Some Thanksgiving and Black Friday love

Well, this Thanksgiving was a different one for my family. In past years we have either visited our home town, or had our self made family over for delicious food. Since we have only been in our new home for a few months, we had no friends to come over. And since my break from college is all of 2 days, there wasn’t enough time to trek to GA.

Instead of causing massive amounts of mess and stress, we ate out. Go ahead, shun me. My theory is, the restaurant workers will be there regardless, and if they don’t have customers, then they don’t get paid.
It is not my fault if you have to work on thanksgiving. It just isn’t. I have no control over when the stores and restaurants are open, or who they schedule.
The world is not against you if you have to work on thanksgiving.
Grow up. My father has spent tons of years working on Thanksgiving, because he is a trucker. Nurses, policemen and women, firefighters, EMT and military all work on thanksgiving, and they aren’t bitching about it. If you don’t want to work on holidays, get a different job.

I’m out shopping. Yep. And i have no shame about my decision. If that makes me an asshole, so be it.

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The Ultimate Book Tag

I was scrolling through some like-minded blogs, and found this little beauty. I immediately started mentally answering the questions, and so therefore figured I would post it for myself. You should do it too!

The Ultimate Book Tag

  1. Do you get sick while reading in the car?

Unfortunately, I totally do. It used to drive me completely bonkers, but as an adult I have discovered audio books. Problem solved. I now get to “read” without making myself completely nauseated, and my husband gets to not hear me complain about how bored I am.

  1. Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you and why?

I really don’t know how to answer this question. I think probably Brenda Novak though. Her Whiskey Creek series is phenomenal, and I can never tell how the characters will end up.

Another really good one is Cinda Williams Chima. The Warrior Heir series was something I had never ever read, and none of the components reminded me of anything, which is really rare. So I recommend it.

  1. Harry Potter series or the Twilight Saga? Give three points to defend your answer.

Ahaha. If you know me at all, you know my answer is Harry Potter every single time. The reasoning is

  1. Hermione Granger, Ginny Weasley, Luna Lovegood, Minerva McGonagall, Molly Weasley. I mean really. What series have you ever read that has so many amazing female characters?! They’re all strong and smart, and I basically want to grow up to be just like them.
  2. Wizards over vampires. Every time. The world that JK Rowling created is so detailed and vivid. The characters struggle with real things, and face hardships that kids that age should never have to consider. Not to mention the realities that are brought up, like slavery and racism. Rowling addresses these real life problems in a way that is completely appropriate for the young adult, and it really makes a difference. Kids and teenagers that have read HP are less likely to be racist. They did a study about it. Basically, HP teaches us what our parents have preached for years. It’s what is on the inside that counts, not what we look like, or our abilities.
  3. The honesty in the books about those real life situations. The Harry Potter series shows what friendship is really like. It sometimes sucks, and sometimes it fails. But in the end, your friends come through for you. And love is the most powerful magic of all.
  4. Do you carry a book bag? If so, what’s in it? (besides books)

Notebooks. My Hunger Games pen case (filled with a variety of types and colors of pens and pencils). A planner. Headphones.

  1. Do you smell your books?

I thought that that was an understood thing. Of course I do.

  1. Books with or without little illustrations?

I honestly have no preference. As long as it has a good story line, I’m happy.

  1. What book did you love while reading but discovered later that it wasn’t quality writing?

I really enjoyed the Twilight series. I’m not ashamed of that. But the writing left a good bit to be desired.

  1. Do you have any funny stories involving books from your childhood? Please share!

Probably my best stories all involve the release of the Harry Potter series. My mom found HP and the Sorcerer’s Stone shortly before the Chamber of Secrets was released. I don’t actually remember if she read it aloud, but I’m pretty sure she did, at bedtime. For all the subsequent books, we would go get them at midnight, and my brother (who is 2 years old, and infinitely bigger than I am) would steal it as soon as we got out of the store (if he waited that long.) The book followed him around the house until he finished it, and if he accidently left I laying somewhere while he did something else, I would steal it and get started reading it. He would steal it back from me when discovered, and I would impatiently wait my turn. This continued for years, with my 6-14 hours it took for us to read them was entirely too long to wait.

Suffice to say, my entire family loves HP. And my poor mother, who bought the books to begin with, had to wait for all 3 of her children to read it first, because we read faster than she does.

  1. What is the thinnest book on your shelf?

Probably The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis.

  1. What is the thickest book on your shelf?

The Complete Works of Shakespeare. I have it in one volume.

  1. Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself in the future as being an author?

I don’t write anything more complex than a blog post.

  1. When did you get into reading?

I can’t honestly remember a time that I didn’t read. I know that I was reading chapter books in Kindergarten.

  1. What is your favorite classic book?

I don’t know if it counts, but I LOVE the Secret Garden. Also, Oliver Twist.

