The Summer of Awesome – Day 17

Today is just about the exact halfway point in The Book of Awesome, as it goes up to 200 Awesome things, so YAY for that.

Let’s get right to it…

(96) The smell of freshly cut grass (pg 175)

 Even just reading the title of this entry made me sneeze!

I have had allergies my whole life so, unfortunately, this is not a pleasant smell I’ve ever really been able to relate to. I am, luckily, not as allergic to grass as other people (even within my family) nor am I as allergic to grass as I am to other things, but it does still make my nose tingle and my eyes water, especially when being cut.

Smells I do enjoy?

  • Coffee (See # 67)
  • Movie theatre popcorn
  • Cookies
  • Lilacs (they make me sneeze too, but I can at least enjoy the smell before they do)
  • Fleecy fabric softener

(97) A long hug when you really need it (pg 176)

For the most part, for much of my life I was not a hugger – especially as a teenager. My best friend and I would show affection by doing air handshakes. 😛 Over time, I came to be fine with hugging, as long as they were people I was close to (i.e. liked).

That being said, I did not give out hugs willy-nilly.

I remember one time, about 10 years ago, a friend of a friend spent a good chunk of a time at a party saying some pretty offensive and hurtful things about another friend of mine (not present at the party), knowing full well said person and I were close… And then at the end of the party, he tried to hug me goodbye. I actually put a hand out and said, “I don’t hug people I’m not close to.”

He seemed a bit thrown, but I see no reason why I shouldn’t be direct when it comes to things like that.

I still don’t tend to hug a lot of people. In a week, I probably give out maybe 3 hugs, that is IF I end up seeing people. We aren’t big huggers in my family and tend to give side hugs at most, unless it’s something big (like a wedding, death, baby, etc.), but when it IS something big, Neil Pasricha is very right.

Sometimes you just need a hug. I imagine this is why it must be great to have a puppy. They seem like the ideal cuddling-buddies.

 (98) A good floss after a tough steak (pg 177)

I actually don’t eat steak, so I can’t really relate to this. I have tried steak probably once or twice and wasn’t a fan. I’ll continue to have my beef in hamburgers instead.

As for flossing, that’s definitely something I don’t so as much as I should, much to my dentist friends’ dismay, I’m sure. I usually only end up flossing when something is really bugging me (usually spinach or popcorn) or when I know I am going to the dentist the following week. (Don’t give me that “tsk,” I know 90% of you are the same!)

I have to say, though, I do see the benefits of flossing. The dental hygienist at a recent appointment told me that though I was doing well with every other aspect of keeping my teeth healthy, I should really floss more. I gave a contrite nod, but knew deep down I probably wouldn’t… But then I decided to give it a shot and flossed every day for about a month and WOW, it made a big difference. Any time I find I have a little pain in my gums, if I floss it actually helps a lot.

So, do it. FLOSS. 1/1 bloggers agree – it helps!

 (99) Dangling your feet in the water (pg 178)

Given my distaste for rushing water and being wet, this is actually something I can get on board with. While everyone else is ready to jump into the pool, I am more than happy to hang out on the side, read my book and dangle my feet in.

Sucks to be everyone else who is swimming around in feet water…

 (100) Salt (pg 179)

M-113_creatureWow,  Neil Pasricha really goes on a whole ode to salt in these pages. You know who would appreciate that?

Nancy the Salt Creature from Star Trek. She (it?) was all about sucking that sweet, sweet (salty…) salt out of people’s bodies.

You know what else does that?

THE SUN.

I actually suffer from Vertigo, something I found out at around age 19/20 when I was feeling dizzy all the time and there was no explanations as to why. I discovered that when there’s no real reason, vertigo seems to be the easiest of explanations.

I was told I might likely have Meniere’s Disease – and am in pretty cool company with Marliyn Monroe being one of the most notable people who was said to have had it. (Also, as stated in this HuffPost article: Charles Darwin and Beethoven, among others.)

The best thing they could offer me to deal with the dizzies was to cut down on salt. I never really used to have a lot of salt anyway, but I diligently did as told and it actually seemed to help! Problem was, about 5-7 years later we started getting some INSANELY hot summers in my part of Canada and I was being struck by dehydration and heat exhaustion. At first I had no clue what it was, but my rudimentary First Aid training helped me to recognize the signs.

Since I was about 27, I haven’t been able to handle hot weather very well at all, but once I realized that much of the issue might be a lack of salt, adding some back in (through energy drinks and homemade electrolyte boosting drinks), it’s been better.

The trade-off? I sometimes I get dizzy again.

There’s just no winning when you have a weirdo body like mine!

If this was all getting a little “TL; DR” for you all, here’s the quick and dirty:

Vertigo + salt = no no

Heat exhaustion and dehidration – salt = no no

Salt is confusing for me!

(101) When you know all the buttons to speed through the automated telephone system (pg 182)

 

Clearly, I have a lot of health issues (see above and all the times I’ve mentioned my allergies), which means I have a lot of prescriptions. I totally relate to this entry because I can do this very easily with my Drug Store’s automated telephone system to get refills on my allergy pills.

Recently they just told me that you don’t even have to call in for them anymore – you can do everything online AND they’ll text you when they’re ready.

What kind of crazy world are we living in where this is possible? We are about one step away from my dream idea – that which my dad and I came up with and wish would come true – texting in and order and having it just shoot through your mail box into your house. If Amazon can use drones… then who knows what’s next!

That’s enough of that random thinking for today. Hope you all had a good weekend!

The Summer of Awesome – Day 16

Well hello there. After a brief hiatus…

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Technically this whole endeavor was meant to be done by some time next week, but as I mentioned before, we had ourselves some visitors at our house for the last little bit, so I was too busy to get on here. By the time I’d get to my room at the end of the day, I was too wiped to put two words together.

So, here we are, only about halfway through still, at Day 16 of The Summer of Awesome featuring, The Book of Awesome. 

And on we go…

(90) When you didn’t play the lottery and your numbers don’t come up (pg 163)

I don’t often play the lottery, but when I do, I just have it in my head that I’m definitely going to win… And then when I don’t, it’s such a shocker. To be fair, I only ever play the lottery when it hits over $50+ Million and that means tons of other people who don’t usually play are probably also playing, so I’ve just automatically reduced my chances.

