Monday, February 22, 2016


Hey guys! Remember how one of my goals was to post more on my blog this year? I have not been doing very well with that! I'll admit one of the main reasons is my new version of Photoshop is stumping me. I am having a hard time resizing images for the web for some reason, so hopefully I'll figure it out soon! Until then, I'm going to do one of these currently post.
Excited About: This coming weekend we're going up to the Smokey Mountains with some good friends and I can't wait! There are several claw foot tubs and a sweet outdoor hot tub at our cabin, and I'm hoping I'll get to ride go karts and go through a mirror maze.
Reading: I've been trying to read a book called The Historian about a vampire, but it is SO SLOW it has been putting me to sleep within 10 minutes at night so I think I'll give up on it. I'm about 12% in and not much as happened. Tonight I'm going to start Tender Morsels.
Watching: Travis and I decided to catch up on the Walking Dead so we've been watching one episode a night. I love it, and I hate it. I just get so scared! I'm also watching The Bachelor and loving how BONKERS it is. I'm waiting on pins and needles for the new season of RuPaul's Drag Race to start. So soon! The queens this year look really promising!
Working On: I just finished a photo book chronicling 2015, and now I'm going to start 2014. I ordered the first one and can't wait to see how it turns out. It ended up at 308 pages. Remember how I thought I didn't take enough photos last year? Ha!
Listening To: Podcasts as usual. I have been really enjoying story telling ones lately like The Moth. I've also been listening to lots of Beyonce after she put out the Formation single. I'm really sad that I will be out of town when she is here on tour. Why????????
Anticipating: But I'm still REALLY excited about going out of town. While Queen Bey is here in Nashville I'll be out in LA getting ready for DragCon and hopefully meeting RuPaul. I really can't wait!
Loving: We didn't do much for Valentine's Day, but we did go out with out best friends Crystal and Marc to see Alaska perform at Play! She is one of my favorite queens and she was hilarious! It was "open stage night" so we saw lots of amatuer queens and I feel like we'll be talking about it for years.
Here we are with Alaska, look at how tall she is!

Monday, February 8, 2016

100 Books 2016: January Reads

This year I set a goal to read 100 books. I didn't quite make it last year, but I'm off to a good start in January! I finished 8 books last month, and I'm on my 3rd for February so far. I'm going to try and do a little round up every month of what I read and what I liked. If you use good reads, add me as a friend! I love seeing what other people are reading, and find lots of stuff for my "Want to Read" list that way!

1. Red Moon by Benjamin Percy //  It is well documented that I love supernatural fiction. This book is a wonderful werewolf book that treats the infection like a disease that turns into a civil rights issue. In the future people infected are required to take a drug that keeps them from changing with the full moon. There is a war brewing, and you see it from a few different sides. I really loved it, a werewolf tale told in a new way. Looking it back up on good reads, I think I added this to my list because Stephen King highly recommended it. I wish he was still using his good reads account!

2. The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan Beautifully written, this book deals with selkie folklore or women called forth from the sea, their seal skins hidden so they can't return to the ocean. I was familiar with this idea, because as a child I loved the movie "The Secret of the Roan Inish" and more recently, the gorgeous film "The Song of the Sea" but maybe it isn't lore that everyone is familiar with. The story is told from many different points of view, one voice per chapter, and I don't think any of the narrators repeat. It makes for a great read where you are constantly learning different facets of the story, and changing ideas you might have held before. I also felt betrayed by characters I loved more than once, like shockingly betrayed. The first few chapters are a little confusing, but just because it takes a little bit to put all the pieces together. It is worth it. I wish the cover didn't look like so much of a romance novel, because there is definitely no romance in this book.


3. Sleepwalk With Me by Mike Birbiglia Travis is a sleep talker, and at one point he was having night terrors and sleep walking pretty often. Thankfully we figured out what was going on (eating weird stuff too late usually) so it stopped. But during that time, I saw the movie Mike Birbiglia made about this book and it FREAKED me out. He is a sleepwalker who has done things like jumped out of a second story hotel room while asleep. Holy moly! This book is like a series of essays, and doesn't deal just with the sleepwalking. I found it engaging and funny, and I like Birbiglia's voice.

4. Wild by Cheryl Strayed I saw a list of Emma Watson Approved Reading and added most of them to my too read list. She loved Cheryl Strayed so I gave Wild a shot first. I had seen the movie and liked it, and the book was a great read. It alternates between hiking the Pacific Coast Trail being the best thing you could ever do, and the worst thing you could ever do. I loved her writing style, the way she worked in memories of her past with her experiences on the trail. A really wonderful book, and I think the film did a great job bringing it to life. I added the rest of her books to my to-read list after this.

