Saturday, October 31, 2015

Simply Me Link Up Vol. 1

Happy Halloween and Happy Saturday to you!  It's currently 45F here and I'm the only one awake in the house.  I love the quiet and stillness of Saturday mornings such as this. As I look out the french doors, there are three squirrels scampering along my deck and I see that my efforts of blowing the leaves off yesterday were apparently in vain because the deck is covered again.  LOL!  Gotta love autumn!

I don't typically post on Saturdays, but wanted to link up with Liz @ Sundays with Sophie for her monthly Simply Me feature while the link is still active.  This month's prompt/theme is:  STATES

Number of states I've lived in:  2 - West Virginia and Kentucky.

My favorite state is: West Virginia.  
Let me go ahead and say this, I'm biased towards and fiercely protective of my home state of West Virginia.  I love the people, the slower pace of life, and the nature beauty of the mountains.  My second favorite state is California because of it's diversity - beaches, dramatic coastlines, mountains, giant redwoods, sequoias, rivers, mountains, and deserts.

Why do I live in the state where I currently live?  I received a job offer in Kentucky after finishing graduate school.  Of the three offers I received, it paid the most so I took it.  It wasn't my plan to stay here, though.  I planned to eventually work my way back to my home state of WV or to at least get closer. (I couldn't find a job in WV at the time.)  Then, I met and married a born-n-raised Kentuckian and I still have the job that lured me here, so this is where I live.

Would you like to move to another state?   Yes and no. There will always be a part of me that longs to move back to WV, for that's where all of my family lives.  I do miss the beauty of the mountains, too.  But, I know I could ever move back due to various reasons.  However, if my husband and I ever win the lottery, we're definitely moving to Hawaii!

What is your state known for? My state of residence, Kentucky, is known for bourbon and the Kentucky Derby.

Have a fabulous weekend wherever you are! Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

10 Things That Made Me Happy This Week Vol. 6

Happy Friday, everyone!  I'm linking up again with Krysten Why Girls Are Weird and Lindsay @ The Flynnigans to share 10 Things That Made Me Happy This Week.

Before I start, however, I think it's only fair to say that this week had some HUGE shoes to fill given that I was on a cruise last week (click here for last week's 10 Things That Made Me Happy This Week post).  So, let's be real, there's no way this week stood any chance of comparing to last week!  LOL!  But, despite having to go back to work, getting up at o' dark thirty, and enduring my daily commute, I still found things that made me happy.

1)  This comic.

2) This nostalgic meme.  Anyone else remember wearing these masked Halloween costumes?  I distinctly remember wearing an Incredible Hulk costume one year.

3) This PEANUTS comic.

4) Breakfast pizza Wednesdays at school.  I know, I know... I've used breakfast pizza before, but it really makes me happy and makes my Wednesdays more worthwhile!

5) This comic.

6) The opportunity to wear jeans Monday through Thursday this week in exchange for a small donation to the United Way fundraising campaign.  (Jeans are only allowed at my school on Fridays.)

7) One day when I gave a student his speech folder, he smelled it and said, "Ah, it smells like me."  
I replied, "It does, huh? And what exactly do you smell like?"  
He replied, "Like goodness..."  Oh, brother...  LOL!

8) Breakfast (scrambled eggs, sausage, hash browns, and cooked apples) for lunch!

9) Listening to (and finishing) Double Whammy by Carl Hiaasen.  Not the funniest of his books that I've read so far, but pretty good!  

10) And last, but certainly not least, this Public Service Announcement about the time change this weekend.
Have a wonderful Halloween weekend and be sure to enjoy the extra hour of sleep on Sunday!  Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday - Halloween Freebie!

