"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'" ~ C. S. Lewis

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Snowy Day Enchiladas

So, Friday, the snow was so bad that our county declared a State of Emergency and no one was allowed out. The mall closed, the shopping centers closed, pretty much everything closed.

That means I got THREE days off in a row! That hasn't happened since I was on vacation last year! Sweet muffins!

By Friday night the snow finally stopped and we got a total of 27 inches. In the lawn where we still had accumulation from last week we now have 34 inches! That's crazy talk! and I'm loving it :)

Here's Dave walking down our front walk.

Remember how our mailbox had a Russian hat? Well, after all the snow it became a conehead:

Here's a view of our back yard:
The snow got so heavy it started breaking off branches. When I was shoveling Thursday night I was scooping up snow at the edge of the driveway. I heard a snap and turned around to see a branch had come down like two feet from my head. After that I felt like I was in that scene from The Princess Bride in the fire swamp... every time I heard a pop or snap I jumped back to avoid the branches that were falling down around my head.

Anyhoo... back to Friday.

Around 1:00 we realized everyone would be home for dinner so we started digging through the freezer to see what to fix. All we had was roast or ground meat. I had just been listening to Double Shot by Diane Mott Davidson and the main character was making enchiladas - I thought ... mmmmmm... enchiladas.

But we were out of tortillas :(

So I pulled out good old Betty Crocker and discovered that tortillas aren't that hard - so I made my own!
Bubbly tortillas in the pan!

I made a whole giant stack of Mexican pancakes!
Here's the meat and cheese filling:

And the yummy sauce - I kind of changed the recipe a little to fit my picky palate and because we did not have chili peppers in the house.
Then I rolled them up

sprinkled cheese on top

and slid them into the oven.


It was yummy - I served it with tortilla chips, which were good for scooping up all the stuff that fell out. The sauce had a nice kick to it... and there were leftovers for me to take to work the next day!

Yeah for cooking! I love it, but don't get much opportunity - thank you snow for giving me the opportunity :)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Snow Snow Snow

Wheeee!!! We finally got our major snowstorm! And it was on a day that I closed, so I didn't have to go in, because they closed the store early!

This is the view outside of our front door. Pretty, no?

See how that branch looks like it is going to leap out and scratch your eyes out? Not so pretty now!

No, really. That branch usually is well over our heads, but the snow has weighed it down and it is now nearly touching our porch!

Here is a view of behind our house:

And here is a little look at how much snow is piling up on edges of the driveway:

We have now shoveled 3 times. And by "we" I mean my family. I would normally be helping, but that Blechy thing that attacked me last week refuses to leave and I get winded just walking up the stairs, much less shoveling wet, heavy snow.

This makes me feel bad.

Here is a picture - you get to guess what it is a picture of!
No, that is not a dead rodent, that is my sister's stylin' hat! How dare you insult her!

Speaking of hats - our mailbox now has a lovely Russian style hat of snow:

See, like this:
Only here the person is made out of snow instead of the hat.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

And Now It's Time For Retail Wednesday!

The part of the week when I regale you all with the insanity that is my life in a bookstore. So without further ado...

Vaguest Request Award: If someone approached you and asked for LD Debate for Dummies what would you think they were talking about? Tune in at the end for the reveal!

No, this book does not exist... that much I will give away now.

Not the Brightest Crayon in the Box Award: Customer approaches computer, reaches up and tentatively touches the screen. This I do not have a problem with. The screens do look kind of touchy. But nothing happens. Customer touches screen again. Uses other hand. Uses thumb. Uses knuckle. Slides finger across screen. Brow furrows. Jabs screen making the monitor vibrate. I clear my throat. There is no easy way to say this without making the customer feel stupid. "Use the mouse." Customer either a)glares at me, clicks mouse violently, refusing my offer of assistance; b)grins ruefully, abandons computer and says, "Maybe I should just ask you"; or c) uses the mouse and then laughs to their companion as they walk away, "I would have just stood there tapping that thing for who knows how long if she hadn't said something."

Wow. Just... wow.
Now if you approached this terminal and touching the screen didn't work, don't you think that maybe, just maybe,
you would try using the mouse before giving up or putting your fist through the screen?

