Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Parking Place

Time once again to park my annual book list in a place where I can come back to it, should I ever feel the need.

So here it is, the books I read, re-read or started to read but couldn't get through for the year 2011. Needless to say, I had a lot of time on my hands....and yes, I managed to get myself addicted to the Sookie Stackhouse books. I've been addicted to True Blood for a while now so I figured it was about time I tried the books. Well done Ms. Harris, because I can't put them down once I start (which is how I managed to blow through all 11 of them in a less than 2 months). And of course now I've turned my attention to another Sookie-type series. One of these days I'll get back to the classics. Who am I kidding, I love a nice trashy novel!!!!

The Books:
Brava, Valentine by Adriana Trigiani
The Book of Names by Jill Gregory & Karen Tintori
I Love Everybody, and Other Atrocious Lies by Laurie Notaro
Dead and Gone (Sookie Stackhouse series, Book 9) by Charlaine Harris
From Dead to Worse (Sookie Stackhouse series, Book 8) by Charlaine Harris
All Together Dead (Sookie Stackhouse series, Book 7) by Charlaine Harris
Definitely Dead (Sookie Stackhouse series, Book 6) by Charlaine Harris
Dead as a Doornail(Sookie Stackhouse series, Book 5) by Charlaine Harris
Dead to the World (Sookie Stackhouse series, Book 4) by Charlaine Harris
Club Dead (Sookie Stackhouse series, Book 3) by Charlaine Harris
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
Pictures of You by Caroline Leavitt
Living Dead in Dallas (Sookie Stackhouse series, Book 2) by Charlaine Harris
Dead Until Dark (Sookie Stackhouse series, Book 1) by Charlaine Harris
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Abortionists Daughter by Elisabeth Hyde
Absurdistan by Gary Shteyngart
Later, At the Bar by Rebecca Barry
The Dove Keepers by Alice Hoffman
My French Whore by Gene Wilder
Very Valentine by Adriana Trigiani
Son of a Witch: Volume Two in the Wicked Years by Gregory Maguire
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Snooki In Wonderland: The Improved Classic by Phil Edwards (& Lewis Carrol)
A Clash of Kings (A Song of Ice & Fire, Book 2) by George R.R. Martin
Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice & Fire, Book 1) by George R.R. Martin
Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
Palm Trees on the Hudson: A True Story of the Mob, Judy Garland & Interior Decorating by Elliot Tiber
Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo by Heather Wardell
Blue by Lou Aronica
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Little Bee by Chris Cleave
Millie's Fling by Jill Mansell
Look Again by Lisa Scottoline
Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramhansa Yogananda
The People of the Mist by Henry Rider Haggard
The Year She Fell by Alicia Rasley
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Mossy Creek by Deborah Smith et al.
The Dress Lodger by Sheri Holman
How to Be Lost by Amanda Eyreward
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
We Thought You'd Be Prettier by Laurie Notaro
A Taste of Magic by Tracy Madison

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ah, the sweet, sweet smell of success....

I still can't quite believe it, but I actually got a job. Let me say that again....I GOT A JOB!!!!! I GOT A JOB!!! I GOT A JOB!!!!

It only took 1 year, 1 month and 20 days, but I am finally, once more, among that most coveted of groups -- the gainfully employed. Granted, its an hourly temp job, which could end in as little as 4 weeks, but it beats the shit out of unemployment. I even get benefits (can you say 'best temp agency ever'?) And considering I was about to go work at Hooters, for no other reason that to get the hell out of the house (and give my DH something to be proud of, of course), what I'm doing now is an infinite improvement. I actually get to play lawyer. Like for realz. In some ways even more than I did in most of my other "lawyer" jobs. And unlike those other jobs, I do NOT work weekends, I do NOT work overtime, and I do NOT have to get dressed up...or even out of my pajamas if I don't like. That's right, I work form home bitches! A straight 40 hours a week.

I've never been so happy to be underpaid in all my life.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

My new faves....

We've been in AZ 3 months now and in that time I've developed a few new favorite things. So here they are....
  • Spicy Ranch Salad Dressing. They don't sell this back east. Don't know why, because its crazy delicious.
  • Green Chiles. Another item you can't find back east. Also crazy delicious. For those not in the know, green chiles are green but they are not the least bit spicy as one would expect from a "chile". Instead, they're almost sweet. Very flavorful. And they put them on everything here....burgers, chicken, salad, EVERYTHING. And they are now a staple in our kitchen.
  • Grocery Gas Rewards. Usually, 10 cents off per gallon for every hundred bucks you spend at the grocery store. Some stores let you combine rewards to get as much as a buck off per gallon! And since grocery stores here sell beer, wine AND booze, you can rack those points up pretty damn quick. Here's how it works: buy groceries using one of those store discount cards and BOOM, you get discounts on gas -- either at the grocery store's OWN gas station (yes, the grocery stores have their own gas stations) or, with one of the larger grocery chains, you can even get gas discounts at the Circle K.
  • Living in an Apartment. Granted, I've done this before but never in such a nice apartment and never in such a large apartment community. We've got 2 pools, a top of the line gym and the most amazing service staff. Got a problem with a running toilet? Jump online, place a maintenance request and BAM, less than 24 hours later, no more problem. Definitely faster than I could ever get the DH to fix anything. THe only problem -- we're on the third floor with no elevator so bringing up all that booze from the grocery store is a bit of a pain in the ass.
  • American Horror Story. Ok, so this has nothing to do with AZ, but since I'm listing favorites, I couldn't not list my new favorite show. One of the best new shows in a long long while. The first season just ended...if you haven't seen it, you need to find a way to catch up.
  • The Sookie Stackhouse Novels. Yes, I'm way behind the times on this. And again, yes, this has nothing to do with AZ, but I'm in love with these books. Or maybe the better word would be obsessed. Massively, don't-sleep-at-night, obsessed. Thank god for e-libraries & the option to download to kindle or I'd end up broke, considering there's like 473 of the damn things. :)

I suppose that's it for now. I'll be back soon. Another unemployed friend of mine has inspired me to blog more. If nothing else, it'll kill the time. You can only clean your house so damn much, ya know.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The Last 6 Months....

