National Treasure

TWHS

Here’s a Throwback Thursday “That’s What He Said” for all of those who weren’t Facebook stalking me on the day that I made it my status:

Over the winter, Josh and I were discussing Bob Costas’ eye infection during the Olympics:

Josh: “What if he dies from this?”

Me: “WHY WOULD YOU SAY THAT?!”

Josh: “I’m just saying, what if…”

Me: “No. Stop. Don’t even put it out into the atmosphere.”

Josh: “Oh, it’s out there. What if this is what takes Bobby out?”

Me: “Not. Funny. You really shouldn’t talk so flippantly about a national treasure.”

Josh: “BOBBBBBBYYYYYY.” <silence> 

“I don’t even remember him in National Treasure. Or National Treasure 2.”

If we could all take a moment to give thanks that Bob Costas was able to recover from his eye infection, that’d be perfect. Okay, thanks.

Lessons Learned the Hard Way

I was inspired to write this list a few months ago after my luggage was misplaced coming home from Disney World. And we’ve all been told and reminded by airline employees not to check anything irreplaceable…but I got complacent because I’ve never lost luggage. I had run a race and received a super cool medal and I put it in my checked bag. And then the airline lost my bag. And I was heartbroken. My luggage was later found but it got me thinking about lessons it seems us humans just have to learn the hard way – after you’ve experienced it.

1. Don’t check anything in your luggage that’s irreplaceable.

It seems like such a “duh”… right up until you do it and you’re like “I CAN’T BELIEVE I DID THAT.” I was lucky and escaped this tough lesson with just a warning, but you better believe I have heard you Universe, and will pay more attention next time!

Compass

2. You lose friends, sometimes inexplicably.

Until you’ve lost a friend for what seems like no reason, and sometimes without closure, you don’t really understand what it’s like. But the older I’ve gotten and the more people I’ve talked to, the more I know this is a common occurrence. They either outgrow you, or are upset with you and never address it, or you just lose touch. It happens. And the hard way is experiencing it and learning how to get past it and let it go. I have had a few friendships end this way and I learned a lot from mourning the loss of those friends and dealing with letting it go.

efforttostay

3. Don’t cut your own hair.

I have mentioned this before (read about that here), but just don’t do it. Unless you’re a professional. Otherwise, you’re going to learn the hard way that cutting your own hair is a mistake you probably won’t make twice. And you’ll be growing out those bangs forever.

4. Life isn’t fair.

I know, I know – people say this all the time. You were probably first told this at five years old, and repeated it in your room while staring at your poster-covered walls and listening to angry music all through high school. But until life hands you a poop sandwich and tells you to eat it – and you HAVE to eat it – you don’t really know. And even when you’ve learned this lesson the hard way — it stays hard. <stamps foot> It’s just so… UNFAIR.

Lifeisntfair

5. Loss and Gratitude.

Speaking of life being unfair – the loss of an immediate family member is a devastation that you’ll never understand until it happens. It’s not a fun topic, so I won’t dwell on it, but I will say this – The strongest I’ve ever seen some of my friends and family was during a loss. They felt broken, but as a bystander who has watched several people lose parents/siblings/husbands/wives? They’ve never looked stronger to me and never seemed more grateful for life and the loved ones still in it. It’s a lesson we will all learn – and the only way is the hard way.

6. It’s okay for dreams to change.

You have a plan, you have a goal, you’re on your way – and then you realize it’s not what you wanted or not going to happen. I experienced this and can tell you that no self-help book would have prepared me for the confusion and depression. It went a little something like this:

“But… this is what I wanted! I worked so hard to get here! And now I’m here and I hate it. Oh dear. I’m a ship without a course! I’m a board game without directions! I’m a architect without a plan! What am I ever going to do?”

Make a new plan. Dreams change. Okay Universe, duly noted.

dreams

Dream big, buddy!

7. Debt.

Ugh. No one wants it, plenty of people have it, and people that have it and get out of it usually learn from that hard-earned lesson. And it’s another thing you are warned about  – but you don’t really understand it until you’ve been under a mountain of it and need to dig your way out. Then the lesson (hopefully) has sunk in.

8. Tackle the nagging task before it’s a huge task.

Oomph, we’ve all done this right? Kept forgetting to update your insurance and then you get in an accident the next day? Put “Backup computer” on your To Do list for 6 months and then your hard drive crashes? Or something smaller – promised yourself you would take the trash out before it got overstuffed and put it off just long enough to spill said trash all over the kitchen floor?  Or let your precious cats’ rabies vaccinations go up by a few weeks and then a bat gets into your house and Animal Control has to take your beautiful fur babies to the POUND for FOUR days and SEPARATED them while they get the bat tested for rabies, resulting in FOUR days of tears, depression and guilt. No? That one is just me? Fine. Well consider that lesson learned.

kittylove

Nomar & Pesky are besties and did not appreciate being in a scary place all alone.Their mom was equally unappreciative.