Phone Freak Award: A coworker answers the phone. It is a woman wanting to know if we have any Hannah Montana books. We do. She wants to know what they are about, if they are connected to the tv show. If they are just retellings of the episodes or if they are new stories. My coworker indicates that he doesn't know and that the books don't say. Customer: "Well, is there anyone there who has in depth knowledge of Hannah Montana?"

Why yes, Elizabeth here just did her senior thesis on the comparison of Hannah Montana shows to books!
I laugh at your inferior knowledge of Hannah Montana. You fool.

Jerk Face Award: So this is basically someone that I couldn't even get any humor out of the situation, but maybe by recounting it here I will be able to see a funny side to it.

A man at the register demands to speak to a manager. Cashier calls for the manager on duty who, oh joy, happens to be me. I approach the gentleman and ask what I can help with. He shoves a receipt and a gift card at me and demands that I give him the balance of the gift card in cash. I patiently explain that I cannot do that. He insults me and the store, saying that he was barely able to find anything he wanted. I inform him that gift cards work on our website and we can order almost anything for him there and even ship it right to him for free. He jabs at the gift card and demands cash.

Meanwhile the customer behind him is now being checked out by the cashier. The man turns to the other customer and tries to bring him into it. Saying it's not unreasonable to ask for his money back and that we are not giving him good service. Customer glances at the man and then at the cashier and I, shrugs apologetically, pays and hurries away.

"So what can you do for me?" man demands. So I tell him that I can call the manager. "I thought you were the manager!" he bellows. I explain that I am a supervisor, but if he's not happy, then I will call the store manager. I page the manager and while we wait, the man continues to rant about how we carry nothing good in the store, etc. as well as accosting each new customer who comes to get rung up. He declares to one poor customer, "These people will just walk all over you if you let them." Said customer looks at him like, stop being an idiot and go away.

Manager arrives, I explain the situation and then flee the register before I become violent. After I leave man accepts the manager's statement that we cannot cash out the gift card and before he leaves, turns to the cashier and says, "I know they weren't gonna give it to me. I just wanted to make them come up here."

How bouts you just wear this next time you come in so we'll all be clear, hmmmm?

Other Side of the Counter Award: My Dad and I were shopping and had reached the checkout just as a sneeze overtook me. I lifted my arm and sneezed into the elbow. The cashier smiles at me. "I always wondered why people sneezed into their elbows," she says. "But then saw a sign at my dentist that said that's what you're supposed to do, because it keeps the germs off your hands."

Maybe that's true, but I find it odd that she saw this at a dentist's office.
9 out of 10 leading dentists agree you should sneeze into your arm instead of your hand

Private Amusement Award: Sometimes a customer asks you for something that isn't funny in and of itself, but the circumstances make it funny so you have to be careful to wait until they are gone before you giggle. Twice this week customers came in looking for Step Aerobic DVDs. A coworker was standing next to me so, while I was looking it up, I asked if they remembered seeing anything when they were working in that section. I can tell by her eyes that she finds this humorous, but she is good and merely says no. Then the search screen comes up and we both are fighting amusement. I contain myself and tell the customer that we don't have anything in the store, but might be able to order something from our website. Customer declines and leaves.
Coworker whispers, "I didn't think anybody did Step Aerobics anymore." What had come up on the screen?
Unfortunately I was alive in the 80s and can remember the horrid color schemes this video cover brings up

So, apparently it has been a while - but if the clothes can come back, why not the exercises?

Vaguest Request Award Continued: So, did you contemplate what LD Debates for Dummies could be?

A coworker approached a mother and daughter who were searching through a listing of Dummies books. The mother says, "You can help us, you're smart. That other guy doesn't know anything. We need LD Debates for Dummies. My coworker has no idea what the customer is talking about, but has just been called "smart". Awkward. Figuring that LD is a particular type of debating, she taps LD Debates into another computer. Nothing comes up. "I'm sorry, I'm not sure what you mean by LD Debates, but it doesn't look like we have anything on it."

Woman gazes at her in exasperation and says, "I can't believe you don't have anything on the Lincoln/Douglas Debates!"

