Friday, February 04, 2011

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone has made it through Snowpocalypse 2011, especially since we're due for three more (blissfully much lighter) rounds of snow over the next few days.

It was nice having HUBS home for a couple of days this week. He went back to work yesterday and I actually tagged along to get out of the house. I have to say, though, I think it may be time-out for that for a while. Why? Well, I'm starting to feel kinda pitiful hanging out at my husband's job.

I tend not to get much done while I'm there, even though I always have my laptop. Actually, it might be that watching him work at something he loves just rams home how badly I need the same thing. (Not that I begrudge him that. I'm really glad he feels like he's found his thing.)

On a positive note, I got an email from one of my old editors Wednesday and he wants me to do some weekly work for them. I'll be making $100 a week, which will save our shit once the dough starts rolling in. Not to mention, save my sanity a little by giving me some much needed confidence. So, yay!

In honor of Happy Friday times, I'm going to pass along the Said the Gramophone best music of 2010 list. You can even download the complete 100 song list, so go ahead and get the party started this weekend!

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Tuesday Tipday: Surviving Snowpocalypse 2011!

Brave birds invade our icy deck this morning.

Many of us are currently in the thick of snowy/sleety/icy times right now, possibly with a good couple of days to spend at home with no work or school to break up the monotony. Yesterday I started to wonder, amidst all the talk of oh-my-God-this-will-be-the-worst-snow-storm-in-DECADES!!!, what might most people need to really enjoy multiple snow days in a row?

Any crazed student or overworked cubicle dweller could spend one day sleeping, catching up on magazines or playing their favorite video games. What happens when we get two, three or even more straight days of not needing or being able to go anywhere. Now, I happen to be an oddball who doesn't get that cabin-fever itch until around day five of not leaving my neighborhood, but I know some people start to get the stir-crazies much sooner.

For this week's Tuesday Tipday, I'd like to give you some suggestions for blasting through that trapped-at-home feeling. All of these assume that you still have your basics taken care of: you are safe, dry, warm, can contact the outside world if necessary, your pipes haven't frozen, and you have plenty of food available and ways to cook it. So, on we go...

Snowpocalypse Survival 101

God, I love music. Specifically finding new music and listening to non-Top 40 stuff. As someone who grew up in a house where music was the thing, and played several instruments (piano, flute, drums, guitar)growing up, I can tell you that music is where it's at.

I believe it frees us in ways that watching TV or movies just can't. The sounds tell a story, and if you sit back and relax you can imagine it any way you like. So whether you spend some time with your favorite station, blow two hours watching videos on COOL TV or set your 16GB mp3 player to shuffle, be sure to engage in a little aural enjoyment. I'm confident it'll help soothe your weary soul.

Reading Materials:
PT loves to read. When I was growing up she would frequently stay up all night to finish the latest 400 page Stephen King scare-fest, meaning she would complete the thing in one 24 hour period. I've never done that much reading in one day, but I did inherit my mom's love of stories and the words we use to tell them.

I always have a plentiful supply of magazines on hand, because I'm an addict, and the house is full of books we own or have on loan from the library. Snowpocalypse is not the time to avoid what we erroneously label guilty pleasures; if you're 82 and what you really want is to lose yourself in a stack of comic books, make sure you have a stack of comics! Enjoy what you read, and peace will follow.

Visual Media:
Television gives me orgasms. There, I said it. A good TV show (or movie, for that matter) thrills me right down to my naughty lady bits. If you've never had a movie or exceptional episode of TV give you chills, you're not watching enough. Looks like nature just handed you the opportunity for quality time with that DVD box set you invested in but hadn't gotten to watch yet. Dig in.

Brain Food:
Much in the same way we can't live on blueberry scones alone and expect to have healthy lives, we also need to engage in some activities that expand our brains. So, do a crossword puzzle, read up on a topic that you've never read about before or spend some time playing games on Lumosity. A little bit of enlightenment goes a long way.

Favorite Things:
Maybe there's a pen you love to write with or a coffee mug you need to drink out of. Perhaps you feel most alive when you play your violin or meditate every day. Whatever your favorite things to do or use are, make sure to incorporate as many of them as possible into your snow days. I know a cuppa vanilla coffee mixed with cappuccino always makes my days brighter. And HUBS loves his sports drinks.

For the love of God, talk to somebody. Sending emails or chatting over Yahoo is just not the same as hearing an actual, real, human voice. If you don't live with anyone just pick up the phone.

This category overlaps with many of the previous ones, and the idea is pretty simple: if it feels good, do it. Lay in bed with a stack of magazines. Make the richest hot chocolate you can and drink two cups in lieu of breakfast. Envelop yourself in the best blanket you've got, crash on the couch and watch soap operas all day. You've finally got some time off, enjoy it!

How are you spending your snow days?

Monday, January 31, 2011

Music Monday! Snowpocalypse 2011!

Our icy deck by 5:30 tonight.

I don't know if you've heard, but much of the Midwest (and then East Coast, I suppose) is due to get some major ice/sleet/snow through Wednesday. Things started getting hairy here around 10 a.m., when a 'wintery mix' of slick crap started falling. My poor Lila has been covered in ice for about six hours now!

They're also predicting blasts of freezing rain tomorrow that will turn into massive amounts of snow (up to two freakin' feet in some areas) that then turns into sub-zero temperatures and winds of up to 50 miles an hour. So, you know, this week's gonna be all kinds of adventurous!

I'm trying not to over-react, but it's difficult when the National Weather Service actually holds a press conference about the bad weather that's coming and the governor institutes a preemptive state of emergency. HUBS and I have a few candles and plenty of flashlights and batteries if the power goes out. We also stocked up on some grocery items yesterday, along with 99.9% of St. Louis city and county. I have never seen so many people at the grocery store!

The icy little tree in the front yard.

On top of all this Snowpocalypse 2011 (Snowmageddon? Which do you think is better?) stuff, we still don't have our gutters fixed. It's going to take at least another week for the company we picked to get a crew out to us, since lots of folks are having the same problem and got to them before us. With all the ice and snow coming, let's hope they continue to hold on and we don't get any water damage to the house.

Well, I'm saying several prayers that: the homeless all get into decent shelters, no one loses their power or at least not for very long, all the stray animals have good, non-snowed-in-able hiding places and we all come out of this with nary a hair out of place.

Now, as far as Music Monday goes, I figure you can go one of two ways for your music choices during Snowpocalypse 2011. Either you want to get all snuggly with your honey:

Or, you're feeling cabin-fevery and want to rock the fuck out:

Either way? Stay warm, safe and happy, y'all!


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