Thursday, January 30, 2014

Live & Learn Thursday :: Lessons in Lyrics

It's that time again. It is Thursday and we all know what that means. Another Live & Learn Thursday link-up. This week I'm sharing how I am no longer making a fool out of myself.

Life As Always
So, let me start with, I really like music. I love finding new music and revisiting classics that take me back. One thing that make or break a song are the lyrics. I mean, come on! Have you really listened to the lyrics to Katy Perry's Dark Horse. The song is catchy, I will give it that, but seriously. I think they spent about ten minutes writing that song.
She eat your heart out
Like Jeffrey Dahmer
Shawty's heart was on steroids
'Cause her love was so strong
She can be my Sleeping Beauty
I'm gon' put her in a coma

She got me like a roller coaster
Turn the bedroom into a fair

But lil' mama so dope
I messed around and got addicted

Um, she'll do what to my heart? Does he like that she is similar being on drugs? Is she interested in being in a coma? I didn't have the impression that was something which is appealing to most. See, I can't just enjoy the song for the beat alone, I have to understand and enjoy the lyrics. So every time I hear this song, I just laugh and laugh at the ridiculousness of the lyrics. I mean, really - the Jeffrey Dahmer one gets me every time!

But this isn't what has been making me act like a fool lately. No, it was Hayley Williams' Stay the Night that has been causing me trouble. I like the song, but couldn't understand what the heck she was talking about. I have spent a lot of time pondering the lyrics and one day, while riding in the car with our friends Mark and Andi, I decided to voice my frustration over this particular song. It went a little something like this...

Me: "Oh man, not this song! I can't figure out what the heck she is singing about. I just don't get it and frankly it is starting to ruin it for me."

Andi: "Um, what are you talking about?"

Me: "What do you mean, what am I talking about? The lyrics go, are you gonna stay the night, doesn't mean without the lights... what on earth does that mean? Is she offering to keep a nightlight on for the guy - trying to act like she's cool with his fear of the dark? Is she trying to say that she won't move forward in their relationship without Jesus Christ playing a bigger role? Does staying the night need to have a lumination qualifier on it? Doesn't mean without the lights, what is that all about?"

Andi: "Um, Jess, the lyrics are doesn't mean we are bound for life."

Silence for a minute or two.

Me: "Oh, well thank goodness. That makes much more sense. I feel like an idiot."

Unfortunately, this isn't the first time I have misheard the lyrics to songs and I am sure it won't be the last time! So don't be surprised if you are ridding in the car with me and you hear me belt out grew up on Mexican Rugby or doesn't mean with out the lights; I just like my lyrics better!

Be sure to stop by the link up and see what other lessons are being shared today!


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Live & Learn Thursday :: A Sentimental Old Fool

It's that time again. It is Thursday and we all know what that means. Another Live & Learn Thursday link-up. This week I'm sharing something that husband pointed out about me, that just might be true.

Life As Always

Last night my husband and I were watching TV and an engagement ad came on. It was all mushy and sweet and featured a giant ring in the latest style. After the ad ended, he asked me if I ever wished I had a different ring. I thought about it for a minute and this is what I said.

"No, I don't want any ring but the ring I have. Yes, I will admit sometimes I see other rings and think to myself,  'Oh, that is pretty! I wouldn't mind wearing that.' But I wouldn't wear it as a replacement to my wedding rings, but on another finger as just another pretty ring.  Nothing can replace the ring that you picked out. This is my wedding ring. This is the ring that I said I do to you with."
He thought about this for a minute and then said, "Well, you could put the diamond in a different setting or something, if you wanted." 

And I immediately replied with, "Nope, never. To me that would be the same as saying 'well, I really like this being married thing but just not you, so I am going to switch out the boy but keep the married bit.' I feel like, if I changed anything about my rings, then they wouldn't the rings I got married with. I love my rings and I don't want to change a thing about them."

Again he was silent for a minute or two before saying, "You know, you are really sentimental." 

