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May 25, 2011

Thank You

As some of you know, today is a very difficult day for me. Its a day I known was coming for a long time, but I have been living in denial. Despite my prayers, my vigils, and my wishful thinking...

{dramatic pause} is the last day there will ever be a new Oprah Winfrey Show.

{insert a dramatic sob}

If there ever was a day I would believe in the rapture, today would be the day. I cannot imagine what tomorrow will look like without Oprah streaming into televisions across the country. I really don't know what I am going to do without her source of daily guidance. What cause should I care about? Who should I vote for? What is my bra size?

I tried to remember the first Oprah show I ever watched and realized that to do so would be impossible. It would be like remembering the first time you ever took a breath, had a sip of water, or a bite of food. Oprah has always been  a part of my life: breathing, eating, drinking, and watching Oprah.

For years I took Oprah for granted. I would come home from school, get myself a snack, and turn on her television show in the kitchen while I munched away. It wasn't until I got to college that I realized Oprah was less of a television program and more of a comforting ritual. Sans DVR, I would come home from a long day of classes and curl up on my bed, flip on Oprah, and mentally take a break. I refused to take classes that would require me to miss her four o'clock time slot. I had a front row seat to the very best teacher for free.

It wasn't until law school that Oprah became less of a program and more of a mentor. Living on the other side of the country from my family and friends, I felt completely alone. Everyday I would come home from school to my little apartment feeling very down.  In a perpetual state of feeling sorry for myself, I would turn my twelve inch television to the 7 o'clock reshowing of Oprah.  It was then, for those mere sixty minutes, that I would escape all my troubles - but most importantly gain perspective.  More days then not, her show was the highlight of my day. 

So you see, Oprah ending her show feels like a great loss to me. The daily ritual of her program provided me with relaxation, mental stimulation, inspiration, and perspective.  As of today, my favorite daily ritual will cease to exist, and accordingly I feel a bit lost - but mostly, really sad.  Nevertheless, I feel grateful for the 25 years I had the pleasure of watching her show. 

So Ms. Winfrey, thank you.  Thank you for your positive influence on the world and those around you.  Thank you for taking the time to have conscious programming and valuing the time of your viewers.  Thank you for introducing me to stories I had never heard and thoughts I had never considered.  Thank you for being a constant source of inspiration to me, and the woman I hope to become. 

{Photo taken from the only Oprah showing taping I had the pleasure of attending}

May 22, 2011

Operation Bethenny

When it comes to water cooler fodder, Bethenny Frankel has sucked up more time at work then I should probably admit on the internet. Everyone (who is female) in my office loves her.  But who doesn't these days? As I can shamefully proudly proclaim that I have watched EVERY EPISODE from EVERY Housewives franchise (minus a few from the early OC days...), I can speak with authority on the subject that Bethenny is easily the best one.  Plus, her Skinny Girl cocktail is to thank for why I am five pounds lighter then I should be due to my current adult beverage consumption.  

Que Monday morning, when I completely outed myself for being on Facebook at work when I shrieked from my office "BETHENNY FRANKEL IS COMING TO DALLAS!"  My coworker quickly ran into my office where we absorbed the details: bottle signing, various liquor stores in the Dallas metro area, Friday during the work day.

We let out a collective groan.  How were we going to see her?  That's where we devised Operation Bethenny, the details of which are, obviously, still classified.

On the day of the signing we executed our mission perfectly with one minor hiccup.  Even though we got there over an hour early, we did not get one of the coveted 100 wristbands that guaranteed you to get in.  Standing outside, rain clouds looming overhead, we decided we would wait regardless. Assured that she would sign as many bottle as we bought, we stocked up on a bunch of Skinny Girl and waited passionately in line.

Bethenny arrived early (awesome) and started ahead of schedule.  My one complaint was that when we got inside the store we were informed she would only sign one item.  This isn't really her fault, rather, it was the liquor stores evil plot to get us to buy more bottles.  I decided I would rather she signed the book because I didn't know that the bottle would survive in a moment of weakness.

I got to the front of the line within 20 minutes, which is pretty impressive as I was about 200th in line.  I quickly realized the the short wait was because you got approximately 5 seconds with Bethenny and a professional took your picture.  I didn't mind though, I would rather everybody in line get through as opposed to some people being turned away.

When I go to signings, and I have been to my fair share, I have a bad habit of saying something stupid when I get to the front of the line no matter how much I have thought about what I am going to say.  Bethenny was no different.  I just yammered on and on, and ended with "Big fan."