Today I am linking up with The Broke and the Bookish and participating in their weekly Top Ten Tuesday feature post. (To learn more about TTT, click here.) This week's theme is: 


Ten Bookish People (Real or Fictional) 
That I Would Invite to a Halloween Party

  1. Elvis Cole (from Robert Crais' Elvis Cole/Joe Pike series).  As the self-proclaimed "World's Greatest Detective," I'm sure Elvis could come up with a great costume!  
  2. Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby.  Think of all the party favors, food, and beverages he might be willing to contribute especially if I could convince Daisy to come...
  3. Jamie Fraser from Outlander.  He's a man in kilt, for goodness sake.  He has a ready made costume!  And, he's a good lookin' man in a kilt.  Need I go any further?
  4. David Sedaris, author of Me Talk Pretty One Day.  If his books are that hilarious, can you imagine him in person?  He'd have all kinds of stories and tales to regale us with!
  5. Bridget Jones.  I suspect that she might wear her bunny costume. (For the record, it's been so long since I read Bridget Jones's Diary, that I can't remember if the bunny costume appeared it the book or just the movie.)
  6. Idgie Threadgoode from Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe.  I'm not sure why, I just think Idgie would be a hoot to hang out with! 
  7. R from Warm Bodies.  Since The Walking Dead is so popular, more than likely, he wouldn't be the only zombie there!
  8. Mark Watney from The Martian.  After spending Lord knows how many sols on Mars and days in space, inviting him to a Halloween party is the least I could do to welcome him home.  He could come as Marvin the Martian.  Okay, okay...  Bad joke.  I admit it.
  9. Patrick from The Perks of Being a Wallflower.  I would expect him to come as Frank 'N Furter from The Rocky Horror Picture Show.  C' wouldn't be Halloween without an appearance of Frank 'N Furter, now would it?  LOL!
  10. Skink from Double Whammy and several other Carl Hiaasen novels. I can just see this gruff, road killing eating recluse showing up in his floral shower cap and neon yellow rain slicker!  
How about you?  Which bookish people (real or fictional) would you invite to a Halloween party you were hosting?  Thanks for stopping by and Happy (early) Halloween!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

10 Things That Made Me Happy This Week Vol. 5

Yep, I'm a tad late in linking up with Krysten Why Girls Are Weird and Lindsay @ The Flynnigans as to share 10 Things That Made Me Happy This Week, but I have a very good reason (which will be evident in my list). So, without further ado...
  1. That we made our flight from Cincinnati to Ft. Lauderdale last Saturday morning. (Honestly, there was a point where I truly didn't think we were going to make it!)
  2. This dancing waiter who loved to shake his bon-bon.
  3. Watching Pitch Perfect 2 on a lounger on the Lido deck while sailing somewhere between the Bahamas and the U.S. Virgin Islands. (PP2 wasn't nearly as funny as the first one, but watching it under the starry sky was very cool.)
  4. Creme brûlée.
  5. Waking up to a view like this...
    St. Thomas Harbor, U.S. Virgin Islands
  6. Listening to a book while relaxing on the beach.
    Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos
  7. Our nightly towel creature creations.
  8. Swimming with sea turtles.
    Near Buck Island National Wildlife Refuge, U.S. Virgin Islands
  9. Playing BINGO.  Yes, yes...  I admit it.  I love playing BINGO on cruises. I never win, but I love playing just the same!
  10. Watching this guy turn a 300 lb. ice chunk into an ice carving (sea horse) in under 10 minutes one afternoon.
  11. BONUS! Spending some much needed time with this guy.
  12. My GoPro camera (for capturing great underwater photos like in #8 and #11).
  13. BONUS! Sleeping semi-late and taking afternoon naps.
  14. BONUS! Omelets and hot chocolate for breakfast.
  15. BONUS! No 5:45am wake up alarms, no work, no commuting, no paperwork, no IEPs, no report cards, no gridlock, no stress...
  16. BONUS! Seeing that the leaves changed while we were on our cruise.  When we left, the trees were still predominately green, but we returned home to true fall foliage.
Hoping Monday treats you nicely and that you have a great week full of things that make you happy!  Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Happy Back to the Future Day!

In 1989, when I was 15 years old, I saw the future play out before my very eyes in a packed movie theater over the Thanksgiving holiday.  The movie was Back to the Future Part 2.
I remember sitting in the older style, cramped seats, leaning slightly to the left so that I could see around the sky high mall hair of the girl sitting in front of me (and to be fair, whomever sat behind me had to do the same thing), wearing my Swatch watch and pegged jeans of some washed variety (stone, acid, diamond.. I don't remember).  Left hanging for 4 long years after the cliffhanging ending of Back to the Future, I honestly thought that day would never arrive.  As the images of Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale's envisioned future played out on the screen, I remember thinking, "Man, the future is going to be really...gaudy."