I don’t have a specific set of numbers I use either. I try to pick random numbers that are around me as I am walking to the convenience store, as if I am being given signs of the almighty numbers.

But…that has yet to work, so I guess I might as well just go with family birthdays next time.

(91) The smell of frying onions and garlic (pg 165)

Oh my goodness, this is not a smell I enjoy.

This, in my household, is the universal smell for “LEAVE THE HOUSE ASAP,” as after these two next in the pot comes the hot chili peppers (aka, “mirch)…

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Even just looking at the picture is stinging my eyes…

And in case you didn’t know, adding hot peppers to oil + garlic/onions creates the stinkiest stink to ever stink.

I do know people who love the smell, heck, just earlier this week, my niece was running away from the kitchen, much as I would, screaming about how bad it smelled when she got too near to my mom’s cooking pot and my nephew went running TO the pot to smell it because he loves the smell of onions. (I also found him, a few days earlier, with the onion I had intended to put in my dinner pressed up against his nose… That boy! 😛 )

I, my friends, am in the same camp as my niece. My nose is already sensitive, so having this strong smell hit me is the worst.

Worse than this, is when someone in your house has just finished making stinky food and you have to leave the house. Then you’re sitting there on the bus or at work, thinking “Eww, why does it smell like [in my case] sabji?!”

Then the horror hits when you realize, oh…it’s you. 😐

(92) Nailing a parallel parking attempt on the first try (pg 167)

My last driving test was 6 years ago. I got my “G” class (i.e. full) license in June 2010, and I haven’t had to take a test since! And thank goodness I haven’t had to because Driving Tests gave me SUCH anxiety.

On the day of my G test it was POURING rain and I had to sit in my car, waiting for the examiner for what felt like a lifetime (but, in truth, was probably about 45 minutes). The sun came out just a bit, enough for me to do my test without having to worry too much about the rain.

During my test, speeding along the highway, all I kept remembering was my instructor saying they’ll either make me parallel park or reverse park – if I parallel park, I won’t have to reverse park when I get back to the examination centre.

I didn’t have to parallel park during the test.

I didn’t get asked to reverse park when I got back either.

“Dang it,” I thought, “I failed!”

Lucky, lucky me – I didn’t fail! I just got a really nice examiner who didn’t ask me to do either. (I think it was because I already had the added stress of a rainstorm and slick roads, so they were probably going a bit easier than usual that day.)

Since I didn’t have to parallel park on my test, I haven’t parallel parked at all since BEFORE my test when I was doing lessons. I don’t live somewhere that ever requires parallel parking, so I never do it, but when I did back in my test days, I did the method Neil Pasricha describes – the one they teach you in Driving School.

I, also, can’t see how that’d ever be practical on a busy road, trying to turn yourself at weird angles that cause your whole car to stick out in the middle of the street… I can barely do a 3-point turn without worrying that I am taking up too much space and wasting other drivers’ times.

But hey, what do I know? I don’t parallel park!

(93) The perfect chicken wing partner (pg 170)

I’m a bit of a food wuss. I eat chicken, I love chicken… but until I was about 20, I didn’t like to touch it, at all. My sister, a full-out vegetarian at that time, would get so annoyed with me and grab my chicken off the plate and start ripping all the meat off (she used to eat meat when she was younger, so this was not odd for her. Raw chicken does gross her out, though, she just said that to me a few minutes ago, ironically.)

I, meanwhile, would try my best not to touch it because I hated seeing the bone and would prissily try to cut the meat off with a knife

I know, I know, if you eat meat you should be comfortable with it – there are lots of people that even say if you can’t handle knowing what your meat is you shouldn’t eat it (or, one step further, if you wouldn’t be able to kill it yourself, you shouldn’t eat it). I get it, I do.

Unfortunately, I am just too squeamish for any of that and yet, I LOVE chicken. Turkey possibly even more so in the last few years. (Side note: I may do up a whole post on this in the future, especially if I can ever get a good photo of one, but — we’ve recently had turkey vultures appear in our area in droves. My friend hypothesizes that they’re out to get me for all the turkey I eat… And once they get me, they’re coming for her because she is, in her own words, “The second biggest turkey consumer in the area.” 😛 )

Despite my love of eating chicken, I just can’t do chicken wings. Much like seeing the bone in a drumstick, the whole idea creeps me out. The thought that it is a chicken WING is too much for me and having seen friends eat them… they don’t look all that appetizing (though they swear to me that they are). I have no idea what would be the best “partner,” but I do know there are a TON of choices. (I only just noticed while searching this link that you can get boneless wings?? Maybe I would try that… But still… “wings”… 😐 )

(94) Discovering those little tabs on the side of aluminium foil box (pg 172)

When I first hear about this – most likely thanks to Buzzfeed hacks – my mind was BLOWN.

Of course I had to try it and guess what?

I failed miserably.

Maybe it’s just me. I am a clumsy, klutz of a person, this we know. It probably works well for everyone else, but for some reason, when I tried to do it, it just seemed WAY harder than trying to rip it without holding on to it. Has anyone else failed at this? Is it really just me?

(95) Your favourite old, comfy t-shirt (pg 174)

Ahhh the ol’ comfy t-shirt. I have many favourite shirts.

Some are such favourites that I even refuse to wear them for fear that they’ll get wrecked.

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Me with my favourite shirts

They are comfy, they are old, but they are too precious to be worn again and again.

Here are some of those favourites:

King of the Hill 

King of the Hill is my favourite TV show.

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You may notice that I use the words “Dang” and “ol'” a lot. Wonder where I picked up that habit? Here’s your answer!

It’s a very unassuming, low-key and normal, every day kind of humour. Never too rude, crass or rude, just good, pretty wholesome funnies.

I know it wasn’t for everyone and I have a number of friends who always say that they could never quite get into it, so imagine my surprise when perusing – a local, but not my usual – Wal-Mart for things one day and I found THIS GEM:

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I wore it one time and then realized, NO. I must protect this treasure…

Part of me is still annoyed with myself for not buying two, one to wear and one to admire… They had a ton and what are the chances of my ever finding one again (and for so cheap too!)

The rarity factor and pure awesomeness of a t-shirt with Hank Hill’s face on it makes this one of my favourite shirts of all time.

 

Dracula 

Just as it’s well-known that KOTH is one of my favourite shows, it’s very well-known that Dracula is one of my  absolute favourite movies of all-time too.