Holy crap time flies, whether you're having fun or not. Though I suppose it does go a little faster when you're enjoying yourself. But whatever, here's a quick recap of the last six months (which were fun and stressful and exciting and scary and any other adjective you care to throw out there):

* Packed, packed and packed some more and then unpacked and still unpacking.
* Gave away a whole ton of shit, including the monstrous 'old person' chair.
* Experienced my first ever earthquake (minor, of course, but still...).
* Prepped for a hurricane, which never really came.
* Fell off the no smoking wagon.
* Spent some quality time down the shore with the family.
* Finished renovating the summer cabin (which is now too far away to actually use).
* Said goodbye to all our friends & family.
* Moved 2500 miles away from everything and everyone that we know.
* Drove through 10 states in 10 days.
* Stood on the stage at the Grand Ole Opry.
* Had Cracker Barrel so many times that I will NEVER eat there again.
* Learned that it takes 21 mississippis to cross The Mississippi.
* Finally won my fight with Dreams Resorts (and looking forward to our FREE 5 night stay there next year).
* Started and won a fight with my movers. But I'm still waiting for the check.
* Became an AZ resident and voted in my first local election (love the "everyone can vote by mail" law they have here).
* Found a local bar that we love.
* Became addicted to the X Factor.
* Joined LivingSocial and some other local 'deal-per-day' site and got to take an awesome photography class. Now I know what all those little symbols on my (super fancy) camera mean. Next up: ROLLER DERBY!
* Got a new hard drive for my Mac, as if I had a choice. Still hoping someone will be able to recover everything from the burned out old one.
* Found not just one, but FOUR places near me that have GF pizza.
* Applied for somewhere in the range of 40 jobs, but STILL unemployed.

So there you have it. The short & sweet version. I'd stay stop back soon for details, but let's be honest. I'm terrible at this blogging thing. :)

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Holy Shit I'm Moving to Arizona!

I mean I've known I was moving to Arizona for a while, but today, for the first time, the whole enormity of it hit me. holyshitimmovingtoarizona!!!

And the first thing I thought after that was... Holy shit, I own way too much crap. Not like, oh shit she's a hoarder amount of crap, but still, alot of crap.

And so the great Stina giveaway begins. Some stuff I am selling (it ain't cheap moving cross country)  with the help of a friend (thanks Mr. Fister!), but for the most part,  I'm gonna need to be giving away a whole bunch of random shit.

For example, know anywhere I can donate a chair that lifts up and down to help you out of it and weighs about 8000 pounds? Cool, cause I need to get rid of one. 

Like I said, alot of crap.

And then there's the whole, ohmygodidontknowasouloutthere thing.

So yeah, I'm starting to freak out a little bit. Not in a bad way, but...still.  Kinda freakin out a little.

And crazy excited at the same time. Its kinda awesome.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

The True Test

At 9:30 on Friday morning, I got in my car to drive to my moms some 350 miles away. Having JUST quit smoking, I knew the drive might pose a bit of a challenge. OMG how right I was.  The Universe was definitely testing me that day. 

Because instead of a relatively easy 6 hour drive, it took me more than 10 hours to get where I was going. 

Ten fucking hours!  Through some of the worst traffic I've seen in all my 40 years. 

And yet I did not stumble. And did not smoke a single cigarette. Instead, I took back roads to keep the view interesting.  And listened to my cherished country music as loud as it could go (can't get any country stations where I live so I look forward to road trips where I can).  And even though it was the longest trip to VA I've ever made, it was surprisingly un-stressful.  I actually think that had I been smoking the trip would've really sucked.

So there you have it. The big road trip test is done, at an even more difficult level than I had imagined. In case you couldn't tell, I'm pretty fucking pleased with myself. I've got several more days to hang put with mommy before going home to the next big test -- going out drinking with all my still-smoking friends. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Yippee! I'm a non-smoker!

Just finished reading Allen Carr's The Easy Way to Stop Smoking.  And also just smoked my last cigarette. Ever.

I've stopped smoking before but it never really took. The last time I tried it lasted a year but then I stopped taking the meds.  Because silly me, I didn't want to be on psychotropic drugs for the rest of my life.  I lasted maybe a week after that. I fell into the same trap that many before me had also fallen into -- the "I can have just one" trap. 

This time will be different.  No drugs.  No nicotine gum or patches or substitutes of any kind.  This time I'm going in fully aware.  No more traps for me.  This time it will take.  I know it.  Because I know I'm not really dependent on cigs.  Nicotine, yes. But cigarettes, no.  So once that's out of my system I will be free forever.

Instead of 'giving something up', I'm gaining a whole new life.

Yay me!