Have you learned any of these lessons? What other lessons do you think we have to learn the hard way? 

 

Just Do It? Nah. Just Stop It.

Hey, remember that time the best basketball player in the NBA held the entire league and ESPN hostage during his free agency rumors? What’s that? It’s happening again? LeBron James has officially made my “Just Stop It” list. But this list isn’t just about athletes – here’s a list of people that I would like to sincerely ask: Please, just stop. Shhh.

1. LeBron James, Decision 2.0

Seriously? You haven’t figured out that people still hate you because of the FIRST “Decision”? And since you DIDN’T win 3, 4, 5, 6 championships, you are reeling Cleveland back in and getting that poor, poor city’s fans’ hopes up again. And even if you do pick Cleveland, you’re alienating Heat fans. You haven’t hired a PR team to help with this stuff? Someone hasn’t told you that this isn’t right? It’s obnoxious and cruel. Cleveland has suffered enough.

lebron

2. Coworkers at a meeting who say “I know we’re running over…but…”

Right. So, that means everyone is late for wherever they need to be next – and you’re still talking. Wrap it up, send it in an email, save it for next time – whatever makes you stop talking and lets us all be on our way.

3. People who put their whole life on Facebook.

Oh dear. This is still happening. Listen – I like Facebook. I like connecting with old friends, staying up to date with current friends, seeing all your adorable children’s first day of school photos, I really do love it. But. If you’re putting every meal, every argument, every piece of drama up on your Facebook – well then believe me, you’re getting Unfollowed more than Justin Beiber after his 3rd arrest and 11th breakup with Selena. Had an amazing meal that made your mouth water? A little frustrated rant about your cable (I’m looking at you Time Warner)? A tiny soliloquy professing your love for your husband/Game of Thrones/chocolate pie? All of these are fine.  But I don’t need to see your oatmeal every morning or read about every argument you’ve ever had.

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4. Donald Sterling

Sigh. This guy is still talking. I really wish he’d just go away. So does the NBA. And minorities. And the whole world.

magic

5. Obsessive Dieters

Wow, can’t wait to hear more about how you went paleo/gluten-free/carb-free/exclusively orange food (hooray Cheetos!). I am constantly working on my fitness and diet, but you aren’t going to hear me drone on about what paleo is. If you ask, sure. But if that’s all I can talk about? Then I need to be quiet and eat my salad.

salad

6. Professional athletes that are losing and whining about it.

Athletes that whine while losing should just stop – Tennis players who throw rackets and bellow obscenities after a mishit, basketball players complaining about foul calls, baseball pitchers that talk trash after a hitter takes them yard. All of them should just stop talking. Stop with the excuses because you are getting overpaid to do what you do.

     6. B. Let’s add “Professional athletes that whine about money” to this. Latrell Sprewell once turned down a 3 year,$ 21 million contract because he “has a family to feed.” $21 million? That could feed a third world country. That’s 210 million packages of Ramen Noodles.

7. Mom on Mom Haters

I’m not even a mother and I already dread the day that the judgmental eye of other Moms is cast upon me. It seems like, especially on social media, mothers are constantly drinking the Hateorade and not supporting one another. My friends are always dealing with this and I can’t believe the world hasn’t started trending towards a more unified #TeamMom mindset. Parenthood looks to be really hard y’all! It scares me! And mothers are still insisting on being rude and unsupportive towards fellow mothers. I just don’t get it.

Mothers shouldn't let mothers lay down alone. Wait. What. You know what I mean.

Mothers shouldn’t let mothers pass out alone. Wait. What. You know what I mean.

8. Kanye West

You are not Jesus. We know you think you’re a savior (you’re not) and you think you’re a genius (hey, maybe you are, I’ll give you that) and you “have to dress Kim every day so she doesn’t embarrass you”… but calling yourself Yeezus does not make your behavior even remotely Christ-like or acceptable. The man is “a proud nonreader of books” because he’d “never want a book’s autograph”…if that’s not a reason for me to wish he would just stop it, I don’t know what is.

stoptalking

Who do you think should just stop it? Anyone on my list that you’d take off? Is LeBron going to Cleveland? 

 

Try Again.

TWHS

In the car with Josh, listening to the 90s station on XM Radio and Aaliyah’s song “Are You That Somebody” comes on and I start singing it…

…Switch to Pop2K on XM and Aaliyah’s song “Try Again” comes on and I start singing it…

Josh: “You know all Aaliyah’s music?”

Me: “Well these two were her biggest hits. And it’s not like she’s releasing any more.”

Josh: “Why not?”

Me, staring at him: “Are you serious? Because she died like over ten years ago. In a plane crash. This was big news. It was really sad.”