14709427_1763189637264167_6995263782465306624_nThis is another one that I love for rarity and awesomeness factor and even more because it was a birthday gift from my sister last year, so it was a HUGE surprise.

I have vowed only to wear this one for special occasions – in the case of this picture, it was on the anniversary of Bela Lugosi‘s 135th birthday, October 20th of last year. 🙂

I also had it in my head to wear it t on the anniversary of the day he passed away, which just happened to be this past week (Random trivia: Bela and Elvis passed away on the same day, 21 years apart – August 16th, 1956 and 1977 respectively), but we happened to be out at a painting crafts place that day, so there was no way that was going to happen!

As long as I still fit into it, it’ll make a brief reappearance in October. Until then, Bela’s eyes will continue to peek out at me from inside my drawer. 😛

The Severus Snape “Always” shirt

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I have a few different Harry Potter shirts at this point – a “Hogwarts is my Home” tank-top that I just got about two months ago, a Deathly Hallows logo shirt and a funny play on the well known phrase “I  solemnly swear that I am up to no good” – I solemnly swear I am about to get food, both from my sister and a Mischief Managed shirt.

Those are all amazing, but my favourite one of all is the tank-top created by Hot Topic to honour Alan Rickman after he passed away.

The moment I saw it I had to buy it ASAP… (But, truthfully, I didn’t actually, I waited until a day when I could get a deal. 😛 Fun stuff though it has, Hot Topic has become pretty dang (see, I do say it a lot!) pricey over here these days.

Once I got it, I wore it a few times – Cursed Child midnight party (see pic above; terrible book, fun experience), watching some of the HP movies in IMAX last year, random lunches out with friends.

Then my inevitable worry about keeping it safe kicked in…

And I actually managed to get a second one for FREE when Hot Topic had one of those good deal/sale days!

Funny thing is, since getting the second one for safe-keeping… I actually haven’t even had many opportunities to wear my original one. I could do the same as my Dracula shirt and wear it on special days, but Alan passed away in January and was born in February. Neither of those is conducive to tank top weather… Remembering this fact, though, before the summer is out, I will wear my Snape tank top somewhere!

Ain’t We Quaint 

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My “Ain’t We Quaint” shirt is my favourite for a few reasons:

(1) It’s truly comfy – It fits perfectly and is the best, not scratchy, material you could ever want in a t-shirt

(2) It’s a Corner Gas shirt, which isn’t exactly easy to find

(3) I love the phrase – I think it suits me well because I had a very quaint upbringing, which confuses people because the City I’m from is now fairly huge and built up…but it wasn’t when I was growing up here…

(4) My sister actually won them!

I recently realized, Corner Gas is like the Canadian equivalent of KotH so it makes perfect sense that I love it too. Actually, Brent Butt and co. are even currently working on a Corner Gas animated series (can’t wait!).

When reading an article about that animated version, I learned that one of the writers of Corner Gas, Norm Hiscock, also wrote for King of the Hill too. (I just saw right now that he’s even written episodes of two other favourite shows of mine: Parks and Rec and Brooklyn Nine-Nine! I owe this guy so much!)

As for the shirt’s story:

Back in 2014, the Corner Gas team released a movie in the movie theatres. That happened to coincide with the 45th anniversary of our dad moving to Canada! We took my dad to watch it to celebrate and my sister tweeted our story to the Corner Gas twitter, and that’s how, by fluke, we won t-shirts! The “Ain’t We Quaintslogan plays a big part in the movie (my sister has the alternate, “Quain’t We Ain’t” one, herself.)

They actually forgot to send them to us (along with two spiffy mugs), so my sister had to do a bit of bugging to actually get them,.

Once we did, I loved my shirt so much that every time it’s straight out of the laundry, that’s the first shirt I put on. Sadly, it’s already starting to get worn down because I love it so much, but I’m going to wear it as much as I can!

And that is where I’ll leave you for today. Until next time (whenever that may be)!

The Summer of Awesome – Day 15

I haven’t had much of a chance to get on here – probably won’t for a while for we currently have visitors – but I’m trying to write a little bit whenever I can.

So without further ado, The Book of Awesome – approximately half way through…

(84) Talking about how much the meal you’re eating at home would cost in a restaurant (pg 155)

Photo 2017-07-30, 8 06 54 PM
My lazy salad, now being sold sold for $15

You know what costs a ton at restaurants? Salads. That seems so ridiculous when you consider what’s actually in them, so whenever I make a salad at home, I’ve been known to yell, “HA! Take that Milestones, I could charge $15 for this too!”

Sometimes, though, it’s all about the convenience, and I am way more about the convenience than the art of putting food together. So, sure, eggs, potatoes and sausage aren’t that expensive, but I’d much rather just pay the $10-$15 at a restaurant and have them make brunch food for me…

Still, look at my dang good salad!

(85) When you arrive at your destination just as a great song ends on the radio (pg 156)

Remember that radio station I mentioned a while back? The one that plays the BEST songs. Well, thanks to that, this happens to me often these days.

Here are a selection of songs that make me hope I’ll reach my destination just as the song is ending so I can hear it all the way through…

It Takes Two by Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock

Party Up (Up In Here)* by DMX

*Note: Until this very moment, I had no clue that this song was actually called “Party Up” and have just referred to it by “Up In Here” for the last (almost) 20 years… Am I the only one?

Bad Romance by Lady Gaga

Toxic by Britney Spears

ANY song by the Backstreet Boys

Bust A Move by Young MC

There are probably many, many more but these are the ones I thought of off the top of my head/that I have actually had this happen with most recently.

(86) Saying the same thing a sport commentator says just before they say it (pg 157)

Though I was raised on watching hockey and tennis, I can’t claim to be a sports aficionado. I still haven’t quite caught on to basketball (the fouls just confuse the hell out of me). I’ve been to two baseball games thanks to school raffle prizes and hated it. I don’t get football either with all it’s stopping every two seconds (but rugby – that I can enjoy).

So because of that, I haven’t had this experience, but I do know someone who is exactly like this – my mom!

I have actually said to my mom in the past that she should be a sports commentator because somehow, she’s always on it with EVERY sport. She and my dad can get into anything – even the sports I don’t understand.  Every year when the Superbowl comes, it takes them about five minutes to recall the rules, but they seem to totally get it once they do.