Coworker tries not to snicker. Goes around to the computer the customer is on, types in Lincoln Douglas Debate and, lo and behold! there are books on it!

Nothing for Dummies, though. Alas.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Something Fun for a Lost Tuesday

Over at the Ack Attack she held a fun contest for people to submit a photoshopped picture. Mine didn't place, but I had WAY too much fun with it so I decided to post it here for your viewing pleasure :)

Monday, February 22, 2010


I think I'm having heart palpitations.

After a couple of years of feeling like I was floundering around, I finally realized what it is I want to do in this next period in my life and it gave me a great impetus to actually begin accomplishing things. (not that I wasn't accomplishing things before, I finished a rough draft of a novel and grew in many ways, but I FELT like I wasn't accomplishing anything. Anyhoo)

So I took the GRE and applied to grad school and prepared my application for the teaching assistantship I wanted to pursue. It's been an exciting, nerve-wracking road, but today it bore its first fruit....

I received an e-mail letting me know that I had indeed been accepted into the MA in English program at Seton Hall University for the fall semester and letting me know I was eligible for the teaching assistantship (though I still have to go through the interview process and see if I actually get it).

Man, I am shaking. It's exciting and terrifying and suddenly so ridiculously REAL.

I think I'm gonna go find myself some oxygen.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Awwww.... Don't I Feel Special!

So Ashlie - over at her blog "Nonsense" nominated me for the "Honest Scrap Award"!

My very first Blog award! Woot!

Okay, so the downside is that I have to make a list of 10 embarrassing facts about myself. I could be lazy and just post a link to my post "Things I Get Made Fun of for Liking" but I won't... because a new list is WAY more fun!

1. I learned the alphabet in American Sign Language like twenty years ago and I have compulsively finger spelled random words ever since. It looks like my fingers spaz, but no... I'm just spelling "recapitulate" or something.

2. I am addicted to Farmville on Facebook. Would you like to see my adorable herd of sheep, flock of chickens, gaggle of geese and burrow(?) of bunnies?

3. When I'm home alone I sing Broadway tunes and choreograph my own routines to them - poorly executed, but fun nonetheless. (Some of my favorites being "Popular" from Wicked, "Happily Ever After" from Once Upon a Mattress and "They Don't Know" from Thoroughly Modern Millie.)

4. When I was little I blackmailed my younger sister (Rae, not AchingHope) into doing things for me by threatening to not let her play with my new silk hair Cabbage Patch Doll.

5. I once fell off a donkey. Backwards. Onto concrete. (I was Mary in a Christmas pageant and my first thought after I briefly blacked out was, "The show must go on!" I kid not.)

6. I walk into a shelf at work every single day. At one point I had so many cuts on my wrists it looked like I had poorly attempted suicide. But no, I'm just clumsy.

7. I have never been to Disney World. Ever. And I think it would be fun, but it's not really that high up on my list of places to go. (Okay, that wasn't that embarrasing, but I'm running a little thin here)

8. I have never broken a bone, but sometimes I wonder what it would be like and kind of wish I would and then I realize that I am certifiably insane and snap myself out of it. (As opposed to snapping myself ... haha...)

9. I can carry on entire conversations using only quotes from such movies as "The Princess Bride", "Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail" and "O Brother Where Art Thou".

10. I don't find this embarrassing, but some people would so I leave you with this (because I can't think of anything else)... I am nearly 30 years old and I live in my parents' basement. (of course, all of the bedrooms are in the basement, because our house is built on a hill, but that's beside the point :P)

So there you have it... Actually looking back over this list, I'm not really embarrassed about any of it, but I guess that means I'm either mentally unbalanced or abnormally healthy.


I am passing this award on to the following blogs....

Slumpvis Musings by my lovely sister Aching Hope

Pughs' News by Erin

Quote of the Day

"Come to Me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart. And you will find rest for your soul."
~Jesus Christ

Saturday, February 20, 2010


Have you ever had one of those days where, from the moment you wake up, you just know it's not going to be a good one?

Yesterday was one of those days where you just want to pull the covers over your head and pretend it didn't happen.