Josh: “Are you sure? I feel like I would remember that.”

Me: “Very sure.”

Josh: “I’m still not sure.”

agreewithyou

 

Check out all of Josh’s musings and pop culture educational deficiencies under the TWHS tab, or click here.

Red, White & Blue Book Giveaway!

In honor of the 4th of July, and this week’s Summer Reading List, I am giving away two brand new copies of the books from my list – The Jefferson Key, by Steve Berry and The Art of Fielding, by Chad Hardbach. Nothing says ‘America’ quite like books, baseball or Thomas Jefferson!

Books2

Enter in the Rafflecopter below and the first winner will get to choose which book they want, and the second winner will win the other!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you or anyone you know is interested in sponsoring a giveaway on the blog, please contact me at livelaughlist@gmail.com!

July Book Recommendations

Welcome to my most requested List… Book Recommendations! I am going to do this monthly, and am kicking it off with some summer reading – books I’ve read recently-ish (over the past few years) that have become my “go to” suggestions for people looking to read a book they can’t put down and aren’t necessarily genre-specific. I promise not to post spoilers in the descriptions if you promise not to post spoilers in the comments!

These aren’t in any particular order – just books I’ve read and suggest you do as well! If you click on the book, it will take you straight to my Amazon affiliate link so you can order…and ordering from my link enables me to buy more books. All of which I’ll tell you about in future lists. Isn’t Amazon grand?

1. Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn

A thriller with enough twists to keep even someone like me (who consumes far too much media, thus is hard to surprise) guessing! Be sure to read this book BEFORE October when the movie is released starring Ben Affleck. Remember, Class: We read the book first. I know Ben Affleck is a dreamboat and whatnot, but this novel is so excellent its worthy of reading before the film. You know, like all books.

2. What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures, by Malcolm Gladwell

This is a collection of Gladwell’s essays that he has written for The New Yorker over many years. Gladwell has written more famous books (Outsiders, The Tipping Point, Blink), but I always recommend What the Dog Saw as a perfect introduction to his writing that you can pick up and put down. The book’s essays examine everything from intelligence tests and ethnic profiling, to why there are many varieties of mustard but only one variety of ketchup.

 3. The Art of Fielding, by Chad Hardbach

I was hesitant to put this on my list, as it’s a little deeper and “Book Club” ish than a summer read, but here goes: This book that’s not really about baseball could be hit or miss (ha, see what I did there) for many readers. True, it’s main protagonist is a baseball player, but the novel is actually character and relationship-driven. The downside is that there’s a few parts that feel long and sluggish. I didn’t think I would end up enjoying it after reading the first 50 pages or so, but the author does a fantastic job developing the characters and made me invested in their futures.

4. 11/22/63, by Stephen King

At 753 pages, this is no light read! But it is King doing what he does best – writing a captivating story unlike one I’ve ever read. 11/22/63 follows a man who attempts to go back in time and prevent the assassination of JFK while examining the consequences of changing time. If you’re willing to commit to the length, this book is awesome.

5. Here I Go Again, by Jen Lancaster

Time travel? Again? Well this one isn’t exactly 11/22/63. A perfect beach read, this follows former high school Queen Bee Lissy Ryder, who goes back in time to try and fix her life, karma and mean girl reputation. I love everything Jen Lancaster has written because no matter what she always keeps me laughing.

6. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

Technically a young adult novel, it follows the story of a young girl in World War 2 who steals books and her foster father uses them to teach her how to read. It is beautifully written and the narrator provides for an interesting perspective (no spoilers here on who narrates). It isn’t going to make you laugh, but it will make you think. And maybe make you cry. (PS: Oh, and obviously they made it into a movie – I repeat: Read the book).

7. Defending Jacob, by William Landay

A legal crime thriller, Defending Jacob is about a Boston suburb ADA who investigates the murder of a boy in his son’s class until evidence suggests his son, Jacob, is the primary suspect. The story follows Jacob’s parents’ love of their son, as well as examines whether a propensity for violence can be genetic. Excellent read and a page-turner until the very end. (PS: It’s not a movie yet…but I’m sure it will be… read it now and be a trendsetter!)

8. The Jefferson Key, by Steve Berry

I love Steve Berry and his books featuring Cotton Malone are my favorite. He mixes history and fiction to create captivating, beach read stories that I can’t put down. The Jefferson Key links several assassination attempts of U.S. presidents and the group behind them, and follows Cotton Malone as he tries to solve a cipher once used by Thomas Jefferson. If you liked the film National Treasure, you’ll love Steve Berry.

Books

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Okay, these are some books that should keep you turning pages while at the beach. Next month I want to dive in to a different genre or theme. What would you like to see next? Young Adult? My All-Time Favorites? Non-Fiction? Comment below with your future book list requests!