The best, though, is with basketball, when she starts naming off players like she’s known them her whole life and what they ought to be doing (note: she doesn’t watch basketball regularly, this is just some sort of magical, natural gift that she seems to pick up when she does watch it.)

As for me, I just sit there yelling “WHY was that little bit of nothing a foul and the other guy getting elbowed right in his FACE wasn’t?! I DON’T GET IT!”

(87) Having really, really good eyesight (pg 157)

If you saw my previous post on contacts and you’ll know… I do not.

(88) Orange slices at halftime (pg 158)

From #86, it’s pretty obvious that aside from watching hockey and tennis, I am not a sporty person. I have never been a sporty person. Gym was, and remains, my least favourite of all subjects, so this whole “orange slices at halftime” situation, made no sense to me.

I think it was in Avengers, maybe, where Tony Stark makes a comment about needing some orange slices. I didn’t get it. That joke was totally lost on me.

It was only when I was watching the first season of (that fantastic show!) Orphan Black , that I found out this was a thing. Alison, the homemaker/soccer mom character, was cutting up oranges during her children’s soccer game and I thought  “Is this a thing??” and sure enough, I found out, it is! Somehow, oranges are the best mid-game snack.

From what I just read on this website, “Oranges are loaded with vitamin C, which helps to boost energy.”

Makes sense.

Side note – Neil Pasricha really loves his oranges, doesn’t he? 😛 First the, “Peeling the oranges in one shot” entry, now this one. If not for my allergies, oranges wouldn’t rank that high up for me.

(89) Putting potato chips on a sandwich (pg 161)

Ahhh the ol’ potato chips on a sandwich. Before I actually get into this, let me just say that I am a bit disappointed to hear that Subway (at least in Canada), is currently without Cold Cuts.

My sister just came and told me this, as we were meant to have it for lunch, and I thought she was joking because, Subway – Cold Cuts = nonsense.

And yet, their twitter confirmed it!

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Clearly it’s a popular choice…

Kind of suspicious if you ask me… Reminds me of that time on King of the Hill when Alamo Beer was suddenly unavailable. But hey, if it’s just the same as that, and is making people “vomitando” then I don’t mind it’s not being around for a while… 😛

Back to the subject at hand, though, putting chips in sandwiches is a wonderful thing to do and I first learned of this idea from a man that…these days you don’t want to really be connected with – Bill Cosby.

There was an episode of The Cosby Show where Cosby is showing his son Theo (Malcolm Jamal-Warner) how to make the ultimate sandwhich by putting chips in it. This was a truly brilliant idea.

Of course, back in the 90s, The Cosby Show was about as wholesome as you could get and Cosby was the ultimate in awesome dads. These days… Let’s just move on, shall we? 😛 (Still, chips in sandwiches, can’t go wrong with that!)

I’ll leave you all there for now. Have yourselves a good weekend!

The Summer of Awesome – Day 12

Hellooo readers (said in the manner of Yakko Warner saying “Hello Nurse.”)

My posts may be a little more sporadic for the next little bit, as I might be busy for the next couple weeks and I haven’t been feeling 100%. BUT I will do my best to keep it up, since I did start this because I wanted to keep honing and brushing up on my writing skills again.

So with that in mind, let’s get going with The Book of Awesome:

(67) The smell of the coffee aisle in the grocery store (pg 126)

Did you know there are some people who HATE the smell of coffee?

I am not one of those people!

My sister, however, gags at the smell of coffee.

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I also had no idea that you could find that delicious smell independent of Chapters locations…

For me, it’s a pleasant reminder of one of my favourite places – Chapters – and the memories from days when we would go hang out there and take a look at all the books during my childhood.

Back then, it was just this amazing, magical place that smelled so nice and was so fun – I had no idea that it was a chain of bookstores that you could find everywhere.

To this day, I still love going to Chapters, Indigo or any other bookstores and the wonderful smell of Starbucks is a huge part of that! (It’s almost too tempting NOT to go get a Java Chip Frappucino.)

(68) That pile of assorted beers left in your fridge after a party (pg 127)

I don’t drink beers, so this doesn’t really apply to me…but assorted cakes? Now that I could get on board with.

I do remember a time when, after a big party, our freezer and fridge were FULL of assorted cakes and desserts. You’d think I’d have gotten sick of sweets then, but instead, here I am today, trying to force myself not to have sugar because I just love sugary treats way too much!

(69) Staring out at calm water (pg 129)

There’s really not much I can say about this topic that this photo I took last year can’t say better:

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Lucky me, getting such a pretty view!

I am very lucky because I live within driving/commuting distance of a number of lakes. The above photo was from when I did my “30 for 30” – 30 things before my 30th birthday. I gave myself the challenge to visit a park I’d never been too, and as luck would have it, I discovered this little gem, by a lake I’d never known about – only about a 1/2 hour north of where I live! I’d drive through this area often enough for work, but had no clue this was here.

This past week, a friend and I went for another visit, and it’s just as nice as I remembered. I’d say it was slightly more enjoyable on my first visit, though, because I went in September when it was so quiet and the humidity was lower, making the water look much nicer and bluer (as seen in that above picture).

(70) Sneaking McDonald’s and hiding the evidence (pg 131)

This little exchange that Neil Pasricha wrote up between his friends Molly and Scott reminded me of an – opposite – exchange between myself and a childhood friend of mine.

We’d stopped into the McDonald’s drive-thru so she could get fries and to get my sister an ice cream. She turned to me and said, “What do you want?”

And I, at the time very healthy and diligent about my food intake, said, “Nothing, thanks. I don’t eat McDonalds anymore.”

  • Her: “WHAT. Wait, WHAT?”
  • Me: “Yeah, actually come to think of it… I don’t eat fast food at all.”
  • Her: “You don’t eat ANY fast food?!”
  • Me: “Well, I do eat Subway, but I don’t think that counts–“
  • Her: (at the same time as me) “Yeah, no, that doesn’t count.”

She stared at me suspiciously the entire drive back home. I should probably add, just so you get a full – hilarious picture – that this friend of mine is a beauty queen. A literal beauty queen, I’m not just using the phrase to describe her, she actually won a local, well-known beauty contest about 10 years ago. This exchange just makes me laugh even more when you take that into consideration – she was willing to have McD’s…but I wasn’t.