First, I hit the snooze on my alarm. Now this in and of itself is not odd. I intentionally set my alarm earlier than I have to get up, just so I can feel like I'm sleeping longer. You may say that makes no sense, but in my mind I totally get more sleep if I can hit the snooze 2 or 3 times.

The problem came when I apparently slept through it coming back on and woke up fifteen minutes before I was supposed to be at work. Considering that I have a 25 minute commute, it just wasn't gonna happen. So I call and let them know I'm going to be half an hour late.

Of course on my drive I would have to end up behind a row of cars that doesn't understand that 55mph means 55mph and not 45mph ::sigh::

I pull into the parking lot and get inside without incident, but almost immediately start feeling that little tickle in the throat that means a full-fledged cold is about to erupt.

Within half an hour I am achy and groggy and feel like my head is slowly expanding.

By 11 I tell my manager that as soon as the next wave of people comes in I will be going home.

He hassles me good-naturedly, but knows that I must be feeling really crummy if I'm going to leave early. Of course there are several little projects that I have to do before I can leave and it's about 1:30 before I pull on my coat and stumble to the car.

Once home I am relieved to see that there is still some of my Mom's chicken soup left over. I eat a nice mug full, swallow some nyquilly store brand pills, curl up in a blanket and promptly fall asleep. I remain in my cocoon until 9:30!!! During this time my head feels as though it has swollen to about four times its original size
and my gravitational field seems to have densified. I can barely pull my head off my pillow long enough to keep myself hydrated.

At 9:30 I wake up ravenous, eat several pieces of pizza and then move to my bedroom to go back to sleep yet again. Another 9 hours of sleep and I'm beginning to feel like myself again.

I really don't get sick that often thanks to a good immune system and the magic of elderberry extract,
little blue elderberries hold the elixir of life ::angelic singing::
but when I do, boy does it hit me like a sledgehammer.

So yesterday I was going to do a nice blog post, finish work projects and do some other little things that needed to be done. So much for that. Instead you are all plagued with this boring story of my illness. Ah well, we can't always get what we want.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Retail Wednesday!!!!

And now it's time for the post you've all been waiting for... (and by all I mean my sister, of course)... the First Weekly Retail Wednesday Blog!

Wherein I share with you the quirks, idiocy and downright insanity of working in retail! ::loud cheering commences::

Award for the Strangest Topic: The customer that asked me where the books on Antique Construction Equipment were.
Whoa! This picture came up when I Googled "strange" - 1st picture too!

Antique Construction Equipment? Is there a market for those things? I never knew! Guess I can get rid of those old pavers, bulldozers and bucket trucks that have been piling up behind my house!

Award for Most Idiotic Customer: Woman who CLIMBED up the shelves to reach a book on the top shelf. When I asked her not to stand on the shelves, because they are only held up by small metal pins, she responded (in a muttered voice) "I'm only 100 lbs and she tells me I'm gonna collapse the shelf."

(to myself I think... I kind of wish those shelves had collapsed and EVERY BOOK HAD FALLEN ON YOUR HEAD!)
Under this mound is a 100 lb. woman begging for my forgiveness >:)

Densest Customer Award: Looking for books on social work. I tell her I've looked that topic up for people before and we don't carry anything. She tells me to use this keyword, then that keyword, then a combination of the keywords. I patiently do, showing her that each time nothing comes up. Reiterate that I have looked this up for people before and have never been able to find something under that keyword. She will need a title or more specific information. She asks me 5 more times to try looking it up, then spends half an hour browsing the computer herself, asks another employee (who immediately asks me if I've seen anything - that made me laugh because she got so annoyed) and still cannot find anything. Hmmmm... I've been working here for almost 4 years, maybe I know more than you!
See, you as the customer know one block's worth of knowledge about what we carry.
I, as the employee, know the entire giant block's worth of knowledge about what we carry. Let us compare...

Most Annoying Award: (This belongs to those things that customers do over and over that drive me absolutely batty.) Customer is using the computer. I approach and ask if there is anything I can help them with. Customer says no in a definitive tone. I begin to walk away and the customer yells after me, "Where are the books like this?" I turn around to see the customer gesturing wildly at the computer screen. I then spend the next ten minutes helping the customer that did NOT need my help.
Can they give me one of these buttons to make the customer disappear?

