Monthly Archives: November 2014

Being Judgy and Buying a House

I’ve been absent on here for over a week, which I totally didn’t mean to do. Last week was just one of those weeks that completely gets away from you. I am totally fishing for an excuse, but honestly, work was intense, Tim and I both were super busy, and in the midst of that, we got pre-approved to buy a house. It was certainly not a bad week; it was an amazing week! It was just one where so much was going on that the days seemed to be sped up in double time.

I can’t tell you how excited and proud I am that Tim and I are going to be able to buy a home. It took awhile for us to be ready for this step, and it feels so good to finally be there. It makes me feel like a real adult! We are in no hurry, but we have started to look, and let me tell you, looking is ridiculously fun. You get to be so judgy! Oh, hello 3 bedroom, 2 bath split-level. Yes, yes, I like what you’ve done here. Nice kitchen. But wait! What in the hell is with this weird room? Oh, and I hate this yard. Next!! So fun.

List accomplishments as of last post:

  • Bloomingfood’s stopped selling my favorite creamer, so I made this Maple Cinnamon Creamer for last week’s recipe!
  • I watched two Best Picture winners that honestly underwhelmed. The first was 1982’s Ghandi, which was good, but I think I was expecting great. And the second was 1952’s The Greatest Show on Earth, which was a 3 hour crap-fest melodrama about the circus. The saddest thing is that the lovely Jimmy Stewart stars as Buttons the clown and wears full clown make-up through the entire film. I couldn’t make this up if I wanted. A little research revealed that it is widely cited as the worst film to ever win Best Picture, and that it likely only won because the Academy was reluctant to vote for the anti-McCarthy High Noon due to it’s blacklisted screenwriter. Here’s what I know: that’s  3 hours I’d like to have back.
  • I’ve written all but three of my letters to loved ones and hope to be able to give them out at Thanksgiving!
  • We are making serious progress on saving at least $5000 this year. We’ve really been cranking down on saving since we hope to buy a house soon.
  • Tim and I have kept having weekly dates, although with chillier weather many of them have been making dinner and watching movies at home.
  • I’ve continued writing and taking photos every day.

 

 

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Team Thanksgiving

I can’t believe we are already halfway through November. That means it’s almost Thanksgiving. Poor Thanksgiving. If it were to win a yearbook superlative, it would be Most Likely to Succeed in Being Overshadowed by Christmas.

It’s actually kind of enraging to me that as soon as Halloween is over, Christmas is shoved in our faces without any love shown to Thanksgiving. I happen to be Team Thanksgiving in a big way. There are no gifts or costumes to cloud our judgement; it’s all food and family.

November itself sort of serves as our indicator that our year is about to wrap up, and therefore, it’s time for reflection and gratitude. In the spirit of honoring November and it’s ever-so-slighted holiday, here is a list of 5 things I am thankful for this November:

1- November has given me some of my most favorite people ever: my grandmother (Nov. 1), my sister-in-law Tiffany (Nov. 12), my friend Brad (Nov. 14), my older-brother-from-another-mother Dave (Nov. 17), and my first nephew Gram (Nov. 27), who was born in the wee hours of the morning on Thanksgiving Day 6 years ago.

2- Gram’s birthday falls on Thanksgiving Day again this year, and I’m thankful that this time we don’t have to eat at the Golden Corral like we did the year he was born. That Chocolate Wonder-fall isn’t doing ANYONE any favors. Trust me.

3- Speaking of which, I’m thankful for delicious home-cooked Thanksgiving food. It really is superior to all other holidays’ cuisine. Turkey and all carb sides, plus GRAVY ON EVERYTHING. And pies on pies on pies.

4- The above makes me thankful that on Thanksgiving, it’s totally acceptable to unbutton your pants to make room for more pie. And after you’re done eating, it’s cool if you fall asleep watching a football game you probably don’t care about anyways.

5- Last Saturday, I got to have my Girls’ Day with my mom and sister (and half the day with my niece), and it was so wonderful. We had lunch, got mani/pedis, and shopped, and we just laughed and had fun and spent quality time together. These are the kind of days that life is supposed to be about.

It goes without saying, but it’s too important to not say this, too: I am so very grateful for all my family and friends.

Totally and completely unrelated, and a horrible way to end this post, but basically, all through this month, Guns and Roses’ “November Rain” gets in my head and pretty much won’t get out. Especially Slash’s guitar solo. That is all.