This was probably about four or five years ago, though, and I’ve eased up since then (as my waistband can attest to!), but I still try to limit the amount of fast food I eat.

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Greek Salad. Yummy, yummy

Now, if I do go to McDonald’s, I am one of those weird people who actually eats their salads! I know, it sounds ridiculous, but their Greek salad isn’t that bad! (By now I’ve eaten it too often that I’ve gotten quite sick of it, though.)

The other thing that McDonald’s always sucks me back in with is the complete opposite of healthy – their cookies.

I was a bit miffed by their rebranding as McCafe, at first, but I soon realized what a brilliant idea it was to compete with the (aforementioned) Starbucks allure and, here in Canada, our precious Tim Hortons.  I actually know more people who enjoy McDonald’s coffee and pastries than most other coffee shops around here! So kudos to them. Their cookies are, for sure, so worth the trip.

(71) Your family car growing up (pg 133)

We were just talking about our family cars from when I was a kid yesterday and how I always knew who was picking me up from school by the sound the cars made. My dad had a diesel car, and those make the MOST noise. Apparently, as I just found out yesterday, my dad was not a fan of diesel cars because of the noise, but once he got one, it’s been his favourite of all his cars since!

One of the cars Pasricha mentions in this section actually brought back memories of another big car from my childhood. Amongst his examples, he lists a Chevy Lumina van, which I never experienced, but my brother’s car when I was a kid was a Lumina that we affectionately referred to as… “The Lumina!” (We have become more creative with names since. I named my current car Buster Keaton, after my favourite silence movie actor/director.)

I don’t know that the car was as awesome as my memory makes it out to be, or if it’s just the fact that the memories I have of it are awesome. It’s probably just the haze of coolness of having a big brother who’d take me to buy toys or introduce me to new songs in his cool car.

My best friend’s family also had a Lumina, not sure why they were so popular with everyone around here in the mid-90s, but they were! When my brother’s car, sadly, finally gave up, I warned her there was a good chance the same would happen to her family’s car in time. And what do you know, a few months later, theirs also conked out for good.

Funny enough, what I most remember about The Lumina was that my brother always had McDonald’s food boxes and napkins in there… which totally falls in line with the previous topic too!

(72) Eating a free sample of something you have no intention of buying (pg 135)

I am going to announce a really unpopular opinion and I need you all to brace yourself.

Are you ready?

Okay…

I…am not a fan of Costco.

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I know! I know! Everyone loves Costco. Costco is God’s gift to shoppers. Costco is the greatest thing since sliced bread and it SELLS sliced bread.

Problem is, I can’t shop somewhere that doesn’t have all the products I’m looking for and Costco rarely ever has anything I need. I visited with a friend who was trying her hardest to convince me of how wonderful it is, but I went in with a list of things I needed to find (vitamins, food, clothing) and found maybe 1 of the 10 things on my list.

Due to food allergies and sensitivities, I have to be pretty particular about the things I choose (likewise with family members) and because of that, I can’t handle the inconsistency of Costco having different items in stock every week. It’s a total waste for me to go there for ONE item that I can get much cheaper, only to waste gas to go to the mall/grocery store to pick up everything else.

That being said, I learned from my dermatologist that even if you don’t have a Costco membership, you can still go to their pharmacy, which, let me tell you, was a pretty amazing discovery – a prescription medication that cost $65 at my regular pharmacy was only $12 at the Costco pharmacy.

And yet with that wonderful discovery came my further annoyance with Costco, in the fact that they told me I could pick it up in a half hour – which left me wandering the store because trying to get in and out of that parking lot was just ridiculous at that time – and when I came back… they said it wasn’t ready and would be another half hour.

I assume this was a scheme on their part, attempting to get me to buy things while waiting. But as we all know, I don’t have a membership! So, what did I do for that hour (really, hour and 15 minutes by the end of it)?

I went around and ate ALL THE FREE SAMPLES I COULD!

And thus, this entire topic just screams out – my relationship with Costco

 

The Summer of Awesome – Day 11

At this point, I am just about 1/3rd of the way through The Book of Awesome. I’m probably going to start running out of stuff to say soon enough…

(61) The first scoop out of a jar of peanut butter (pg 117)

Oh, well, I haven’t run out of things to say here!

I used to love peanut butter. It was toasty, tasty and still relatively healthy compared to other snack foods.

BUT THEN…

Around 2011, my allergies started to get weirdly out of control. I’ve always had allergies – trees, pollen, dust, some foods. Suddenly, as of this year, I was getting itchy all the time and headaches and sinus pains much too frequently. I knew I had sinus issues, sure, but this was too often. And then the worst happened…

I found out I was allergic to apples. My favourite fruit, that which everyone associated with ME, and I was allergic to it!

From there it was a steady fall of other fruits – peaches…pears…plums…pineapple…

Then other foods – shrimp, mushrooms, zucchinis, cashews, almonds, pecans and yes…peanuts.

I am very fortunate to not be anaphylactic at this stage, but it has reached the point where I can’t even have regular – non-peanut, just chocolate – M&Ms because my throat starts feeling bruised and swollen.

Allergies are thought to be cyclical, so there’s a chance I might not always have them, but I’ve been having allergy injections for about two years now and I still have had pretty severe reactions, so it’s not something I like to risk. (I can’t even go near apple trees or orchards because I start to react – I even had a reaction walking by some in our kitchen one time.)

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Hooray for peanut-free, but look what other food just happens to be on this label… -_-

So, with all this on my plate (or, that is to say, not on my plate) – I am relegated to eating soy nut butter. Namely – as seen to the right – WOW Butter.

And lemme tell ya, it’s okay as a substitute, the consistency is close, as is the look, so you don’t feel so left out on the peanut butter front… but it’s still not peanut butter.

I have yet to find anything aside from Wow Butter that I can actually eat and even that I shouldn’t have to often because it’s made of soy and apparently it’s easy to become sensitive to soy too…

I have tried Sunflower Seed Butter, but it’s not creamy and doesn’t taste anywhere close to the deliciousness of peanut butter.

I am very jealous of people without allergies! I would even settle for just the peanut allergy as long as I could have other nuts – almond butter and almond milk and the like seem like fine substitutes to have!

Alas, I guess those things are just not meant for me…

(62) Hearing a stranger fart in public (pg 119)

Honestly.