Tune in next week to see what new and interesting things people in retail will throw my way!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lost 6.04 "The Substitute"

All right, so I know that Nikki will have a post up soon and I'll transfer everything over there, but I just HAD to say my favorite things from this episode, because I absolutely LOVED it. There were so many good things about it :)

1. HELEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and therein, Locke being so happy. Yeah, sure he still has some issues to work through, but the two of them are so freakin' adorable together! I'm so glad she's not dead :) (Though I am DYING to find out how Locke got paralyzed if he and his father are still on speaking terms)

2. Happy Hurley! It's so much fun to get to see him not believing he's cursed. Some people may find the flash sideways annoying, but I like getting to see the characters different and happy.

3. Sawyer talking about books... "You read? You know, books? My favorite's Steinbeck. Of Mice and Men."

4. Ben's eulogy!!!!!! That was the BEST. THING. EVER. "John Locke was ... a believer. He was a man of faith. He was a much better man than I will ever be. And I'm very sorry I murdered him." And then Lapidus' response: "This is the weirdest funeral I've ever been to."

5. Ben as a European History teacher scolding about the coffee filter. I seriously couldn't stop grinning for like 10 minutes after that scene. Love seeing him off the Island!

6. The NUMBERS! The LISTS! What is UP with all of that?! And why wasn't Kate one of the names?! But it was crazy cool to see all of that connected... Just don't know how it all plays out since Lapidus was also called a "candidate" by Ilana. So was his name up there somewhere? Is that why he was supposed to be the pilot of 815?

Oh, so much and I know that everyone over there will have even more insightful things to say and I love it!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

In Honor of Singleness Awareness Day

Every year on this day I play the "try-to-be-happy-and-remember-that-I-am-not-less-of-a-person-because-I-do-not-have-a-man-in-my-life-but-I-still-really-wish-that-I-had-somebody-to-give-me-flowers-and-chocolate-and-giant-stuffed-animals" game.

Yes, I love my life. Yes, I am happy and content with the progress I am making as an individual. Yes, I realize that there are things I can do now that wouldn't be as possible if I were attached to someone. But yes, I still wish that God would hurry up and bring that special person into my life.

So in honor of defying any pity parties, as well as rejoicing in the things I can do since I am single, I shall put together my list of... ::insert trumpet fanfare here::


In no particular order we begin.....
(half of these are going to be Lost related, because, well... because that's kind of what's on my mind right now :)

1. Benjamin Linus:
Yes, I get delicious chills whenever he comes on screen. And there is a heart in there. See the latest Benry Knows Best and try not to get a little teary eyed.

2. Timothy McGee: Seriously. How flippin' cute is he!

3. The Doctor from Star Trek: Voyager. Gah! I cannot find a good picture of him though. It is truly driving me crazy. Here's an okay shot, but it doesn't quite work.

4. Sawyer Ford (not James btw): Yes, I know I am not alone in this, but seriously, the thing that totally gets me is the way he's such a bookworm. Totally adorable. (Unfortunately I couldn't find a good shot of him reading and I am too lazy to go dig out my DVDs right now.)

5. Ronon Dex: I kind of owe this one to my sister :) For those of you who don't know, he's from StarGate Atlantis and I LOVE his character arc so much. (We are watching them on DVD and just about finishing S4)

6. Richard Alpert: Eternal life, silky long eyelashes, perpetually good dresser... what's NOT to love ;)

7. Dr. Horrible: I'd rule the world with him :)

8. Dr. Cox: Okay, I'm finding this one a little weird myself, but it doesn't make it not true.

9. Ethan Rom/Goodspeed: I realize I am very much in the minority on this one, but (to quote myself) while everyone else is screaming EVIL DEMON! I'm like, you can kidnap me in the jungle any day ;) And again, I couldn't find the picture I wanted. I really wanted one from the most recent episode, but couldn't get it. :(

And as a bonus... (and now we're heading into deep dark secret territory...

