Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Much Simpler Time

Last night after work, I went down to spend time with my cousin who is eleven days younger than me and who just turned 21 earlier this week. She was having a little get-together at her brother's house and I had the time, and wanted to spend time with her, so I went.

On the drive home this afternoon, memories hit me as I drove through places I used to spend a lot of time when I was younger.

You see, when you're a kid, the world is so small. You think that the few places you spend time in are it. You believe that the people you see everyday will always be there and the house you live in is where you'll spend the rest of your life. You build up these walls that make you feel safe and sound.

Nothing like playing with beer boxes in the kitchen :)

I passed the site where the first house I ever lived in used to be. When I was eleven, the golf course next door bought the house, let the fire department use it as a practice house and burned it down. They now have it nicely landscaped as part of their front along the busy main road. But remnants of that time in my life still remain. The 2 large pine trees that stood next to my house are still there as is the tree fort my brother built (with 6 inch carpenters nails) still hangs onto the oak in the back.

Mom, Erin and I in front of that house (and the pine trees) when I was little.

That little house was my fortress when I was little. Metarmora was my town. See, when I was a small child, I barely left that small town of Metamora. I went to school in Metamora. All my friends lived in Metamora, so when I went to their house it was in Metamora. I knew the town like the back of my hand. My friend Cody lived on the adjacent to the only corner with a light in the town (and still is the only corner). The White Horse Inn made the best fish that my mom used to take us to get when she felt like going out to somewhere nice. I always remember getting the Shirley Temple's when I was a child as well. My aunt lived a couple streets from downtown and we went to her house every year for trick or treating. 

Lapeer was so foreign to me. Though my mother worked there, I didn't spend a lot of time there. It was so big to me. When I was little, I thought Lapeer is big. Now I just laugh at that thought because I have seen much bigger places. But when I was a child, Lapeer was the place I went if I needed school clothes and to go out to dinner with family on weekends. We didn't spend a lot of time in Lapeer. 

Metamora was the place where I was okay walking around. It was the place I knew everyone. I went to the doctor's here, shopped for groceries here and spent all my time here. My grandmother's house was across the road from the school I went to when I was little. A lot of my time was also spent at my grandmother's house...but it was in this little town that was home.

Some of the cousins and I at grandma's.

It's funny how everything changes so fast when you get older though. Once my brother hit middle school, Lapeer wasn't so foreign. Lapeer was still "big" to me but as more doctors came into my life, I was in the car with my mom as she drove places like Flint, Detroit and Ann Arbor. These places were huge compared to Lapeer and my world expanded. When I was eleven, we moved into Lapeer after that golf course bought the house and life was never the same again.

But it's always weird when one of those memories hits you and you remember how simple everything was compared to how life is now. Then I didn't know what a cell phone was, I had dial-up internet, I never heard of an iPod and a laptop was something out of my reach. I owned a Sega Genesis. My favorite shows were Rugrats and Hey Arnold. I spent afternoons stealing dining room chairs out of the house so I could climb to the top of the apple trees in our backyard for the best apples and watching my brother hit golf balls with a bat into the fields behind our house. These were the golf balls that he and his friends "found" in those fields behind our house.

My brother and his friend after trick-or-treating at my aunt's house.
These memories are what made you, you. These are the stories of your childhood, the things you laugh about now with your friends wondering what you were thinking when you were a kid. Like the time that my friend Julie ate as many pieces of gum as she could stuff in her mouth and then couldn't breathe and spit it out the window into the front yard. Or the time my brother and I ate our way through one very large canister of Fruit Punch Kool-aid when our father was supposed to be watching us...and tried to get away with it. I think our hands were red for a week. There were the Saturday nights at Ponderosa where we knew all the waiters and waitresses, the managers and even the cooks because we were always there (mom always got the sirloin tips). 
Molly and I buried Riverdog at Aunt Linda's.

These are the memories that will always make me smile. These were the times that life was just so perfect and it seemed as if nothing would ever change.

But it always does. I'm not saying that change is a bad thing, because things can't always stay the same all the time. But the memories shall never fail to bring a smile on my face. Here's to the days of sandcastles on the beach, smiles, country music, driving the back roads with the windows down, burying each other in the sand at Aunt Linda's house, girl scouts, my pink Aruba hat and being a kid.