What am I supposed to say about this one??

It is pretty funny, I’ll give you that. Sometimes it’s mortifying, though, and you feel so bad for that person. Actually, you know what this makes me think of – that German word that means you feel embarrassed for someone else’s embarrassment.

Ah, here it is:

fremdschämen

That’s me. That’s how other people’s public farts make me feel.

(63) Perfectly toasted toast (pg 122)

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This. This is my perfect toast.

To some of you, this is probably WAY under-toasted to be a good piece of toast and some of you will think it’s even too toasted. The point is – we all have our ideal and I can bet no two people have the exact same version of perfection.

Even when it comes to what you put on your toast – what does everyone prefer?

As you’ve seen above, I eat Wow Butter, so my current favourite of late is slathered in Wow Butter, with a bit of raw honey. On the days when I am trying not to have too much Wow Butter, some regular butter and honey, or coconut oil and honey are good too. If I could still have peanut butter, I’m sure that’d win out though!

(64) When someone unjams the photocopier for you (pg 123)

These angels, who come along and do this are a GOD-SEND! I am glad now that I have had a ton of experience with a variety of photocopiers at my various jobs, internships and volunteer opportunities over the years because at first they were just so intimidating.

The intimidation factor goes up when you consider that photocopiers in this day and age aren’t just about photos or copying, they have all this newfangled computerized technology so you can email and scan and download your entire genetic makeup and life history (okay, maybe not that…yet).

About 4 years ago, at one of my jobs, I realized something that I feel I ought to share with all of you, as a Public Service Announcement, just in case it ever happens to you:

Sometimes the “jam” isn’t a JAM at all! 

It’s the computer memory thinking it’s a jam

…but there’s nothing at all in the way!

For a good half hour, my coworker and I ripped apart our photocopier, trying to find where the pesky piece of paper had gotten lodged. We literally pulled out EVERY paper – all stacks, all loose sheets. We managed to find a moderately jammed piece of paper and got it out in one piece – not a single tiny corner left behind (sometimes those are the culprit that’ll ruin the whole thing!) and yet the screen kept flashing “Paper Jam.

She eventually gave up and went back to work, deciding she no longer had the time or patience for the infernal device, but I was determined.

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That’s right, you heard me you dang boxy robot (droid)!

I wasn’t about to let some boxy robot tell me what’s what!

After double checking all of the trays again, I started to wonder…

Wait a minute…

What if it wasn’t an issue with the photocopier itself, so much as it was the computer screen?

I scoured the photocopier for some sort of indication of the make and model, and managed to find a number I could search.

Sure enough, I found out that it was not uncommon for photocopiers, particularly of that make, to accidentally store when a jam had happened in its memory!

I found instructions to clear the memory and voila! Good as new.

This happened again recently on a different photocopier at a different work place, so it is much more common than you’d think. So the next time your photocopier is telling you it has a jam and you’re sure it doesn’t, heed my advice!

(65) Reading the nutritional label and eating it anyway (pg 124)

Sometimes, he’s right, you just have to live a little! It’s okay to take that chance every so often – so long as your personal health allows for it – but…it is a bit scary to look at something and see your ENTIRE’S DAY worth of sugar allotment.

(66) When you’re watching one of your favourite movies and you realize you don’t remember how it ends (pg 125)

I can’t see this ever happening – at least not with me. If a movie is a favourite, I will definitely remember what happens because that means I’ve watched it a billion times.

non-stop-movie-poster.jpgcan see it happening with a good movie that, maybe, I’ve only seen once. This actually did just happen a little while ago with my family and the Liam Neeson movie, Non-Stop.

We’d all seen it before, we’d all enjoyed it and yet, for the life of us, none of us could remember who the actual “bad guy” turned out to be.

We knew it wasn’t Liam Neeson, but it literally could have been anyone else.

And even though we’d seen it before, we were all gripped, trying to remember until the big reveal. (Just a note that my dad was right on with his guess.)

I find this is something that happens often too with shows like Law & Order, where you remember the episode is good, but you have no clue who actually did it. (That is, until they started to have a lot of famous and flashy guest starts, then it just turned into, “Oh, hey, *insert big name celebrity here* is guest-starring…They did it.” :p )

And that’s where we shall adjourn for today (that Law & Order bit and The People vs. OJ Simpson are getting too into my brain!)

 

The Summer of Awesome – Day 10!

Whoa, already at Day 10!

It completely slipped my mind to post yesterday. The day just seemed to fly by, and next thing I knew, it was 10pm!

Before I go onwards with The Book of Awesome, part of why I was distracted was because I was catching up on American Crime Story: The People vs. OJ Simpson mini-series on FX (they are smart to put their shows on in marathons, they’ve sucked me in twice now! First Fargo, now this!).

If you haven’t seen it already, and especially if you lived through the actual OJ Simpson trial, watch it! It’s very well made and well acted. I was young at the time of the trial (7-8 years old), but remember it very clearly – they announced the verdict over the announcements at my elementary school because everyone was so caught up in it. Seeing the inner workings (even if fictionalized), of both sides is very interesting.

Anyhow, back to the book!

(55) Getting gas just before the price goes up (pg 107)

I’m not sure what gas prices are like around the world, or even how gas is charged in others places, but here, it’s by the litre.

At last glance, gas prices around here were around $1.06/litre…which in the olden days, would have been pretty dang high, but is actually, nowadays, pretty dang low! The last time I needed gas, it was up to $1.13! (Notice I say “needed” because I am not one of those people who smartly gets gas when the price is low, but gets it when I am almost at empty and am at the mercy of the gas stations and conglomerates and their crazy – seemingly arbitrary – prices!)

It’s rare to ever catch the gas under $1 these days, but the moment when you do, just like Neil Pasricha says, it’s an exciting moment! Even more exciting is when you manage to get a perfect pump, by which I mean $25.00 instead of $25.01 (though in these days, getting $25.01 is pretty exciting too because we don’t have pennies here anymore, so you get a FREE CENT OF GAS! 😛 )

I still remember when the gas prices started to rise… I remember talking to my friend’s dad when he was driving us to an amusement park about whether or not he thought the prices would ever come down again (it was around $0.75 at the time)… Both of us agreed it wouldn’t happen any time soon. Here we are, about 12 years later, and they haven’t been anywhere close to that price since!