10. This was my very first "tv crush". I think I was fourteen and I had a major thing for Wesley Crusher :P

(Thank you to Joan Crawford for coining the usage of the word palatable and thank you to all of the lovely ladies over at Nik at Nite for encouraging me to embrace my inner weirdo and admit to the creepy/strange/odd/etc. people I find palatable.)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Game Night

I recently picked up a game called Quad*Doku. It's kind of a cross between Boggle, Scrabble and Sudoku and it looked like the kind of game that my mom and my sisters and I would have fun with.

So with the snow today, my Mom, sister (AchingHope) and I pulled it out to play for the first time.
You make four four letter words that connect at the corners and then different letters have different numbers which, ideally, should add up to 10. We decided not to play by numbers because we didn't want to keep score, so we just made words. Which is a lot harder than you would think.

My Mom LOVES word games. She does crossword puzzles and things all the time, and is a complete monster at Boggle. So while we were playing, she kept shouting things out at us, telling us what we "could" do if we wanted. Finally we enacted a gag rule. This is the rule - "Mom cannot speak if it is not her turn".

Pretty simple right :)

As we got toward the end it got tougher and tougher to do, because your pool of available letters is much smaller. It was AchingHope's turn and she couldn't quite figure out what to do. Mom starts to say something, but then stops herself. AchingHope and I are staring at the board when I glance up and see an alarming sight.

Mom's face is bright red and somehow growing round. It looks like a cherry tomato. Both hands are clamped over her mouth and I can practically see the letters fighting to escape her lips.

I think it's the closest I've ever come to seeing someone spontaneously combust.

AchingHope sees and is just as alarmed, so she says, "Tell me! You're gonna explode!" But Mom shakes her head, determined to be good.

"You can help if you're asked," I say. "She asked. It's okay."

"She doesn't mean it," Mom mumbles behind her fingers, which sets us all of into a fresh set of giggles.

Finally we convince her to speak and her head returns to its normal size and color. Crisis averted.

As we get to the very end we now only have a handful of letters left - 1 or 2 random consonants and a ton of vowels. So AchingHope decides to just finish it off by creating verification words... :)

One of the last ones she stacks is FAFE.

So I say, "I will eat your fafe off!"

Which sounds completely ridiculous if you say it fast and growly like. That sets us all off again and we spend the next five minutes growling, "I will eat your fafe off!" to each other.

Ahhhhhh..... game night. Gotta love it :D

Ooohhhh! A Contest!!

So, recently I have been spending more time trolling around on various blogs. It's like a spiderweb that starts with Nikki Stafford's and has spread from there. I am having so much fun "meeting" all these fabulous people and discovering common interests.

One of my new favorites is Falen Formulates Fiction who just reached 50 followers! and so is hosting a contest.

Why am I posting this? Why, so you can go discover the blog yourself!

Also, because I want an extra entry toward that gift card of course :P

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

My Job is Never Boring

Sometimes some seriously random things occur at my job. I work in a bookstore and I think bookstores attract bizarreness. (Yes that is a word)

1. Yesterday our e-mail was down. Completely not working. When we called tech support, there was a recorded message with the following message. "We are currently experiencing e-mail outages affecting stores that end in the number 7."

Really? Seriously? Only stores that end in the number 7? How is that even possible!? I started laughing so hard I had to hang up the phone.

2. I had a customer call to find out if we had a book in stock. I checked for it, but it wasn't on the shelf, so I told him I was sorry, but we didn't have it. He said, "Well, that's funny because online it says you have it. So I told him, I'm sorry, but I just checked the section and it's not there. So he gets all hostile and says, "That's funny, because every $#(*%& store within 50 miles says the same (*$%& thing." To which I am now ready to hang up the phone, because I do NOT get paid enough to be sworn at on the phone. So I say good-bye (politely as I can) and hang up. The book? Marijuana Horticulture.

Again I say, Really? If it is so important that you find this book that you must call every bookstore in a 50 mile radius, then maybe you should just order it online. Oh, wait, you don't want to do that, because you have to put in your ADDRESS and NAME and, oh yeah, growing marijuana is ILLEGAL!

3. We had a bunch of stuffed animals that went on sale really cheap, so a lady and her son bought 4 giant bags worth of them. I was thinking to myself, what on earth are they going to do with 60 stuffed animals?