My Playlist
1. Paradise- Coldplay
2. Survivor's Guilt- Rise Against
3. Bounce- The Cab
4. Crawling Back to You- Daughtry
5. Heaven- 3 Doors Down
6. Probably Wouldn't Be This Way- LeAnn Rimes
7. Mercenary- Pania! at the Disco
8. Us Against the World- Coldplay

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Where Did the Week Go?

It seems as if October is slowly slipping away from me once again. How could this be? For one, until this week, the month has been BEAUTIFUL. Weather has been perfect fall weather, the trees are changing into red, oranges and browns, sun has been out, life has been wonderful.

Of course, there has to be some icky days in there and this week had them. The rainy, cold weather made me just want to stay in bed all day long. Plus, I added a million extra work shifts to make extra money. This caused me to have to buy myself a planner to keep everything on track.

Now, everytime I plan something, it gets written down. This keeps me from making plans with someone when I already have plans (or work :/) and know when I have papers due, tests, homework, all that jazz.

So, as I was saying, the weather wasn't inviting. It may have been why I had such a hard time getting out of my warm bed in the morning. The grey, cloudy, rainy mornings were not my friends. But, that is life and I got up anyway.

I made my return to swap-bot this week. I hadn't been doing mail art since I moved out of my apartment, and I missed I'm back. Starting off with some easier swaps and moving up from there. I love sending and receiving mail!

Between tests, quizzes, classes, all this work, plans out, etc. this girl ended up being so tired by the evening. But here are some awesome things from this week to add to the birth month:

Tuesday I drove to Lapeer to pick Katrina up (who was home all week on Fall Break) and we went to see my friend Sarah who had a son with our other friend Boesler over the summer. We hadn't met the little tyke yet and I can report that he is the cutest thing ever. He has Andrew's eyebrows and lashes but Sarah's eyes. He is the happiest baby ever and I loved the time we spent with them catching up and just melting at his adorableness.

Also on Tuesday, my preorder of Sims 3 Pets finally was released and I downloaded the game. I had a fun time recreating my old dog Annabelle and my old cat Belle. It is a fun game, some glitches that I expect to be fixed with upcoming patches. There is always the chance of glitches with a new game, especially a PC game.

On Wednesday, Tanisha, Abijah and I went to see 50/50. The movie was so perfect and powerful. Abijah and I both spent some time crying at moments during the whole film. Totally worth seeing if you were thinking about it.

Since Thursday I've been working a TON! But it is okay because I should have a nice paycheck to go to Chicago with next month for Mindu's wedding shower and Bachlorette party. Can't wait to leave the state for a weekend and possibly see my cousin Roz at the same time!!!

Upcoming attractions: 
My cousin Molly turns 21 this week (On Wednesday!). WOOT! I am going to celebrate with her (and probably buy her a drink) on Saturday for lunch. 

Tuesday I'm seeing Paranormal Activity 3 with Luna, Dave and Hoffa after possibly getting some dinner with my Aunt Linney. 

On Wednesday, I'm hoping to see my friend Marita that I don't get to see much at all, when she comes over for some fun times in my apartment.

Thursday, my Psychology of Death class is headed for a nearby cemetery to study differences in life span by birthdates. You know, the norm field trip ;).

For Friday evening, I have a work bonding bowling trip. Though I am a horrible bowler, I don't care. It'll be fun with all the college kids I work with!

It's going to be another one of those crazy weeks!!! But I can't wait!

Songs for Today:
1. Heaven- 3 Doors Down
2. You Lie- The Band Perry
3. Pumped Up Kicks- Foster the People
4. Vox Populi- 30 Seconds to Mars
5. Satellite- Rise Against

Monday, October 17, 2011

Birthday Awesomeness!

This past weekend happened to hold my birthday. And not just any birthday, but that milestone, nothing is going to stop me from going into anyplace, I can legally buy alcohol without having to beg older friends, 21st birthday! The day didn't disappoint.

A little note: normally, I wouldn't go into the details of what was drank, how much was drank, etc as it may seem bad to some people. But I hope, in the future, that it an employer falls upon this page, they will forgive me as it is about my 21st birthday...and that only happens once!