(56) The pushoff (pg 109)

Image69 If there’s one thing that encapsulates my first time learning how to ride a bike without training wheels, it’s the phrase “NO U-TURNS!

My dad taught me how to ride my bike, and much like Pasricha writes in the book: “Dad’s holding you steady as you pedal, pedal, pedal” – which is exactly how it went.

Somehow, for some reason, any time my dad would let go, I would end up wheeling back around, making a “U-Turn” – I assume it must’ve been because I was nervous when I realized he let go, so I started turning back towards him instead of just going straight.

Then, my dad gave me a good pep talk and said the phrase that’s stuck with me, “No U-Turns!” One time, I heard my dad yell out “NO U-TURNS!” behind me, and guess what? I didn’t U-Turn, I just kept on going straight!

What a moment. What a memory.

(57) Wearing sandals when you shouldn’t be wearing sandals (pg 110)

I haven’t been able to find a good pair of sandals for years. Either they’re really clunky and ugly, OR they’re really adorable and flat.

Even when I worked in shoe stores (I worked in two different ones), I could never find sandals that suited me well. Ones that look perfect would rub or be itchy or have a seam that just dug into you!

I am very lucky that I had a manager who was super cool and told us – encouraged us – to try on our store’s footwear when it was slow, so we could actually get a feel for them and be able to share that with customers.

This wasn’t the best when I finally gave in to my long-time desire to try on 3-inch heels and I happened to so so right when someone came in asking for the shoes on the HIGHEST POSSIBLE SHELF!

I had to climb up the shelf – already dangerous – in 3-inch heels – definitely dangerous, which I had never attempted to wear before in my life – extremely dangerous.

Thankfully, that all went perfectly fine and taught me that:

  1. I CAN wear 3-inch heels!
  2. I can get stuff DONE in 3-inch heels.

I became a fan of extremely high heels at that point and never looked back! Even when people tried to “tall-shame” me (I don’t know if that’s a thing, but I am making it a thing 😛 ) by saying “Pshh, you’re already so tall, what do YOU need to wear heels for?!”

You know what for?

MY BACK.

My fellow tall-ies out there will know, being tall takes a toll on your back! And in my case, being tall and wearing flat shoes really takes a toll on my back. This is why I have struggled with sandals. I finally found ones last year that seemed to work and then this summer… back to the back pain. 😦

So, I can’t say I relate to this at all because I don’t wear sandals in the summer, much less at any other time of year.

BUT I can relate to wearing shoes that really shouldn’t be worn at certain times at those times (as I said above).

(58) Getting off an airplane after a long flight (pg 113)

I don’t want to make this all about being tall again, but… you can imagine what plane rides are like when you have added height! Same goes for the movie theatre. I am so thankful for IMAX and VIP cinemas for their spacious leg room!

In terms of plane rides, I have found the best and worst spot all in one:

Why is it the best?

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All that spacious, spacious leg room!

Why is it the worst?

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Me, worrying about my emergency preparedness abilities at the age of 22!

Because it’s the EMERGENCY EXIT SEATS!

The flight crew works under the assumption that if you sit there you will be calm and rational enough to help people escape under duress. I did agree that I could do so and I have, since, helped kids out during a Fire Alarm and know how to handle such emergencies, but a plane emergency might be a little more anxiety-inducing.

STILL, for that sweet, sweet leg room… I will muster all my bravery to help the good people off the plane if need be!

(59) Picking a q and at the same time in Scrabble (pg 114)

Ever since Words with Friends came along, our family has become very adept at Scrabble-esque games.

downloadNo, wait, it actually started way before that. With this amazing incarnation of the game, Yahoo’s Literati!

We used to play this so often and then segued into Words with Friends once apps started to take over. To give you an idea of how often we play, I currently have 8 games going (which is actually less than some days!)

With all these games, I’ve learned you don’t necessairly needto make the most of a Q. Neil Pasricha mentions one of the U-less Q words: qat, BUT you can also make qats, qi or qis. A search just now told me that there are actually WAY MORE words than that, but those four are my standard ones; the ones that helped me realize a Q isn’t as hopeless a letter as I’ve previously assumed.

You know which letters are hopeless?

and V.

When you’re down to your last few letters and you know all you can make are two-letter words, squished into a crevice – a C and a V are the LAST things you want (which makes my phrasing here pretty ironic because “crevice has both…)

Can you think of a single 2-letter word that starts or ends with a C or a V?

No! You can’t! For they don’t exist!

Don’t believe me? Go check for yourself!

And now that you’ve been provided this knowledge, go out into the word and make good use of those TL and TW tiles, to get yourself 30+ points!

(60) Old folks who sit on their porch and wave at your when you walk by (pg 116)

I am sad to report that my area doesn’t have a ton of porches… or old folks, for that matter. I am happy to say, that thanks to one of my jobs, I get to chat with old folks often enough and it’s actually one of the best parts of my day!

I give tours at a museum and find the older people always have the best anecdotes, the best stories and are just full of conversation, unlike a lot of younger people who are just quick to grab their phones for pictures.

Some of my best tours have been ones where I learned more from visitors than they have from me!

A lot of older visitors are just happy to share their memories and connections to our site and artefacts, which I am glad to partake of – I have actually picked up on a few things that I’ve then incorporated into tours with other people (i.e. I learned what a manure wagon is and I met descendants of the people who used to own some of our artefacts).

Also, the older I’m getting, the more crotchety I’m becoming. I find I actually relate much better to the 80-year-olds with my “Kids these days…” and “This newfangled place, full of construction, isn’t how remember it…” comments, than I do to the trendy twenty-somethings. (Then again, I was a crotchety teenager too, so I suppose it’s nothing new, and has just grown from there!)

Have yourselves a good rest of your Monday (or . Until next time!

The Summer of Awesome – Day 9

And away we go… Onwards with The Book of Awesome:

(49) The thank-you wave when you let somebody merge in front of you (pg 96)

9ed6bcfa1ffc8aad10aa1d639483c9eb--jerry-seinfeld-on-the-phone.jpgI just experienced one of these right before I sat down to write this and realized, do you know how rare I find the “thank-you wave” is these days?