The lady was kind enough to talk about it with her son while they were at the register, so I got the answer to my question. "The cats will love these!" she said.

What kind of cats do you think they have?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Things I Get Made Fun of for Liking

I had so much fun with my other list I decided to do another one :)

So now I have to decide, should I ease you into this, waiting until the end to throw the really crazy stuff at you, or shock you in the first moment so everything else seems less weird. Of course, depending on who you are the shock value may increase or decrease. So I think I'll just do them randomly.

1. Taylor Swift - along with a lot of other country music that I randomly started liking in the last year or so. I like the new "pop" country, not the old twangy country, but I like a variety of artists. The only country artist I don't get made fun of for liking is Rascal Flatts because they are all kinds of awesomesauce. But I love Taylor Swift's music and her music videos are wonderful.

2. The Twilight Saga - Yes, I like the Twilight books. I actually discovered them before they became a national phenomenon. They are great for what they are: brain candy. I am not saying Stephenie Meyer is the next Charlotte Bronte or something, but she is a good writer. I like her adult novel The Host a little bit better, but I've read them all, watched the movies and even have a "team". (That would be Team Jacob, by the way) I was one of the people in charge of the Breaking Dawn release party at the bookstore I work at and it was loads of fun. I learned way too much trivia, had fun dressing up and got earplugs to block out the teeny bopper screaming, but it was a blast.

3. Shia LaBeouf -

I liked him back when he was in Even Stevens, but it was the movie "Tru Confessions" that made me absolutely love him.

His acting in that was heartbreaking and I watch it whenever I am in the need for a good cry, which brings me to ...

4. Crying - yes, I love a good cry. There are times when you are just all overwhelmed by life and you are upset, but you don't know why or you feel emotional for no reason whatsoever (really. No reason at all) and you just need a good cry. I have a couple of movies and a couple of books that I can always turn to to give me a "reason" to have that cry. It makes me feel better.

5. Musicals - I love most musicals. I own a ton of soundtracks and I know tons of songs by heart. Some of my favorites include Thoroughly Modern Millie, Once Upon a Mattress, A Year With Frog and Toad, You're a Good Man Charlie Brown, The Music Man, Fiddler on the Roof, Beauty and the Beast - I could go on and on. But my favorite of all time that my sister and I got to see live in London was the musical version of The Lord of the Rings. It was the most amazing thing. The music was spectacular, the sets were mind-blowing, the costuming beyond imagination. Here are a couple of pictures from it.

I am DYING for them to bring it to Broadway. I would sell my first born child to go see it again. Okay, maybe not. But I would ..... do something .... drastic.

6/7. Hannah Montana/ High School Musical - I figured I'd lump these two together. I like the Hannah Montana show. I find it funny and I love Billy Ray Cyrus. I have seen all 3 High School Musicals and own 2 of them (though I do admit I only own them because they were mad cheap on sale) and actually just watched the 3rd one for the first time today. I'm just a giant kid at heart, what can I say?

8. Brendan Fraser - I know he is not everyone's favorite actor and somehow I always manage to like the ones everyone ridicules. Mainly I loved him in the Mummy movies, but I am just a big fan. I am dying to go see "Extraordinary Measures." I mean, come on! Brendan Fraser AND Harrison Ford in the same movie?! How can it not be good!? (Don't answer that question.)

9. Writing Research Papers - Yes, I love writing papers. I cannot stand reading non-fiction, normally. If you saw my list of books for the year, that was abundantly clear. But if I am doing research, that is another matter all together. Then it's exciting and interesting and fascinating and I'm actually getting really excited about grad school because I'll be able to write papers again!

10. Lost - Shocking, I know. Actually, for this one most people just ignore me, but I have been surprised by the anti-Lost sentiment that I've seen heading into this season. Of course, that has nothing to do with the fact that I've spent the last 8 months rewatching every single episode, talking about theories, Facebooking, Twittering and Blogging about it as well as indoctrinating several co-workers. Pshhh. That can't be it. Come on people! This is the best television out there right now and those of you who don't get it are the ones missing out! :)

I'm sure there are other things people make fun of me for liking. After all I am a self-proclaimed and proud geek. But these are the ones that came most readily to mind.