So there you have it. I guess I am a sentimental old fool. I haven't thought of myself as being one, but this is how I feel. I might change my mind ten or twenty or thirty years down the road, but right now I couldn't imagine changing a single thing about my wedding rings.

Be sure to stop by the link up and see what other lessons are being shared today!


Friday, January 17, 2014

An Amazing Guy with a Big Goal :: The Seahawks Car

Each and every one of us has had a great idea at one time. But it is very rare that we act on those ideas. This is not the case with my friend, Richard Dean. This guy had a big idea and in a month and a half he made it happen. Rick decided he would buy a car, turn it into a custom Seahawks Car, and then sell the car to raise money for Seattle Children's Hospital. He has used his own money for this project and has poured everything he has into his vision. He has worked around the clock to make this dream a reality and now it is finished and ready for the world to see it.

This is what the Seahawks Car looked like on December 10, 2013. That’s right, only 38 days ago, Rick was stripping off the old paint and prepping it for the greatest transformation ever. He started with a 2007 Dodge Charger and a dream to go big or go home.

And go big did he. After hours spent in the shop, lots of hard work and the help of a few guys with hearts as equally big, the Seahawks Car is ready for its unveiling. This car is amazing!

These pictures don't even begin to show the detail and care that went into this project. The silver paint sparkles and shines like a diamond. The graphics are so detailed and incredible. The hood was airbrushed by hand. By hand, people. It is incredibly meticulous and it really stands out. All the little touches really pull it all together, like the green paint around the headlights and the feathers in the 12th Man number on the roof of the car. This is a car that you HAVE to see in person.
And that is just what Joel and I got to do last night when Rick brought the car down to Kroakers in Everett. We meet up with Rick to hear the stories behind the car and to see it for ourselves. I've been following the progress of the car on Facebook, but I was blown away to see it in person. This is an unbelievable car.

The work for Rick is just beginning. Now that the car is finished, it is time to get it on the road and in front of the fans. He was on the Q13 FOX News this morning for Bill Wixey's Blue Friday newscast and he will be at Westlake Center's Blue Friday celebrations this afternoon as well. He needs all the help we give him, so check out the Seahawks Car Facebook page and spread the love!

can't get enough of this car!

Go Hawks!
Go Seahawks Car!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Live & Learn Thursday :: Bronies

It's that time again. It is Thursday and we all know what that means. Another Live & Learn Thursday link-up. This week I'm sharing something I didn't even know was a thing.

Life As Always

I watch a lot of strange stuff on television. When everyone is standing around the water cooler, talking about the latest television show that aired the night before, I usually don't have much to contribute. Does anyone actually have a water cooler at work? Is that just one of those "only in the movies" things? You see, Joel and I don't have cable. Gasp! We decided it was taking up too much of our time and we were spending too much money on it. Hold up a second, let me explain. We did buy a $40 HD Antenna, stuck it up inside our attic, and connected it to the network of cables in the walls of the house. Now every room in the house has HD basic TV. FOR FREE. We can watch every thing we want to see live like Seahawks games, Downton Abby, Jeopardy, etc. Yes, I am a closet Jeopardy fan. But there really isnt' much else on these basic channels that peak my interest. I actually find myself watching a lot of Netflix. And my favorite thing to watch on Netflix is documentaries. The stranger, the better. I like to learn about things that are different from my own experiences. Honestly, watching a documentary makes me feel less guilty about sitting on the couch and doing nothing. So the other night I was flipping through the options and look at what I found.

Image Via

So of course I watched it! I was curious to know more about these Bronies. Which is a combination of Bro and Ponies - Bronies. Turns out, there is a whole community of people outside of the shows targeted demographic that enjoy watching My Little Pony: Friendship is Magical, a colorful cartoon about little ponies going on adventures and learning about friendship.

Image Via

Seriously. They love this show. I don't know how many times someone said, "the characters are really deep and well developed" or "the show is just amazingly written" and even "the animation is just stunning!" I will admit, I was pretty surprised at first and kinda weirded out. Why are grown-ass men watching a little girl's cartoon? What's their agenda?