So midnight hit and I was up and ready to get going. Abijah swung by and picked Tanisha and I up at Riverfront and we were off to Jester's, a 21+ bar on Center Rd that has been known for great drinks. Getting off of Center Rd, Abijah accidentally swung too far and drove us back onto the highway.

After driving to the next exit and turning around, we were back on track.

12:22 AM: We arrived at Jester's and I was ready to walk in the door, show the bouncer my new "temporary" ID (until my new one comes in the mail) and walk into the bar. And it didn't disappoint. He looked at the date and then the pic on my old one, looked at me and said, "Well happy fucking birthday," with a smile on his face. Made my whole night.

We walked up to the bar and first thing (before I even had a drink) 2 guys turn around and are like, "aren't you those girls from Churchills?" So I frequent the bar 2 doors down on Thursday nights for the atmosphere, and you have to recognize me? It did make me laugh.

My first drink of the night was a screwdriver. Though I heard from a reliable source that a tequila shooter was my favorite drink, I was almost too afraid to try it and settled, for my mom, on the safe screwdriver. It was a good warm-up drink and I was ready for more.

After getting seats at the bar (another thing I would never be able to do unless I was 21) I ordered a pitcher of Johnny Vegas'. Yes, you read right, a pitcher. Jester's offers all their mixed drinks in a pitcher size with a straw for a discounted price. Now, if you are unfamiliar with the Johnny Vegas, I recommend you try one. It's a wonderful mix of Tequila, Watermelon Schnapps, and Red Bull. So good!

After that followed the Cosmopolitan and I have to say...I'm not a fan. Though some people may love the strength this small drink punches I did not and somehow choked it down. Following that, I went for something a little more sweeter, a sweettart. Tastes just like the candy and I got a blue one (on the house!) and a red one. 

2 AM hit and we had to leave, but Jester's wins in my book! Great atmosphere, GREAT music and wonderful drinks!

We went to Starlight down the road next, a coney island style restaurant that serves amazing food. I had an omelette, sooooo good!

Then it was time for home to sleep for a few hours.

Summon the next morning. Getting up at 9 was tough, but though it was hard, I got up. After some waiting, Abijah was back to pick Tanisha and I up to be off to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the big Michigan/ Michigan State Game. Luna and her bf Dave, Brittany, Nick, Molly and her roommate Steven, and Tom all joined me for the game. Here's the breakdown:

Free appetizer because it was my birthday: WIN! (I got spinnach/Artichoke dip)
Bahama Mama: WIN!
Knockout Punch: WIN!
Boneless wings with spicy garlic, parm garlic, salt and vinegar, teriyaki : WIN!
Buffalo Zoo: Large and TOTAL WIN!
Michigan losing to Michigan State: Utter fail

All-in-all mostly worth 3 hours of my time.

After that, most of us travelled back to my apartment (after a stop at the store) for more shenanigans. We watched movies, played drinking games all night and just had an awesome time. Kevin was the first down at around 9 PM, the rest of us partied until about 4 AM. In there Katrina and her sister Erin stopped in for most the night and Stephon and Kyle stopped in as well for a bit. Here are some drinks that I made up on the spot that just turned out really good and I decided to give them a name:

The Kevin
2 oz UV Blue Vodka
1 oz Captain Morgan Coconut Rum
splah of Jose Cuervo Tequila
4-5 oz Mountain Dew

Served on the rocks, this drink can land you on the ass after a few (poor Kevin) but it was really good. He told me he wanted something with Mountain Dew in it...

The Nick
1 oz Smirnoff Watermelon Vodka
1 oz Absolut Raspberry Vodka
splash of watermelon pucker
5 oz Cranberry/grape juice

Served on the rocks, this drink mixes many fruits to just be amazing!

Chocolate Birthday Cake
2 oz Pinnacle Cake Vodka
6 oz Chocolate Milk

Served on the rocks, this drink is almost too good to be thought as alcoholic. Tastes so much like a frosted birthday cake and became a party favorite.

The Amelia
1 oz Absolut Raspberry Vodka
1 oz Smirnoff Watermelon Vodka
1 oz 1800 Silver Tequila
2 oz  Cranberry Grape Juice Cocktail
1 oz Original Flavor Sunny D

Served on the rocks, this drink is soo fruity but has a sourness that adds to the end. Simply wonderful!