List accomplishments as of last post:

  • Concert #3 was a success. It was not the best time I’ve seen Ryan Adams, but he did redeem himself from the last time.
  • Tonight I am making a Greek feast for my weekly recipe.
  • As I mentioned above, I had my amazing girls’ day with my mom and sister.
  • Started my letters to my loved ones about why I love them. I already finished and read Tim’s to him, and I also wrote one to my dogs, because, yes, I am the kind of person who writes letters to her dogs. I can already tell, this will probably be my favorite thing on my whole list.
  • Took photos and wrote each day. Here are a few shots from the last week:
The sunset's have been epic lately

The sunset’s have been epic lately

A cushaw squash I'll be attempting to make into a pie like my Grandma used to

A cushaw squash I’ll be attempting to make into a pie like my Grandma used to

Sweet Georgia

Sweet Georgia

 

Dear Ryan Adams

Dear Ryan Adams,

You broke my heart.

Twice.

Both times were in Memphis, TN.

Let me explain.

There was that first time in 2004. That time was special. That time I rode down in Lindsey’s old silver PT Cruiser, spending the three hour drive from Nashville eating gas station snacks and feeling the kind of invincible you can really only feel when you’re 18.

All I could think about was finally getting the chance to see you live. It had been three years since Gold came out, and I don’t know how else to say it but to tell you this: I felt my life change when I heard Gold. I bet it was similar to when you first heard Paul Westerberg sing; like finally there was a soundtrack for your soul.

I entered the New Daisy Theater on Beale Street that night excited, innocent, in awe. My friend and I settled for a spot just to the left of center stage. There was some opening act that I can’t remember because I was barely listening anyway. I was too anxious to see you.

At some point during their set, I looked to my left, and there you were: sitting on an amp with your chin in your palm. My adrenaline rushed through my whole body. I could feel my pulse in my ears. My heart swelled and swelled until I felt it split wide open.

There you were.

Sometimes it’s hard to believe your heroes are just people.

That night went on to blow my mind. Lindsey and I danced and screamed and sang every word.

The next 5 years were a blur of seeing you every chance I got. There were multiple shows in Nashville, Indianapolis, Chicago. There was even the single best concert I’ve ever seen in my life with the Cardinals one night in St. Louis. There were a few autographs, too, though I’d never really had the courage to talk to you.

But then came that second time in Memphis. That time was not special at all. That time I rode down in Tim’s old white Nissan Maxima, spending the three hour drive from Nashville eating gas station snacks and feeling the kind of hopeful possibility that you can really only feel when you’re 23.

I walked up to the venue hand in hand with my future husband. I noticed the buses were lined up to the left of the building, and on a whim I decided to wait there for a bit. All I could think about was finally getting the courage to talk to you.

At some point, I looked to my left and there you were: walking towards the buses with Brad Pemberton and Jon Graboff. I decided this was my chance.

“Ryan, I love your music so much, and I just wanted to say that it really means a lot to me,” I barely stammered.

“Oh,” you said and rolled your eyes. “I don’t really like doing it, but Brad makes me.”

And then you just walked away.

My adrenaline rushed through my whole body. I could feel my pulse in my ears. My heart hardened and hardened until I felt it shatter just like broken glass.

I entered Minglewood Hall that night downtrodden, embarrassed, with my cheeks stained from a million hot tears. It was March 2009 and you’d just gotten married and clearly didn’t want to be there. I think you never spoke a word to the crowd and played half-baked and sped-up versions of your songs but I can’t remember because I was barely listening anyway.

I don’t how else to say it but to tell you this: I felt my whole life change that night. I bet it was like that time you heard Paul Westerberg had said that someone should knock your teeth out; like you were never going to be able to hear his music in the same way ever again.

You just rolled your eyes and walked away. 

Sometimes it’s hard to believe your heroes are just people.

The next 5 years were a blur of so many other shows. Multiple Avett Brothers, Old 97’s, and Todd Snider concerts. But never you again. It just hurt too much.

But I never stopped loving your music, and it never stopped meaning a lot to me.

And everybody knows, you can’t hold a grudge forever.

So tomorrow,  I’m giving it another shot in Indianapolis. I’m hoping the change in location will be on my side.

I want to dance and scream and sing every word. I want you to blow my mind again. Can you do that?

Please, Ryan?

Sincerely,

Tara

List accomplishments as of last post:

  • Watched two more Best Picture winners– 1947’s Gentlemen’s Agreement and 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire. Slumdog was just gorgeous. Gentlemen’s Agreement was really good and tackled such a hefty topic particularly for 1947 (anti-Semitism), but did read a little dated.
  • Cooked an unhealthy but utterly delicious classic comfort food for my weekly recipe- Homemade Macaroni and Cheese.
  • Started and finished book #2, Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, which was absolutely hilarious, heartfelt, sweet, and wonderful. I have the biggest crush on her.
  • Had another fabulous weekly date with Tim.
  • Wrote and took photos every day.