Wednesday, December 29, 2010

When I am queen of the world...

When I am queen of the world I will make it my personal ambition to educate people on proper parking lot etiquette. I HATE people who do not know how to navigate through a parking lot without creating inconveniences for everyone else.





Now, I know everyone has their pet peeves. Everyone is annoyed by something. This is what annoys me the most: people who drive through an angled parking lot in the wrong direction. You know, those parking lots where the spaces are angled to make parking easier. And usually, these types of parking lots have arrows painted all over the place to indicate which direction you need to be driving down each aisle. But, there is always someone who thinks that these general rules don't apply to them, so they drive down the aisles the wrong way, and then....they even try to park coming in from the wrong direction. So, now, when someone comes along driving the RIGHT way down the aisle, they have to stop and wait on the obnoxious person to make about a 50 point turn as they try to squeeze their Suburban in a space that's barely big enough for a Volkswagen.



You have no idea how much this annoys me! I want to jump out of my car and attack people when I see them doing this. Not that I'd really do that, the thought just crosses my mind.



Please take note of the masterpiece I have created to help illustrate my point, being that I could not find an appropriate image on Google.



What about you? What are the little things that really push your buttons? How do you handle them?


Monday, December 27, 2010

Just putting this out there...

I don't discuss my private life here very often. And, I've debated making this post for that very reason. So, being that this post is on a more personal note, it is a bit unusual for me.

I just wanted to let you guys know that I am a Mary Kay consultant.

If this doesn't interest you, no problem. This isn't going to become a regular topic here. I'm just putting this information out there.

But, if you are interested, I have recently developed a web page for online shopping. This is rather new for me. Most of my business is done in my general geographic area, but I'm trying to branch out a little. I offer free shipping, among other freebies, and I'll ship anywhere in the US (international shipping may become an option in the future).

So, if you're at all interested, you can click here to have a look at my page, or you can click on the newly created icon found in the left-hand column.

And, as I said, if this isn't your thing, do not fear, I'm not going to be bombarding this page with Mary Kay advertising. That's not the purpose of this blog. I'm just putting this information out into the universe.

Thanks, and wish me luck!

If I had an abundant stash of cash...

Obviously, I'm not a millionaire. I don't have thousands of dollars to just throw around as I please, but a girl can dream. Right?



If I had all the money in the world to spend on whatever I pleased, I would devote quite a bit to different types of collections that interest me. I would acquire an art collection to rival that of the Louvre. I would develop a film collection like the world has never seen. But, I think I would be most excited to invest in a rare books collection. If I had the money and resources necessary, these are just a few pieces I would be interested in…






ONE OF THE MOST SOUGHT-AFTER OF MODERN FIRSTS: FIRST ISSUE OF THE SUN ALSO RISES, IN THE EXCEPTIONALLY RARE DUST JACKET

HEMINGWAY, Ernest. The Sun Also Rises. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1926. Octavo, original black cloth with gold paper labels, uncut, original dust jacket. Housed in custom cloth clamshell box. $78,000.


First edition, first issue, of one of Hemingway's rarest and greatest novels, a lovely copy in the scarce original first-issue dust jacket.

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"BIBLIOPHILE, DRUNKARD AND GOOD EGG": WONDERFUL AND RARE PRESENTATION COPY OF THE BEAUTIFUL AND DAMNED, WARMLY INSCRIBED BY FITZGERALD IN THE YEAR OF PUBLICATION

FITZGERALD, F. Scott. The Beautiful and Damned. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1922. Octavo, original green cloth, original dust jacket. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $75,000.

First edition, first issue, an exceptional presentation copy whimsically inscribed in the year of publication by Fitzgerald, "For Wilbur Judd, Parisien [sic], Critic, Playrite [sic], Bibliophile, Drunkard and Good Egg, From F. Scott Fitzgerald, St. Paul 1922," in scarce second-issue dust jacket (issued within months of the first-issue jacket).


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"READER, I MARRIED HIM": FIRST EDITION OF CHARLOTTE BRONTE'S CLASSIC JANE EYRE, BEAUTIFULLY BOUND

(BRONTE, Charlotte) BELL, Currer
. Jane Eyre: An Autobiography. Edited by Currer Bell. London: Smith, Elder, 1847. Three volumes. Octavo, period-style full tree calf, elaborately gilt-decorated spines, raised bands, red and green morocco spine labels. $36,000.

Rare first edition of one of the greatest and most popular novels in English literature in lovely tree calf-gilt.

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"HOW MANY AGES HENCE SHALL THIS OUR LOFTY SCENE BE ACTED OVER"

[SHAKESPEARE, William]. Julius Caesar. London, 1691. Rare 1691 second quarto edition of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, with a brilliance fully realized in "the extraordinary lines of Brutus, deep in thought, as he sets in motion one of the most consequential events in Western history. It's one of Shakespeare's first great soliloquies," handsomely bound. $40,000.