Well, today's THE day, the day Doc Brown and Marty McFly prophesied about - October 21, 2015.  It's taken us 26 years to get here and here we are.  As I look around, the reality of 2015 does share some similarities to Doc and Marty's 2015, but there are some distinct misses, too.  Let's take a look at some of the hits and misses.

1) Remember Marty's TV in 2015? 
It was a gigantic flat screen and was equipped to allow the viewer to watch multiple channels at once.  Looking at that picture, Marty's TV doesn't look that different from the one hanging on the wall in my own living room.  And, that feature which allowed phone calls to come over the TV?  

Well, we have FaceTime, Skype, and Google Hangout that we can access on our Smartphones and laptops.

2) How about those goofy looking glasses that Marty's kids wore?  

I'm not sure what all they did, but I do remember them blinking when a call came in and they must've been equipped with caller ID because both kids knew that it was Needles calling and that the call was for their father.  Honestly, this is one of the things I never thought would be real because I thought they were really stupid looking.  Well, we may not have those exact glasses, but we do have Google Glass, which is really a more streamlined version.  It's still pretty goofy looking if you ask me!  LOL!

3) Our culture's obsession with personal electronics.  Remember this scene?

In all honesty, it's not much different that what a family mealtime might look like today.
4) Miscellaneous/additional hits: a baseball team in Miami, sure they are called the Florida Marlins, but they are based in Miami; biometric identification (remember how the police identified Jennifer in the alley and how they had scanner things instead of doorknobs?); and our society's obsession with 3D effects (sure, there is no Jaws 19 - thank goodness - but we love our 3D movies and computer generated imagery).

1) First off, where are the flying cars?

I honestly thought that by the time 2015 rolled around that I'd be driving a flying car.  Sure, cars are getting more advanced with hybrid technology, backup cameras, and technologies that will assist in parallel parking and alert you to vehicles in your blind spot.  But, our cars are not airborne.  Doc Brown said, "Where we're going, we don't need roads."  Well, Doc, let me tell ya, I still need I64 to get me to work and back everyday.  The rubber is still meeting the road in my 2015!  I will say this, if I had a flying car, I wouldn't complain about my commute nearly as much. Just think, one day my morning commute could look like this...

instead of this...

2) The clothes, lord have mercy the clothes... For the most part, I'm glad that the fashions depicted in Back to the Future 2 are still very much fiction.  Case in point:
Okay, okay...  I admit, some of our real 2015 fashions aren't much better...  LOL!
However, I will say that I wouldn't mind a pair of self-lacing sneakers and a automatically adjusting jacket because my sleeves are always a tad too long.

3)  The robot-manned Texaco station.  When I was a kid, growing up in rural West Virginia, I remember one or two gas stations that offered full service (where they would pump your gas and check your oil, etc. for you as you waited in your car).  I haven't seen a full service gas station in YEARS.  Self-service is the name of the game, today, baby.

4) Miscellaneous additional misses:  fax machines in every room of one's house, the abolishment of lawyers (LOL!), and the extraordinary accuracy of the weather service (LOL!).  

1) Levitating dog-walkers.  We already have drones, so this is definitely possible.  
2) Hoverboards.  From what I've read online, these are kind of in the works.
3) The Chicago Cubs winning the World Series.  As of the time of this writing, the Cubs are set to face off with the Mets for the National League pennant.  So, it's just too early to tell what will happen, but the Cubbies winning the World Series could potentially happen.  We'll just have to wait and see.  Go Cubs!  (Remember, I LOVE underdogs and the Cubs have been underdogs for a loooong time!)