Image Via

But the more I watched the documentary, I started to understand they are just normal people doing what they like. There is nothing wrong with watching whatever TV shows you enjoy. I will admit to a few of my embarrassingly favorite TV shows: Toddlers and Tiaras, Keeping up the Kardashians, and Wheel of Fortune. Who cares. In fact, the Brony community is a very open and accepting community where individuals of all walks of life are finding they have something in common with others.

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A few of the individuals they interviewed in the documentary found friendship and support in the Brony community. A guy from the deep south, who is constantly targeted by haters for his love of ponies, found he wasn't the only kid facing this kid of torment. A young man with Aspergers found the courage to venture into a crowded public space to attend a Brony Convention and even found himself interacting with complete strangers and having a good time. If you don't know, these things are very difficult for someone with Aspergers. And who am I to judge that.

Image Via

I also found myself reflecting on my own reaction. At first I was totally weirded out but in 88 minutes my entire opinion changed. This is why I love watching documentaries so much. Just being exposed to another idea, differing view points, or alternative lifestyles, and more importantly the people who live them, makes a difference my life. I'm not saying run out and get yourself a pony and start chanting "Brony for Life" but I've learned to be a bit more accepting of others.

Be sure to stop by the link up and see what other lessons are being shared today!


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

100 Happy Days :: Challenge Accepted

One of my thirty-by-thirty goals is to think more positively. I have been struggling to find a way to really work on this goal, other than to just try... you know what I mean? How can I hold myself accountable for this goal? How can I prove I did it?

And that is when I came across the 100 Happy Days challenge, thanks to Jenni at Flying on a Rainbow. For 100 days straight, I will posting a picture to my Instagram account of something that makes me happy. I thought this would be a good way to start getting in the habit of thinking more positively. I will be challenged to find at least one positive activity, event, or thing in my day that made me feel happy.

So here goes! I start today and will keep you posted. You can follow along with me on Instagram @odellyodel.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Live & Learn Thursday :: Riding the Bus

It's that time again. It is Thursday again and we all know what that means. Another Live & Learn Thursday link-up. This week I'm sharing everything I have learned about ridding the bus in Seattle.

Life As Always
You might be thinking really, a post on how to ride the bus, is it really that hard? And yes, apparently it is really hard because you won't be the number of people who have problems with this simple and basic task. So much trouble in fact that I can't even begin to cover it all in one post. So brace yourself, this is probably the first installment in a series of posts about ridding the bus in Seattle.
Yep. It is a selfie in the bus window. You are welcome.
First, a little background. I spend about 1.5 hours on the bus, every day, Monday through Friday. I commute to work via the bus. I love it. I get to do everything that you can't do while behind the wheel; read a book, browse Facebook, catch up on blogs, write a blog post, watch Netflix, Google things I am wondering about, even sleep! Plus, the bus has it's own special bus only lane, which means we zoom past all the rush hour traffic and zip right on down the road. Suckers! Have I mentioned that my work pays for my bus pass? Yep. I love riding the bus. What I don't love are the other passengers. Let me explain.
Rule Number 1 :: Move to the Back
That's right, people. Juvenile had it right all along. When the bus is packed full, you have got to back that ass up. Back it up all the way to the back. This dude was too busy rocking out to his jams to notice that he needs to back it up and make room for more passengers. Look at all that space between us! See how full that bus is? It is standing room only, which totally sucks. Trust me. Standing on the bus can certainly ruin a perfect day. But that doesn't mean you can't be courteous to people trying to board the bus. Nothing is worse than having a bus pass by and leave you at the curb because they are too full to take on even one more passenger. And on this particular night, that is just what we did. Because of this dude.
Rule Number 2 :: Personal Space
You wouldn't believe how many people don't pay attention to what they are doing. They either don't notice or don't care that they are hitting people with their bags or taking up more than their fair share of personal space. For example, check out the person in the photo to the left above. I watched as the person standing hit the person sitting down four times in the face with their purse. FOUR TIMES. One time, it was an accident. Second time, the bus lurched, accident again, so sorry. Third time, stop being lazy and pay attention. Fourth time, your bus pass is revoked, you are out of here. In my opinion, anyway. The shoe in the picture to the right belonged to some girl sitting in the row of seats behind a partition. I seriously could not sit straight in my seat, her foot was where my knee should have been. But nope, she had decided she really needed to put her foot there and I was just going to have to deal. Seriously. Pay freaking attention to the space you take up and how that might effect others around you.
Rule Number 3 :: Don't Do This
I'm not kidding. Someone in the great city of Seattle saw this bag and thought, oh that the perfect commuter bag for me. Nothing would be more perfect for me to carry my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in. What in the world is this. And why do I have to look at it. I'm all for expressing yourself in a creative and personally meaningful way. But this just seems to be a bit too much. I was just sitting in my seat, enjoying my book, when I glanced up and saw this. A bit of a surprise. Not everyone wants to hear my music, so I wear headphones. Not everyone wants to hear me plan out my weekend, so I text my friends. Not everyone wants to see this kind of stuff. Just don't do this.
Rule Number 4 :: Give Up Your Seat
Some people say that chivalry is dead and I would have to agree with them. At least it is no where to be found on MT306, MT312 and ST522. No one gives up their seat for the elderly. No makes way for people with young children. No one gives their seat to a pregnant woman. This guy, who is so busy checking his Facebook page, looked a elderly woman in the eye and then went right back to his phone. Seriously. He stayed in his seat while the poor woman had to stand. I give up my seat in a flash, because it is the right thing to do. I am young and healthy. I can stand. It makes me so mad when people refuse to move. Let's be kind to each other.