  1. In school was your best subject Language Arts/English?

Not really. They never gave me things I was interested in reading, so I didn’t put much effort into it. I loved Chorus.

  1. If you were given a book as a present that you had read before and hated… what would you do?

Smile, and turn it in to get a better book in secret.

  1. What is a lesser known series that you know of that is similar to Harry Potter or The Hunger Games?

Oh wow. Umm. The Warrior Heir series I mentioned earlier I suppose. But it isn’t really similar at all. I don’t know how to explain it really. But there is magic. And a rebellion for freedom. So I guess that is the closest I can get.

  1. What is a bad habit you always do (besides rambling) while blogging?

Straying off topic I suppose. I go online with the intent of writing something very specific. I always veer off topic into some side story and I’m never sure that I actually wrote what I intended.

  1. What is your favorite word?

Do I have one? I don’t think I do.

  1. Are you a nerd, dork, or dweeb? Or all of the above?

Total nerd. I’m totally okay with it.

  1. Vampires or fairies? Why?

The Vampires in the House of Night series are amazing. I’ve never read anything with fairies, so I choose vampires.

  1. Shapeshifters or angels? Why?

Umm. Angels. Not because of books though. Supernatural has Castiel, so angels are kind of badass. Haven’t read a series focused on this either.

  1. Spirits or werewolves? Why?

Curiouser and curiouser. I suppose werewolves, seeing as Remus Lupin was a werewolf, and he is one of my all time favorite characters.

  1. Zombies or vampires?

Vampires, because of the same reason I mentioned in 20, also Zombies are disgusting.

  1. Love triangle or forbidden love?

I think both have their place, and can be really well developed and written. Not gonna lie though, I’m tired of the love triangle thing. It was overdone in Twilight, and then the Hunger Games had the same underlying theme.

  1. Full on romance books or action-packed with a few love scenes mixed in?

Once again, both have their place, and I really enjoy both. That being said, I cannot abide a book that has no deeper plot than boy meets girl, sex sex sex sex sex, “oh my goodness I love you”, marriage. It feels like a sincere waste of time.

Book signings.

There are very few things better to me, than getting a recommendation for a new book/series/author. Book signings, such as the ones that take place in Boonsboro, MD at the Turn the Page bookstore are perfect times for this to happen. You’re surrounded by books (one of my favorite environments), with a multitude of other book lovers. Every person in the building has read different books, and even if they’ve read the same ones as you, they likely have a different take and interpretation on it. And you’re all there with one purpose, to meet the authors, and take home some awesome new reads.

This was the type of night I had on Thursday, November 20th. I saw that Boonsboro was having a “Girl’s Night Out” event, which included a ton of businesses in the town, and an impromptu type author signing. I don’t want to say it was the spur of the moment, because it definitely was not. There was some amazing planning and coordination that took place. But whereas other signings I have attended at the same location were very structured and timed, this one had a relaxed feel (which was helped by the champagne offered all throughout the night). The authors were set up in the downstairs area of the bookstore, as usual, but customers and fans were free to roam through, and converse with the authors a little bit more than you would normally be able to.

While I was there, I got another book signed by Nora Roberts. Nora is one of my all time favorite authors, I’ve been reading her work since way before it was appropriate for me. Now that I live so close to the bookstore that her husband opened (pretty sure that’s how it worked at least, don’t quote me on that), I get to go see her quite a few times a year, and I always come back with at least one more book signed.

I also was able to purchase one book apiece from each of the other authors present. First of all, due to the low traffic (casual theme, remember?), I got to actually talk with all of the authors. They were all so nice, and were able to give me short synopsizes of their books and series. I really enjoyed chatting with each of them, and happily picked out 5 new books to read.

Melissa Foster was really my highlight of the evening though. In addition to finding a new series to be obsessed about (more about that in a minute), she took the time to chat with me about more than her books. She asked about my life, and we commiserated about the military lifestyle. When she asked about what I am in school for, and heard that my goal is to be in publishing, she immediately said that when I graduate I should contact her. It was truly amazing for a complete stranger to take such an interest in my life and my future.

Ok, so about the books. My newest obsessions are with the Bradens. The Bradens are the family that Melissa Foster created for her series. I’ve only read Lovers at Heart, but will be purchasing the next in the series on my nook momentarily. I won’t give too much away, and spoil it for you, but Treat and Max are amazing. I cannot wait to read about the rest of the Braden clan (thankfully, there should be at least 5 other books written!)