Happy Back to the Future Day to you!  GO CUBS!  Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Martian - Book and Movie Impressions


The Martian, by Andy Weir, has been lurking around my Goodreads news feed for months.  When I initially saw it, I realized it is a sci-fi novel, dismissed it (since I don't really care for sci-fi), and went on about my merry way.  During the summer, I looked it again while searching for a book to satisfy the category of "A 2014 Goodreads Choice Winner" for a reading challenge I participated in.  Remembering that it was a sci-fi novel, I chose another book instead.  Then, about 3-4 weeks ago, I saw the trailer for the movie adaptation starring Matt Damon.  Well, let me tell ya, I love me some Matt Damon and immediately knew that I HAD to see the movie.  I'm one of those people who really, really likes to read the book before seeing the movie (in most cases), so The Martian landed on my radar but I still wasn't ready to commit.  After reading several fellow bloggers reviews of the book, especially a few that expressed how much they loved the book even though they don't particular care for science fiction, I decided to jump in feet first. I listened to The Martian on audiobook format and all I can say is WOW! I absolutely loved it!

As I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago, I love underdogs.  I love rooting for them, I love seeing them succeed.  Mark Watney, the main character in the book, is an underdog if there ever was one.  Left on Mars by his crewmates after being mistakenly thought for dead, Watney must tackle numerous obstacles in order to survive alone on the red planet.  I thoroughly enjoyed his resourcefulness, his determination and drive, and above all, his continued sense of humor even during the most dire situations.

Despite the abundance of science and math used in the book, it didn't hinder my comprehension or my flow of reading/listening.  Most of the time, after a lot of scientific material was presented, a quick "layman term" explanation was provided.  It was provided in a way that sounded very conversational and not forced.  Given that most of the book is told from Watney's perspective in the form of log entries, it sounded very natural to me (not that I have a lot of experience in the authenticity of space log entries).

I highly recommend The Martian.  You do not have to be into science fiction in order to enjoy this book.  I must admit, however, that I don't think I would've enjoyed The Martian as much as I did had a read it in traditional print format. The vocal artist who provided the narration for The Martian, R. C. Bray, did an outstanding job, giving energy and life to Mark Watney's voice, sense of humor, wit, and smartass nature.

My rating: ★★★★★

The movie was excellent!  There are some differences between the book and the movie, but for the most part the movie plot follows that of the book.  The changes that were made, in my opinion, were simply due to time.  There's no way they could cram pack everything Mark Watney experienced in the book into a 2 hour and 22 minute movie.  Matt Damon's performance was stellar and the visual effects were stunning!  I also liked the additional "Where Are They Now" video clips at the end as the credits rolled (something that was not in the book).  I would highly recommend the movie as well.

Have you read the book and/or watched the movie?  What did you think about either of them?  Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, October 16, 2015

10 Things That Made Me Happy This Week Vol. 4

Ah, it's Friday...  Another workweek is about to come to a close.  I'm hoping that his finds you doing well and looking forward to the weekend.  I certainly am.

It's been a SUPER busy, cram-packed week for me.  Lots to do and not enough hours in the day to do it all.  Needless to say, I'm very glad this week is almost over.

I'm linking up again with Krysten Why Girls Are Weird and Lindsay @ The Flynnigans and sharing the 10 Things That Made Me Happy This Week.  

Without further ado, here they are:
  1. There is a cute, and mean cuuuute, kindergarten girl that I have in therapy.  Every time I see her, whether it be for therapy or just in passing in the halls, she is as happy as can be and has the biggest smile on her face.  She is a fun kid to have in therapy and I thoroughly enjoy working with her.
  2. My Sunday date with my husband to see The Martian (it was fantastic!) and dinner afterwards.
  3. Seeing my principal dressed up like Mary from "Mary Had a Little Lamb" (bonnet, poofy hula hoop dress, staff, and all) trying to persuade a very stubborn goat (sheep substitute) to follow her down the hall.  Needless to say, the goat kept our custodian busy with "call of nature cleanups."
  4. Completing my 2015 Goodreads Reading Challenge!
  5. Finishing my 52 report cards.
  6. Seeing Dirty Dancing The Classic Story on Stage.  Nobody puts Baby in a corner!
  7. Free pie night at O'Charley's.
  8. Megan @ Semi Charmed Kind of Life has released the categories for her Winter 2015 Book Challenge.  Some of the categories look tough, but I'm still looking forward to participating in this challenge.
  9. The meme.  LOL!
  10. Taking today off from work, sleeping in, and starting my Fall Break a little early!
Have a fabulous weekend and thanks for stopping by!

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