So there you have it, four simple rules you can follow the next time you find yourself riding any form of public transportation. And yes, these are all photos that I took during my own commute to prove that I'm not making this stuff up. Stay tuned for more Rules for Riding the Bus. Oh, there is so much more to share!
Be sure to stop by the link up and see what other lessons are being shared today!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Live & Learn: The One Where Jess Learns to Ski

It is time again for another installment of Live & Learn Thursday!
Thursdays are seriously beginning to be my favorite day of the week.

Life As Always
So in this episode of Live & Learn Thursday, I'm going to tell you about that time I learned how to ski. I was born in Salt Lake City (home to the 2002 Winter Olympics) and have lived most of my life in great Pacific Northwest (home to 13 different ski resorts; not to mention the fact that Whistler, home to the 2010 Winter Olympics, is only four hours north of my home). So you are probably thinking oh, another story from her childhood right? Nope. This story took place last Saturday on December 28.
Joel has been skiing since he was tiny little guy.
Seriously? He had a Season Pass before I was even born!
Joel is the little guy who looks like a tiny red hulk.
I have tried snowboarding a long time ago but it just didn't work well for me. So I thought I would give skiing a try. Joel was really excited to see this on my Thirty-by-Thirty list. He loves to ski and couldn't wait to help me learn to love it too. So last Saturday we packed up the car and drove up to Steven's Pass.
I was really, really excited for my first lesson. Joel decided he'd try teaching me how to ski. I will admit I was bit nervous. When things don't come naturally for me or if I am really struggling with something I tend to get really frustrated and grumpy. But with high hopes, we bought our lift tickets and headed up the mountain.
I warned Joel that I would with out a doubt fall coming off the ski lift as I have never ever been able to successfully navigate the exiting of the stupid lift chairs. Seriously, we can land on the moon and cure diseases but they can't make an easy to exit lift chair. Just like I predicted, I immediately fell down, had to unclip from my skis and crawl on all fours out of the way of the other, more coordinated people. But after picking myself up and a few I told you so, we found a nice little spot for my first lesson.
As you can see, my first lesson was a success! I missed the tree! Don't worry, I was okay.
Oh man, this photo still makes me crack up laughing. What a hot mess.
After a few more lessons I was ready to try to navigate my way down the Daisy Run. The Daisy Run is basically the bunny hill at Steven's Pass or the super easy beginner hill. Liars.
It was hard, but I made it down that hill. I felt better after seeing that I wasn't the only person past the legal drinking age trying to learn how to ski or snowboard. However, it wasn't long before I starting cussing at all the tiny, little children.  In my head of course. Well, alright a few times out loud, but only to Joel. I promise. But seriously. These kids looked like they learned how to walk yesterday and today they are speeding down the mountain like professionals. There I am, inching along at my grandma pace, and I am constantly being passed by tiny little humans who haven't even learned how to spell their own name. It was driving me crazy! I wanted to yell at them,  "You might be faster than me, but I can make my own mac'n cheese! Take that you tiny punk!"
Joel was so patient and kind as he encouraged me to keep trying. We went down the mountain twice before stopping to eat some lunch. Even though I was tried and a bit frustrated with myself, I was loving every minute! I couldn't wait to get back on the lift and go down the mountain again and again. We skied and skied until after well after dark. I kept telling Joel that he could go off and ski a couple runs by himself, at normal adult speeds, but he stayed right my side.
It looks like I am really going fast here, but I am sure you could have walked faster than I was skiing.
By the end of the night, I was exhausted and thrilled. I loved my first day on the mountain and was pretty excited at the progress I made. Joel said I was doing great and he is really happy to hear I want to try again. So we have plans to head back up this weekend but this time Jackie and Chris are joining us, so this should be really fun. I can't wait!
Be sure to stop by the link-up and see what other Live & Learn lessons people are sharing!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A New Year And It's Eve...