The other books I’ve read since Thursday are by Mary Behre. She is writing the Tidewater Series, and I purchased the first book in it, Spirited. Spirited is about a woman that has the gift of seeing ghosts, but really wishes she didn’t. She is on a mission to find her sisters and to stay out of trouble. She really really sucks at staying out of trouble. From the moment I met Julianna, I loved her propensity of getting herself into ridiculous situations. I flew through Spirited in about 4 hours, and bought Guarded on my nook today. I’ve already finished it. Let me just say, that the second book completely lives up to the first, and I cannot wait until the third one comes out.

I still have books to read by Mary Burton, Donna Kauffman, and Erika Robuck. I’ll get to them before Thanksgiving is over. Right now, I need to dive back into the Braden world.

December 6th is the Holiday Event in Boonsboro, MD. The entire town gets into the holiday spirit, and there will be a TON of new authors there for me to meet. I can’t wait. It will be a structured signing, so if you are planning on joining me, get there well before noon to get your ticket inside.

Off I go, into another book. I really don’t understand how people live without reading.

Bitches will be bitches.

So, I was going to post another eloquently written post about friendship, but I just have to get this out, so that post will have to take the back burner.

Disclaimer: this has nothing to do with my life, or my marriage. All parties vented about exist outside my immediate life.

Marriage is something that is sacred, at least it should be. It sickens me that people get married on a whim every single day. And then, they treat their marriage like something that is completely disposable, and don’t even try to keep it healthy. What the fuck is wrong with you?

First of all, if you marry someone, YOU’RE MARRIED. You promised to be faithful to your spouse. If you didn’t want to do that, then DON’T GET MARRIED. If you want an open marriage, and that is what you and your spouse decide, then go for it. I personally don’t understand it, and that will never be the case in my own marriage, but if that is what blows up your skirt, then cool. You cannot, however, get married, and then have multiple affairs, and THEN when you get fucking caught say “I wanted this to be an open marriage.” Are you fucking kidding me?! You’re married. You don’t get to just decide that without discussing it with your spouse. Dumb as fuck.

Second of all, if your spouse decides that you should try to make it work, THEN PUT SOME FUCKING EFFORT INTO IT. I have no words for this section other than stop being a lazy fucking prick, and take care of your fucking family.

Lastly, this is for all the fucking bitches that want to sleep with married fucking men, especially the ones that are married themselves. You’re a fucking whore. You need to go drink some freon, and save us the trouble of dealing with your slutty self. No one likes you, so take care of the problem for us, please. ‘Kay, thanks.

I’m incredibly thankful that my marriage is strong, and that I don’t have to worry about whore-like bitches. (lets be honest, who would pay for that skanky bitch anyways.) But it is strong because we both work at it. And people that just don’t care about their marriage, and mistreat their spouses, and in general are fucking assholes, well, they piss me off.

If this post makes you upset, then you’re probably screwing up somewhere. Fix it.

There is never an excuse for cheating. Ever. If you don’t want to be faithful, then don’t be married. Don’t make your family suffer because you are incapable of being what you claimed to be.

Friendship Part 1

Friendship is a funny thing. You meet a stranger, think to yourself, “I like this one” and just start doing things with them. But what makes a good friend? What is the difference between a friend and an acquaintance. And what is the difference between a friend and a best friend?

Friendships have been on my mind a good bit lately. The phone call I received this morning is what prompted this post though. One of my very best friends has been a phone call/letter friend only for the last 6 years. It’s been almost 7 years since I’ve actually seen him. It’s no secret, why. He’s been in jail, in Missouri. He screwed up, make no mistake. I don’t think that his screw up, and the amount of remorse he feels for it, deserves 8 and a half years in jail, but that was not my decision to make. Since he was locked up, I get a few phone calls a month, and I do my best to write him regularly. I’m not pretending I’m the best at this, life gets in the way. But I always answer my phone if at all possible, and I truly cherish every time we get to catch up. He is one of my best friends in the entire world, and he hasn’t even met my husband. The situation seriously breaks my heart.

The underlying reason he has been in jail for the last 6 years (only 2ish left!) is because he has a serious problem with alcohol. Being in prison has forced him to be sober, and to see the error in his ways. He has made the decision, for himself, to stay sober. And he is making the responsible decisions to keep himself from changing his mind. I’m incredibly proud of him, and even though these decisions are going to keep distance between us (stupid Missouri), I think it is the best decision he could make.

The reasoning I say that staying in Missouri is the right decision, is because of the people he would encounter back home. Our “friends” in our hometown are wonderful people. They’re fun, and I trust them with my life. I trust them because I am who I am, and I know that they accept that. They know that when we get together, I am going to be the babysitter for their drunk selves (I make the decision not to drink alcohol). They don’t try to pressure me into having a drink, or changing my mind. I wish they would extend this courtesy to our best friend.

