vampire Diaries does it EVERY episode. (If you'd like to start tuning in, the season starts up again this Thursday, January 5th!)

*Favorite Book(s):  The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. No, this series did not come out in 2011 but that is when I read them so I am allowing myself to put it as a favorite. I was very, very hesitant about reading these books. I had read the summary on the back of the first book so many times and was never impressed by it, but every single person I know who has read them has loved them. Not just liked them but loved them. Some people even called it "the best book series they ever read". I didn't get it. I saw the trailer for the movie (which comes out on March 23, 2012) and I still didn't get it. So, I read the books. And I totally got it. I read all 3 quickly. I finished the second book  (Catching Fire) in a day and when I finished with the series I immediately started re-reading them. I wasn't finished with the characters and the story had me so completely riveted that I felt like I may have missed some stuff along the way the first time around. I bought the series for my little brother, let my sister borrow my copies and even got my niece hooked on them. Needless to say, I'm real excited to see the movie. You will notice that I'm not giving any details of the story here. I don't want to ruin any aspect of it for new readers. Don't read the backs of the books, just jump into the story. It's smart and creative and it sucks you in. Completely. Also, let me know if you read them because you know how I love to discuss books that I love.

Speaking of books, if you are interested in a sort of nerdy version of Facebook where all you do is discuss, rate and find books to read, check out a site called This -----> is my profile. Friend me and you can see what I'm reading and we can be nerdy together!

Favorite Moment(s): Disney World/Islands of Adventure trip. Seeing C's excitement when I told him all the things we would be doing in Disney World was absolutely priceless. Seeing Hogsmeade at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter was literally like a dream come true. Being able to spend the trip with Jeffrey, my Mom and Natalie was the icing on the cake. So much fun. Charley still talks about how much he misses Disney and asks every day when we can go back. Some day we will... Some day.

Okay, now let me point out my not-so-favorites of last year...

*The Office- It just doesn't do anything for me anymore. I still love the characters but I don't care for the show. It's not funny and I have completely stopped watching. I miss Michael and I'm sorry, but James Spader creeps me out.

*Glee- Go ahead. You can tell me, "I told you so". I defended this show with all my might in it's first season. I adored it. It made me smile and laugh and sing and I thought it was brilliant. Then the second season came and there was no storyline, songs that didn't make sense and a whole lot of blah. The characters became cartoons and the whole thing became a complete disappointment. I still watch it, I think out of obligation (but mostly for Darren Criss) and every once in awhile there is a gem of an episode but unfortunately, they are few and far between.

*Dead Reckoning by Charlaine Harris- The 11th book in the Sookie Stackhouse series was not good. It wasn't. You all know what a fan I am of these books and I felt like this one was chalk full of filler stuff that didn't matter and backstories of characters that we have already read about 10 times before. Not to mention the fact that she more or less changed the mythology of the story and that really bothered me. It was a complete disappointment.

Some miscellaneous tidbits:

I saw Wicked over my Christmas vacation. My brother got tickets for a few of us to go to the show as a Christmas present for my parents. It was really great. I loved the set, the costumes (Oh! The costumes were spectacular!), the story was fantastic and the music made my ears smile. Everything about it was brilliant and I totally get why my niece Emily loves it so much. I couldn't decide who I liked more, Galinda (the GAH is silent) or Alphaba (the wicked witch of the West) but both actresses were phenomenal. I would definitely see it again and I would love to have seen Kristin Chenowith and Idina Menzel in their production. If you get the opportunity to see it, please do. You won't be disappointed.

For my zombie lovers out there, The Walking Dead comes back February 12th. SOPHIA!!