Note: the amounts of liquor may be changed mattering your preferences, but these ended up being solid. 

All-in-all a GREAT time with GREAT friends! A night I will remember for a long time!!!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Loving Yourself and Shenanigans

So the birth month started out strong. Saturday saw me going out to Lansing to see my cousin Molly. After my obligatory nap (because I worked at 5 AM that morning) we were off to Country Mill Orchard to the South West of Lansing. Here we ended up coming home with half a bushel of mixed apples (somewhere about 50-60 apples), 3 pumpkins, a dozen pumpkin donuts and a gallon of apple cider.

It was a successful trip to the mill and took up our afternoon. Molly and I are rather close (being born 11 days apart) and we were just plain out crazy together among the trees. But it was so much fun!

October also brings about the project that I am working on. I have done my first 3 entries in my journal for Love  Yourself October and I think it is a fun project. It totally isn't too late to join me ;) Just saying! Below are some pics from this weekend and of my journal. Enjoy!

Molly and I :)

You gotta climb dem trees!

It's perfect!!!

Mmmmm! Cider and Donuts!

LYO Day 1!

LYO Day 2!

LYO Day 3! (that whole page is covered with other words and phrases for laughing!)

Playlist for the Early Morning
1. Vox Populi- 30 Seconds to Mars
2. Paradise- Coldplay
3. My Body- Young the Giant
4. Crawling Back to You- Daughtry
5. Sing it Out- Switchfoot
6. There's a Reason These Tables are Numbered Honey- Panic! At the Disco
7. White Blank Page- Mumford & Sons
8. Wake Me Up When September Ends- Green Day
9. 7 O'Clock News/Silent Night- Simon and Garfunkel
10. Blurry- Puddle of Mudd

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Beginnings of a Birth Month

So, sitting here at my front desk job...and it is 6 AM and I am thinking of all the awesomeness that will happen in the coming weeks of this month.

For one, October is my birth month. See, in my family we don't have birthdays really, we celebrate all MONTH! Which is awesome because it tends to be an awesome month. October just rocks in general because some of my favorite people in my life are all born in October (including my Aunt Jane and my cousin Molly) and its the time of the year when the leaves all change and it's just beautiful. I love fall.

Thinking back to October's past, I've had some awesome times. For my 16th birthday, I was serenaded by the whole band and half the crowd at the East/West game with a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday. High school was always full of football games, band concerts and school events in general. My 18th birthday, I spent with my Aunt in a low key birthday night with a football game and crazy weekend with my bestie Katrina the weekend after. My 19th birthday was celebrated with a party one weekend and a haunted house trip another. My 20th...well I took a cross Michigan trip to Lansing and Grand Rapids with some of my favorite people to see some more of my favorite people!

This year is gonna be no exception. I'm starting off my birth month strong with some apple picking and general shenanigans with my cousin Molly. Next weekend I work all weekend so that I can get an really awesome paycheck the day before my birthday. But there IS the zombie walk. Yeah, I already have my zombie costume ready pretty much...that one is gonna require some pictures!

Then 21st birthday craziness ensues. So, I'm lucky to have a Saturday 21st birthday. What luck! So it begins at midnight and goes all weekend. Who knows what will really happen, but lets just say that the headband was bought yesterday. I'm sure I'll have lots to write about when that comes around. But after that, there is always the 21st birthday of Molly (WOOT!) and Halloween.

I love October. I feel that it is just an awesome month in general! I can't wait for the craziness to ensue.

But I shall return to my front desk job...there are actually people awake at 6:45 AM on a Saturday morning in a college dorm...I don't understand these early risers!

Now I leave you with a picture of me and my favorite thing this big cup of coffee!

This Morning's Playlist
1. This is War- 30 Seconds to Mars
2. Iridescent- Linkin Park
3. Angel's Cry- Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
4. I.V.- X Japan
5. Sissy's Song- Alan Jackson
6. White Blank Page- Mumford and Sons
7. Sing it Out- Switchfoot
8. Mr. Midnight- Garth Brooks
9. My Body- Young the Giant
10. Letters from the Sky- Civil Twilight
11. Dead Flowers- Miranda Lambert
12. Moves Like Jagger- Maroon 5