5. Among Others by Jo Walton My friend Brittany recommended this to me, and we have very similar taste in books so I checked it out right away.  I read a review that said this story starts after the climax, and the protagonist has to live with the consequences, and I think that sums it up really well. Mori is a twin, who is now living with a disability and without her twin sister. She loves reading, especially science fiction, and she has been sent off to a boarding school by a father she hardly knows, after escaping her mother who is an unstable, power hungry witch. I love the way that the book is set in the 1970's, and in a pretty normal world situation. The magic in it fits into the world perfectly and not many people know about it. The narrator Mori feels really different to me from other characters I loved it because she isn't super into the magic she can do, seems to see it more as a fact of life she must deal with. The book is less to do with magic, and more to do with her learning how to cope with having her life change so suddenly and violently. I found her really likable and look forward to more from the author!

6. Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Life and Love From Someone Who's Been There by Cheryl Strayed This is a collection of advice columns that Cheryl Strayed wrote under the pseudonym "Dear Sugar." This book has the same beautiful language as wild, and I loved her advice. It often started with an anecdote about her own life, included some tough love for her readers, and was all around a good read. If she was still doing the column, I would be a regular reader for sure.

7. Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira Another Emma Watson recommendation! This book reminded me of The Perks of Being a Wallflower (an all time favorite) probably because it is written in letters from one narrator, Laurel. She gets an assignment in school to write a letter to someone who is dead. She picks Kurt Cobain, because her sister loved him, and you quickly learn that her older sister died in the past year. You get little hints about what happened but don't get the full picture until late in the book. Laurel writes letters to many different dead people, for all kinds of reasons, using it as a way to work through the trauma of her sister's death, the aftermath, and her own issues growing up and starting high school. The voice felt authentically teenage to me, and I fell in love with Laurel as the book went on. 

8. Troublemaker by Leah Remini I'm super interested in extremist religions so I was excited to read Remini's tell all about Scientology. I read another Scientology memoir last year, Beyond Belief by Jenna Miscavige Hill, which I highly recommend if you are interested in Scientology. Hill grows up in the church, in a Sea Org family so it gives you lots of information on the inner workings. Leah Remini's story is more from a family that joins when the kids are teenagers, and the experience she had as a celebrity in Scientology. I found it completely fascinating, and do think it is really brave of her to come out like this against a religion that is famous for destroying the lives and careers of people that leave the church, and forcing families to stop communicating with members that leave. Also, who doesn't love to read real celebrity behinds the scene stuff? 

Are you reading anything really good right now? 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Photo an Hour: Porter's Transport Day!

7am: Our foster pug Porter was adopted last week, and his new home is in Maryland. We volunteered to take the first four and a half hour leg of his transport to Kingsport, Tn. Honestly, I wish we could have driven him the whole way! We got up at 7 am on Sunday morning, and had a special cinnamon roll breakfast.
8 am: Kiss Phyllis and Priscilla goodbye and hit the road. It is weird being back to just two pugs after having Porter for about 7 weeks.
9 am: On the road. Podcast listening (The Read).
10 am: Porter started off in the back in his crate. I knew he had a big day ahead and thought maybe he would get some sleep in there. No way! He was up watching us the whole time. It wasn't long until he was in my lap in the front seat.
11 am: Pit stop somewhere in East Tennessee.
12 am: We were meeting the people taking him on to Wytheville, Va at about 12:30 so I was starting to feel very sentimental. I cuddled him close for the last little bit we had. I'm really going to miss Mr. Porter. He is a very special pug and his new family is so lucky to have him.
We're back on the foster list. We might not get another pug for a while, you never know!
1 pm: Heading back home. There were definitely a few minutes of tears, but I'm so happy that Porter got a great home. Fostering is hard for me because I always get attached, but I think it is so important. It makes it so rescue's can take in more animals in need, and it is fun to have a temporary new dog. I'm happy we are able to do it.
2pm: We decided to stop at The Tomato Head in Knoxville on the way back as a special treat.We split a vegan pizza and a Kepner melt, which is the best sandwich in Tennessee! And that pizza! Every time we get it we always question whether it is the vegan one, because the soy cheese is so good! Mmm, I wish they would open one in Nashville.

3 pm: Sadly, they were out of the amazing vegan lemon cookies. Actually, they had two but a guy in front of us in line bought them! No! So we went to Whole Foods and I got this cute cupcake! Sadly, it didn't taste that great.
4 pm: Back on the road. I was getting real bored of being in the car. 8 hours in one day!  I played the game I'm currently really into, Juice Jam! The graphics are so cute, and it doesn't tempt me to spend real money, haha! I also LOVE that Japanese stray cat game, Neko Atsume.
5 pm: Still on the road. Listening to the Moth by this time. Maybe I should have picked a different day to do this kind of post....
6pm: For the last hour of our drive we switched to my world famous musical playlist. Travis and I both love singing along with the big solos. For some reason this time it was mostly playing Dreamgirls and Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny on shuffle. Not that I'm complaining!
We got back in town just in time to watch Grease! Live with our friends Kimmie and Ryan. I got distracted by the show starting.
Did you watch it? I thought it was pretty good! Especially the way they were able to film the big scenes at the dance and the school carnival live, and the cute dude who played Doody. My main complaint is was that the guy playing Danny. He didn't seem like a bad boy at all! Too twerpy.

I love photo an hour posts and I'm going to try to do several this year. Here's to more blogging in 2016!

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