BIG FAN? Dear God.

I was even more horrified when I found my picture AND I WAS STILL TALKING WHILE THEY WERE TAKING THE PICTURE.

Not to mention I was the only person in line in a suit. Oh well, it was still fun and I get to add Bethenny's book to my shelf of autographs.  Sadly, no sighting of Julie, Jason, or Baby Bryn.

Now I am off to enjoy a cocktail, since I bought 100 bottles for all my friends/coworkers.  However, putting all these bottles to good use is a plight I am sure I can handle.


May 19, 2011

Summer To-Do

I stumbled upon this "Summer To-Do" list on Pinterest* this week and I couldn't get it out of my head. 

In comparison to the one listed above, here is what my "Summer To-Do" list currently looks like:
(1) Study for the bar exam
(2) Bitch about how I don't have enough time to study for the bar exam
(3) Work full time and tie up loose ends before my job ends
(4) Find a new job in an attempt to avoid another "Lost Year"

I don't know about you, but I think my summer currently sucks massive...well, you know.  But I realized, in a moment of clarity, that just because I don't have anything epic in nature to look forward to this summer doesn't mean that I can't find moments of summer and enjoy them.  So, I contimplated about what a perfect summer would look like (sans a trip to the Almalfi Coast) and here is what I came up with:

(1) Try either 6 a.m. yoga and/or spinning at the gym at least once
(2) Walk the Katy Trial and check out the new Katy Trail Ice House
(3) Complete my summer reading list consisting of:
      (a) Harry Potter books 5-7
      (b) Bossypants
      (c) Commencement
      (d) Place of Yes, and
      (e) Wish You Were Here
(4) Plan a trip home end of August/beginning of September
(5) Finish my quilt project
(6) Study at 3 new and different coffee shops
(7) Jump in water that is not a pool (or a bath, for that matter)
(8) Watch a sun set from beginning to end
(9) Buy a fresh batch of summer flowers for my house
(10) Walk/run around the entire White Rock Lake

What is on your Summer To-Do List?

*Sidenote, if you are not on Pinterest you need to get on Pinterest.  In the beginning, this website was a lot like Twitter for me.  As in, I didn't get it.  I didn't understand the hype or how it worked.  But now I am obsessed and it is my new favorite website.  I have discovered so many fabulous things because of it.


May 17, 2011

Book 9: No Ordinary Time by Doris Kearns Goodwin

A couple weeks ago, I sent out a tweet: "Anybody want to suggest a good political biography?"  Melissa, from For the Love, responded with "No Ordinary Time" by Doris Kearns Goodwin and boy was I glad she did.  I have read a decent number of (contemporary) political biographies and none hold a candle to this book. 

No Ordinary Time chronicles the relationship of Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt during their time in the White House.  As a political science major, I am pretty ashamed to admit that I really did not know a lot about FDR, and I found him fascinating.  While he definitely had his flaws, what struck me was his constant calm and his sense of balance even while having the most stressful job in America, during arguably the most stressful time in American history. 

Yet for me, the book was not really about FDR.  It was all about Eleanor.  I daresay I might be a bit obsessed, having already perused the internet for more bios on her life.  We really give Hillary Clinton too much credit, because Hillary Clinton was really ripping a chapter of Eleanor Roosevelt's "First Lady Handbook."

I do have a confession, I didn't actually read this book, I listened to the audio book.  And if you are a fan of audio books the reader (s - for a short period) was just a delight.  I listened to it every morning while getting ready and was sad when the final chapter closed today.  Even if you are not a lover of politics or history, I think you would still like this book.  There is a reason it won the Pulitzer Prize!

Make sure to friend me on Goodreads! My user name is DuolyNoted

Next Up: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (which in truth, I am almost done with)


May 13, 2011

Push it

Its Friday, and all I want to do is put on sweatpants, grab a glass of wine, and do this dance:


May 8, 2011

Sleep is for the Weak

This weekend was a busy one.  Luckily, it was "good busy" as it was full of back-to-back fun!

Friday I went to Jen Lancaster's book signing for her new book If You Were Here. I was a bit surprised that there were more people at this book signing then their was at Emily Giffen's book signing.  Lancaster has quite a following, there were even people there dressed like her (still don't know how I feel about that...