Mr Pasricha sets out four types of courtesy-waves on top of just your good ol’ Thank-You wave (the one you give when you switch lanes to thank the person who lets you in):

  1. The Red Light Squeeze – when you need to make a right turn and the person ahead of you goes up a bit so you can squeeze by and make your turn earlier than you would have otherwise.
  2. The Pre-Wave – when you are already squeezing your way into an already packed lane and are giving them a wave so they’ll let you in and “build up some goodwill.”
  3. The Apology Wave – when you do something like block up traffic trying to get out of your parking spot (though the example he gives is the much more aggressive, “side-swip[ing] a van of teenagers.” :p
  4. The Go-Ahead Wave – when you let someone go ahead of you at a four-way stop.

I’d say I manage to do all of them at some point – but probably #2 the least because I am not a very aggressive driver and rarely try to squeeze into tight places. I do give it if I need to switch lanes because of construction blocking part of the road, that I just noticed as I got closer to it, and someone is nice enough to let me in (which…really…they’re supposed to do anyway and I usually don’t have this happen because I’ll spot the sign well in advance and switch ASAP), but that seems more like an Apology Wave.

How many of these have I found people give me? In recent years? Practically NONE!

I don’t know if it’s just my area (could be) or that people are too busy to even give a little wave these days (might be), but getting the wave I did today (it was a #3 – apology wave because I had to wait to pass by because she had been pulling out of a parking spot awkwardly) I was actually surprised to get a thank-you wave.

This leads me to think, there’s actually a FIFTH thank-you/courtesy wave that I just gave to that lady today myself:

  • 5. The OMG you actually gave me a thank-you wave, I feel I need to thank-you wave back at you just for that! Wave

Then again, I am Canadian, so this might be just one of our over-the-top politeness moments too…

(50) When you’re really tired and about to fall asleep and someone throws a blanket on you (pg 98)

As nice as this is in theory, I am one of those people who, if I do happen to start napping (which, as you may have learned from Day 2, I don’t tend to), the slightest change in the environment will wake me up.

Gets a bit warmer? I’ll wake up.

Someone shuts the TV off? I’ll wake up.

Someone throws a blanket on me? I’ll wake up.

And to be honest, I don’t mind because when I fall asleep in the middle of the family room… I’m usually drooling all over myself, so better to stop me earlier!

(51) Getting your ID checked when you’re way over the legal age (pg 100 – woo hoo!)

hqdefaultI was never a rebellious child or teen. I never had any need for a fake ID because I never did anything that would require one.

I probably could’ve gotten away with way more than the average kid too because I was a head taller than almost everyone I knew. When I was in grade 3 (8 or 9 years old for those of you not in the Canadian school system), someone asked me if I knew a boy in Grade 8 – so that tells you how tall I actually was (still am, but I think it was more confusing to people when I was younger.)

Now, thanks to the good genes of my awesome parents, even though I have been alive for a full (*shudder*) THREE DECADES I still get asked for ID. Just to let you know how young people think I am, you may remember from my birthday post that I was excited to turn 19 years old because I was legally able to gamble – that’s the same age you need to be to drink and buy cigarettes too (not that I want to).

At the ripe o’ age of 30 (31 in six weeks!), I still get asked for ID when buying lottery tickets! In fact, a week after my 30th birthday, a cashier asked me for ID when I bought a scratch ticket. I burst out laughing and said, “I’m 30!” (First time I actually said those words out loud too), but produced my licence anyway for inspection, all while he was saying “No, no! It’s okay! It’s okay! I believe you!”

You’d think I hate that, but boy do I love it. I was more than happy to show off my licence to him.

You know what I do hate? When people say, “You look just like you did in high school.” WELL, what kind of backhanded compliment is that?? I like to think I look better than I did in high school, thank you very much! But, as my sister pointed out when I ranted about this very thing to her, “There’s a huge difference between someone saying you look 16 and you look like your 16 year old self.” Not many people I know want to look like their 16 year old SELF again!

(52) The smell of rain on a hot sidewalk (pg 103)

We’ve had a severely rainy summer this year, unlike one we’ve had since my childhood. Usually, in the last few years, we’d get spurts of five minutes of rain and then it would end and be back to blistering heat.

This year, we’ve had some proper thunderstorms, kinds that, actually, do remind me of being a kid and jumping around in the rain. The smell of rain on a hot sidewalk (or driveway, even more for me) totally reminds me of childhood because of this very reason. I used to love when I’d go out just after it rained and I’d see the rain already starting to evaporate away into hot mist. At the time, I didn’t quite understand what was happening, it just seems to like some cool sort of magic.

(53) That friendly nod between strangers out doing the same thing (pg 104)

FrodoNod
The irony of using a Lord of the Rings GIF on an entry that’s primarily about Harry Potter is not lost on me… 😛

I am really trying to wrack my brain to remember a time when I had this happen…

If anything, I don’t think I’ve ever have gotten a nod, so much as an awkward smile OR strangers who just randomly start up conversations.

This never happened more than when I started reading the Harry Potter books in 2005.

I was in university at the time (late to the party, mostly due to my own stubbornness of not wanting to give in when my friends tried to convince me they were amazing – that’s a whole other story that could warrant a post all its own), and I found myself reading them all over campus.

With every single book, I would get at least ONE weirdo person who would yell to me:

“OH MY GOD! THAT’S THE BEST ONE!

When I finished all six books (at the time), I soon realized… I was that person weirdo.

Whenever I saw someone reading one of the Harry Potter’s  I would get all excited inside and want to talk to them, and I do believe one time, when someone was reading Goblet of Fire, I did the exactly thing people had done to me and yelled out:

“OH MY GOD! THAT IS THE BEST ONE!

(Since then, I’ve come to think of Half-Blood Prince as my favourite, but Goblet of Fire is still my other favourite…though Deathly Hallows is up there too!)

Maybe it’s just because I am a chatty person, so rather than a nod, people are more likely get an awkward conversation instead…

(54) Really, really old Tupperware (pg 105)

Ahh there’s only one thing this calls to mind.

The pink container.

Since I was young, we have had these pink Tupperware containers that we have constantly used for everything.

In this day and age of BPA and all that freaky stuff, it’s probably not the best thing to still be using… But we’re just all so used to them. Not a day goes by where at least one of us doesn’t use the “pink containers” for something! (That sentence came out weird; a lot of double negatives… What I mean to say, is that we always use the dang things!)

And that is where I must leave you all today. Try to contain your disappointment! 😛