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"THE MOST FAMOUS ENGLISH HORROR NOVEL"


SHELLEY, Mary Wollstonecraft. Frankenstein. Philadelphia, 1833. Two volumes. Very scarce first American edition of Mary Shelley's masterpiece of horror, an exceptional uncut copy in original boards. Complete with all half titles. $37,000.


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"THE GREATEST INNOVATOR IN THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN FICTION"

FAULKNER, William. The Sound and the Fury. New York, 1929. First edition of Faulkner's masterpiece, in rare first-state dust jacket. $26,500.

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"ALL MODERN LITERATURE COMES FROM ONE BOOK BY MARK TWAIN. IT'S THE BEST BOOK WE'VE HAD"

TWAIN, Mark. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. New York, 1885. First edition, first issue, of "the most praised and most condemned 19th-century American work of fiction" (Legacies of Genius, 47). $18,000.



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"HOPE YOU LIKE THIS ONE AS MUCH"

ROWLING, J.K. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. London, 1998. First edition of the second book in the phenomenally successful Harry Potter series, warmly inscribed on the the dedication page by the author to her personal assistant, "To Ella (again!), hope you like this one as much—love from Jo (aka J.K. Rowling)." $13,500.






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"THAT DIALOGUE OF MIND, HEART AND VOICE"

BOSWELL, James. Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D. London, 1791. Two volumes. First edition of the greatest of literary biographies, handsomely bound in contemporary tree calf. $11,000.





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"BECAUSE THE ONLY PEOPLE FOR ME ARE THE MAD ONES"

KEROUAC, Jack. On the Road. New York, 1957. First edition of Kerouac's second and most important novel, "a physical and metaphysical journey across America." A lovely fresh copy. $9000.


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"THE SUDDEN, MORTAL JAB OF AN ICE PICK"

STEVENSON, Robert Louis. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. London, 1886. Scarce first English edition, first issue, in the original printed paper wrappers (with the date corrected in ink from 1885 to 1886, as called for). $7800.

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FIRST EDITION OF THACKERAY'S MASTERPIECE, VANITY FAIR IN A BEAUTIFUL COSWAY BINDING

THACKERAY, William Makepeace. Vanity Fair. London, 1848. First edition, first issue, of Thackeray's finest novel, beautifully bound in a Cosway-style binding by Sangorski & Sutcliffe with a miniature portrait of Thackeray on ivory under glass on the front pastedown. $7500.

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Needless to say, if I had an endless supply of money, these purchases would only be the beginning of this collection.

What about you? What would you collect or acquire if money were not an option?

Also, these books and many others can be found here for purchase or general browsing.

Friday, December 24, 2010

My Christmas Questionaire

Ok, I stole today's post from Diary of a Fair Weather Diver who stole it from Diary of a Fickle White Woman (both are great bloggers). So, enjoy and feel free to play along.


Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot Chocolate ... Believe it or not, I've NEVER had Egg Nog.

Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? He does both.

Colored lights on tree/house or white? Colored.

Do you hang mistletoe? Nope. I always forget about it and wish I had thought about it.

When do you put your decorations up? The day after Thanksgiving. I wait all year for Christmas decorations, I want to be able to enjoy them as long as possible.

What is your favorite holiday dish? Before she died, my great-grandmother always made a TON of different kinds of Christmas candy. I really miss her Christmas Cheddar Cheese Logs.

Favorite Holiday memory as a child? The year my brother received a beagle puppy for Christmas. That was the cutest puppy ever, my brother ended up naming him Bob.

When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I honestly don't remember. I remember believing and the I remember not believing, but I don't remember the specific time when that changed.

Do you open a gifts on Christmas Eve? As a child, we always opened everything on Christmas morning, but as an adult, we've begun to open everything on Christmas Eve, but always with the thought that when we have kids, we will go back to Christmas morning.

How do you decorate your Christmas tree? With colored light, a few ornaments from our childhood, other ornaments I've collected over the last few years, and a silver star on top.

Snow, love it or hate it? Love love love love love it, only wish we got more of it here in Arkansas.

Can you ice skate? I've only attempted ice skating once in my life. I suppose it went ok, not something I want to spend a lot of time doing.

Do you remember your favorite gift? My engagement ring! Christmas 2008!

What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Trying to recapture that magical feeling when I was young. It's just not quite the same anymore.

What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Peppermint Bark and Homemade Millionaires.

What is your favorite holiday tradition? Supper with my parents on Christmas Eve.

What tops your tree? A big silver star.

Which do you prefer giving or receiving? I love to get presents, but it's ten times better watching people open the presents I picked for them.

What is your favorite Christmas Song? "Mary, Did You Know," "What Child is This," "O Holy Night," "Happy X-Mas," and "Blue Christmas." I love Christmas music, so it's really hard for me to narrow down this list.

Candy Canes: Yuck or Yum? Sometimes they're yuck, sometimes they're yum. But, to me, the best ones are the white ones with the colored stripes.