Even though I picked up my ticket two hours before the event, I still got stuck in Group C which meant I had to wait in line for-ev-er.  It was worth it though because Jen was hilarious and I made friends in line who were kind enough to take the photo above and email it to me after my phone died.  I decided that if I am ever lucky enough to have a book signing, I will supply cocktails to those in line because it really is a long time to wait for 3.5 seconds worth of interaction with the author. 

Speaking of Emily Giffin, Saturday I went with the girls from my book club to the premiere of the movie Something Borrowed, adapted from Emily's first novel... 

I had high hopes for this movie and I was not disappointed.  It is a good, old fashioned chick flick at its best.  The movie was a bit different then the book, primarily because John Krakowski's character, Ethan, is a large supporting character in the movie but notsomuch in the book.  It worked great in the movie though, and it really set things up for the sequel so I didn't mind so much.  I think its the best Girls Night Out movie that I have seen in awhile and would recommend it but only if you've read the book first.

Did anybody else see it this weekend? What were your thoughts?

That night we went to Meddlesome Moth to celebrate a friend's birthday.  If you happen to live in Dallas and haven't checked out this restaurant I highly suggest it.  It has about a billion beers (and beer flights, as you can see above) and a fabulous ambiance.

Today we spent cleaning up the yard and planting some new rose bushes.  I am not one for "gardening" but I have really enjoyed the already established rose bushes so we decided to plant a few more in the space that most people would probably use to plant more seasonal flowers.  Fingers crossed I don't kill them!


May 6, 2011

Book 8: Room by Emma Donoghue

Room by Emma Donoghue is hands down my favorite book that I have read so far this year. When my book club picked it as our next book I was a bit skeptical. The book is told through the perspective of a five year old boy, born in a room where he is being held captive with his mother by a man referred to as "Old Nick." The biggest question I get when I tell people about the premise of the book is "is it scary?" The answer is no, not really, because it is told through the perspective of an innocent little boy. It is actually quite endearing to read about the creative ways his mother teaches her son about the outside world. I would, however, use the adjective "haunting" to describe the book, as Jack explains things he perhaps doesn't understand but may cause the reader some alarm.

The reason I loved this book so much was that I had never read anything like it before. The voice of Jack is so pitch-perfect and the subject matter is so unique that I quickly became invested in the outcome for this innocent little boy and his mother. Oddly, I didn't finish the book very quickly as I found that I had to read rather slowly to fully comprehend all that Jack was experiencing through his five year old perception. Nevertheless, it was a fantastic read and I highly, highly recommend it. Additionally, if you have a book club it would be a great pick as I think it is going to create a lot of discussion.

Make sure to friend me on Goodreads! My user name is DuolyNoted.


May 1, 2011

One More Photo...

Apparently I posted this week's Life Uploaded too soon.  Had I waited, this surely would have been today's photo:


Life Uploaded: The ROYAL WEDDING Edition {April 25th - May 1}

{Monday, 3.25.11}  My rose bushes are blooming like crazy and I couldn't help but cut one of them off and bring it indoors.

{Tuesday, 3.26.11}  I have a rule, NO SHOPPING ON WEEKDAYS.  I hate it.  I  normally don't get home until 7 anyways, and there is no grocery store en route to the house, so "stopping by the store" on a weekday feels like a huge imposition.  However, we didn't have any food and my choice was to either starve or break my cardinal rule...but I was not happy about it.

{Wednesday, 3.27.11} Wednesday was full of bad weather and I was constantly keeping an eye on these crazy "wall clouds" looming overhead threatening even more tornadoes. I am so over this season. 

{Thursday, 3.28.11}  Awwwww... 

{Friday, 3.29.11} Did I pause my DVR and take pictures throughout the royal wedding? Why yes I did! 

{Saturday, 3.30.11}  Can you guess where we are?  If you guessed Costco that is right.  I love Costco.  I would live inside Costco if I could.  However, sticking to a budget while at Costco is not our strong suit.  I am happy to report we came in $10 under budget, which we promptly spent on a slice of cheese pizza, a chicken bake, and mocha freeze from the food court. 

{Sunday, 4.1.11} Racquetball has become our weekly Sunday tradition and I must say that I have become rather good at the sport, although still not as good as Dan.  We have tweaked the game a bit to make it more fair, i.e., I get unlimited bounces, I get a head start in points, etc. But today we found the pefect way to play: I get a point for every time I score, regardless of whether I served, and Dan can only get points for when he serves.  It created solid competition and totally wore us out.  Before you know it we are going to be wearing goggles, gloves, and fancy shoes. 



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