Once again Joel and I celebrated New Year's Eve at our house with our closest friends. We had a ton of great food. The drinks were flowing well in the next morning. We missed all our friends who were not able to attend. We watched the Space Needle fireworks show on TV. We cheered and I kissed the hottest guy in the room at midnight. We played games and laughed until we couldn't laugh anymore. It was the perfect end to an amazing year.

Every New Years Day I find myself reflecting on the past year and considering what I want for the new year. The big focus for 2014 will completing the items on my Thirty-by-Thirty list. I need to update my list because I have already accomplished a few of the items on list, so more on that to come.  I took the time to sit down today to map out each of my Thirty-by-Thirty goals, making a plan for how I am going to accomplish them all by August.

In addition to my goals, Joel and I both have goals for this year which include home projects and traveling a bit. We also love our annual trips and gatherings with family and friends. So the following is my list of what I guess you could call resolutions, but I am calling them my tools for surviving 2014:
  • Don't Procrastinate. I seriously don't have time waste. I need to accomplish tasks, even the teeny-tiny tasks or the routine tasks immediately. If I can stay on top of things, I will feel better about my giant to do list.
  • Take Care of Myself. I need to pay attention to what I need mentally, physically, and emotionally. If I am starting to feel burned out, I need to acknowledge it and take a break. I need to eat well and stay on top of my training schedules. I need to take time to relax and maybe even allow myself to feel bored from time to time. Who knows, you are supposed to set lofty goals, right?
  • Write It Down. It isn't that I am forgetting stuff, but I don't need the added pressure of that nagging feeling of did I forget something. It will cut down on packing time if I can develop a list of things to pack by documenting what I bring on trips, what I used, what I needed, what I didn't use. If I plan out my weeks by writing it out with an old school pen and paper, I'm more likely to follow through. I think getting things on paper will help to calm my mind.
  • Live in the Moment. This is such a cheesy one, but seriously! I am worried with all I have scheduled for the year, I might find myself focusing on what is next rather than enjoying what is happening right now. I want to be sure I enjoy all the adventures this year will bring.
So, there you have it. The end of 2013 and the start of 2014. It was a great ride 2013, but I am really looking forward to 2014.

The Crafty Practitioner

I'm linking up with The Crafty Practitioner for her link-up Resolutions for 2014.
Be sure to stop by and see what resolutions others are making this year.