Favorite Christmas Show? A Christmas Story, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and The Santa Claus

Saddest Most Hated Christmas Song? "The Christmas Shoes"

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Goodies

I came across a really yummy sounding recipe at Lauren from Texas (and her blog is wonderful...click over and check her out). And I couldn't help but attempt these sweet treats on my own.

So...here is my interpretation of Brownie Covered Oreos...
1. First of all, you need a boxed brownie mix. I choose Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge. You also need a package of Oreos. And lastly, some icing, preferably the tube kind that you can just squeeze out.
2. Next, go ahead a make the brownie mix as directed on the box. Then, after it's all mixed up, start dipping your Oreos into the batter.

3. After you dip your cookies, and they are well covered in batter, go ahead and drop them into your muffin pan (but only after it has been generously sprayed down with cooking spray).

4. They will need to bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. And when you take them out of the oven let them cool for a few minutes before you touch them. Then, when they are cool enough to take them from the pan, decorate them as desired with your icing.

This is a super easy recipe. The batter from the box is enough for a whole package of Oreos. And, I must warn you...these are super tasty, but...they are also SUPER CHOCOLATEY! Seriously, I thought these things were going to put me into a chocolate coma!

Hope you enjoy!

If you try these out, let me know how it goes!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What the Dickens, Oprah?

Let me preface this post by saying, I’m not much of an Oprah fan.


But, aside from that, I do pay attention to her “book club.” I don’t do this because I think she is an amazing literary mind who offers intelligent insight and discussion in regard to well written literature, I do this because, she does do a good job of introducing new or unknown contemporary authors into the literary world. And, she also helps to bring into the mainstream many pieces of classic literature. Book stores have noted that every time Oprah adds a book to her list, the sales for that book explode, even for books that have been around for a hundred years or more. I mean, you can’t argue with the fact that the woman has influence. People are going to read what she says to read just because she said.


Now, herein lies the problem. This is why I personally have such mixed feelings toward Oprah’s “book club.” On one hand, one positive aspect that cannot be ignored is the fact that PEOPLE ARE READING! This is never a bad thing. Reading as a habit or a means of pleasure is something that is quickly disappearing in the general public. Aside from those of us who inhale every printed word just for the fun of it, most people just don’t read for fun. So, anything that gets people to read is good, especially if they are reading the classic pieces that are generally ignored by the mainstream presently. It is well known that Oprah has encouraged the reading of such works as Anna Karenina, As I Lay Dying, and One Hundred Years of Solitude. So, yes, I agree, the reading of classic and quality literature is a good thing, through whatever means.


However, one the other hand, some of these texts are pretty difficult and complex if you haven’t studied or read Dickens before. Now, I don’t say this to sound snooty, arrogant, stuck up, or whatever term you may choose to use, I say this because it is true.


And now, the newest addition to Oprah’s “book club” is Dickens. She has decided to read Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities. My first thought was “Great, I love Dickens. This might be a good time for me to go back and reread these. It’s been a while. I’m glad Oprah mentioned these.” However, the more I thought about this, the more it didn’t sit well with me. I really began to think about reading this as a suggestion from Oprah, just jumping into it with no knowledge or expectations. I’ve taken this approach with some of her suggestions before and was met with no major problems. But, I kept thinking about reading Dickens on my own for the first time. If I would have approached Dickens on my own, without any help, I don’t think I would have made it. Being an English major, I was lucky enough to be guided through my first experience with Great Expectations and Bleak House. And let’s face it, Dickens is Dickens! To fully grasp the narrative that he presents, the reader needs to have a basic working knowledge of the London that Dickens was writing about. The reader needs to understand the social strata of the time, the reader needs to be aware of certain figures of speech and euphemisms, and the reader needs to know the basic geography of the city. Yes, you can read Dickens without this knowledge and get the basic gist of the story. But, to be completely unaware of these details causes the reader to miss SO much of what makes Dickens great. And really people, do you think Oprah is going to explain all of this to you so that you might better enjoy the novel. No. She said “I’ve always wanted to read Dickens over the Holidays.” She also told her audience, “This makes great reading while you’re sipping hot chocolate.” Really Oprah? How do you know that? If that’s the case, then why not choose A Christmas Carol or some of Dickens’ other Christmas writing. Why chose Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities? Does this really strike you as light, cheerful, holiday reading? Because, if so, you’re in for a surprise.


So, if you’re just an everyday reader and you’re willing to do the work that goes along with reading Dickens, GREAT! I’m excited! That makes me happy! I wish there were more readers like that in the world. Do your homework, gather the background knowledge, this is what adds to the richness of Dickens’ world. If you can read these books with attention to detail and appreciation of language, you will feel so accomplished when you finish. That’s one reason I love Dickens’ so much. I feel like reading his writing is work sometimes, but the overwhelming feeling of accomplishment that comes with reading him is unlike anything else.


So, tell me, how do you feel about Oprah and her reading list, or her ideas about literature?

How do you feel about Dickens?

I really want to know!