Because he used to party with them, they expect him to fall back in line when he gets home. “We’re gonna throw you a huge party when you get here!” I have a problem with this statement for 2 reasons. #1: He made the decision to stay sober, because alcohol quite literally ruined his life. He doesn’t want to go back down that road. Why can’t you respect that, guys? #2. Why would you throw a huge party for all of your “friends”, when NONE of these people have kept in contact with him?! There are 3 people from home that has kept in contact with him, and that includes me and the 2 trying to throw the massive party. Friends don’t flake out when life is hard. Friends aren’t only friends when it is convenient.

It makes me incredibly angry that none of these people have been there for him, and yet every time his name is mentioned they’re all “oh, I miss him so much!” If you missed him, write a freaking letter. I have the address right here! Hypocrisy makes me crazy.

So the original questions for this post. What makes a friend? I think a friend is someone you can get together with, and have fun. That you trust to keep your confidences. and won’t let you get kidnapped. Someone that is there for you, regardless of what is happening in your life.

A best friend is the one that helps you bury the bodies. They’re the ones that know the innermost details of your life, and that you can call in the middle of the night. A best friend is loyal, no matter what, and never lies.

I’m lucky, and I have quite a few best friends. This is a change from high school, where I graduated with a grand total of 3, and they all graduated before me! Below are pictures of my best friends. I’m incredibly lucky to have them.

Long lost best friend. Can't believe this was taken almost 7 years ago! Only 2ish years left!

Long lost best friend. Can’t believe this was taken almost 7 years ago! Only 2ish years left!

Erica and me at my wedding.

Erica and me at my wedding.

Kara and me. She's been my friend the longest, and we have the pictures to prove it!

Kara and me. She’s been my friend the longest, and we have the pictures to prove it!

Kayla, aka Twin 1. Miss this chick every day. Freaking Phoenix.

Kayla, aka Twin 1. Miss this chick every day. Freaking Phoenix.

And Twin 2. Aka, Kylie. Freaking Washington. Why does everyone move?! (Oh yeah, stupid military life)

And Twin 2. Aka, Kylie. Freaking Washington. Why does everyone move?! (Oh yeah, stupid military life)

last but certainly not least, Megan. She's in Japan.

last but certainly not least, Megan. She’s in Japan.

These are them. The best friends. Notice a pattern? (They all live a quadrillion miles away! Erica lives in Oklahoma for the moment, and Kara lives in Georgia permanently.) These people are amazing, and I know they would be there with no hesitation if I ever needed anything. This doesn’t even include my family, or my husband. I am an incredibly lucky person to call so many people in my life friends and family.

(Disclaimer, I have quite a few more friends, that are wonderful and amazing people. Friends that I do in fact know would come through if I ever needed them. But this post can only be so long.)

Why watch when you can read?

“I am sorry too. Sorry I will never know my son…but he will know why I died, and I hope he will understand I was trying to make a world in which he could live a better life.” – Remus Lupin “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”.

That quote is the perfect example of why it baffles me when people all over the world choose to watch a TV show or a movie instead of reading a book. Harry Potter is an industry that has taken over the world, for lack of a better term. There are theme parks, and movies, and t-shirts, and toys, and calendars, and tons of other paraphernalia. But people tend to forget about the books.

I know it is said, with regularity, that “the book is always better than the movie”! It is said with regularity because it is true. With the Harry Potter series as my example, the character development in the movies versus the books is pathetically limited. I understand that there is a time limit, and in all honesty, the directors, producers, and the actors did a phenomenal job in the time that they had. But to compare it to the books, there is just no contest. In the movies Remus Lupin is a teacher first and foremost, with a few appearances in later movies as a friend. Remus Lupin in the books is a heavily developed character, that shows his fear of passing his “problem” to his son, and his fear of harming his family. It shows Remus Lupin being there for Harry in every way he could. It ends with Lupin declaring Harry the godfather to his newborn son, before he fights in the battle of Hogwarts and is killed alongside his wife, Tonks. There is so much more to Remus Lupin than a werewolf teacher that was friends with Harry’s father. And this is just one character that is limited by the movies. Ginny Weasley, Charlie Weasley, and Bill Weasley were woefully underdeveloped in the movies, and Charlie was actually never introduced at all.

My rants purpose is this — you will always receive more of a reward for time spent reading than watching. For the people that say they just don’t have time to read, my questions are these. How much time do you spend on facebook, twitter, instagram, vine, youtube, and pinterest a day? Because I know I spend a giant chunk of mine on these. How many TV shows do you watch a week that you just cannot live without? If you have time to do all of these things, you have time to read. You just have to make it a priority.

The Harry Potter series has so much to offer, adults and children alike. Knowing the general story line from the movies does not detract from the books in any way, because there is still so much to be discovered. While it is often viewed as a childrens series, it is much more than that. It deals with issues such as bigotry, and slavery. And above all, it shows that strong friendships can never be overrated, and that the answers you are looking for can probably be found in a book.