Alex's Adventures

My adventures in surviving life

Archive for January, 2011

Ryan is Awesome or Awesome Ryan

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January 27th, 2011 Posted 8:39 pm

(3:02:12 PM) Ryan: I just wrote a new song… it goes like this
(3:02:23 PM) Ryan: “I’m going home in 30 minutes.. in your face Joey”
(3:02:38 PM) Ryan: I sang it to Joey… he wasn’t impressed
(3:03:02 PM) Alex: wow. i am impressed
(3:03:06 PM) Alex: and jealous
(3:03:14 PM) Alex: i sang it to Annie and she wants to buy it on itunes
(3:03:22 PM) Alex: is it on itunes yet?
(3:03:32 PM) Ryan: maybe tonight
(3:03:37 PM) Alex: hahahah
(3:03:39 PM) Alex: awesome
(3:03:46 PM) Ryan: tell her to look for it
(3:03:49 PM) Ryan: the band name is
(3:03:52 PM) Ryan: Ryan is Awesome
(3:03:57 PM) Ryan: or Awesome Ryan

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Pretty Little Time Suckers (NOOKbooks #4-7)

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January 23rd, 2011 Posted 8:39 pm

I’ve been totally addicted to these Pretty Little Liars books since I started reading the series about two weeks ago. I’m already on the fourth book and there are currently 8 novels, but soon 9-12 will be out too. I keep seeing the ads for the show on Disney Family channel, but I’m so far behind that I have no idea what’s going on in the show, so I’ll wait until it comes out on DVD and Netflix it then.

The best way I can describe these books is like The Baby-sitters Club meets The OC, and Kristy and the gang have been bad, bad girls. I love my share of teenage angst and drama in movies and books and this series does not disappoint. I was expecting to read a few pages and totally hate it, like the Twilight series.  So I downloaded a sample…and I was hooked.  I love mysteries and scandal (probably why I am addicted to “Snapped” as well) and Pretty Little Liars has all that.

First there is the mystery of what really happened to the beautiful 13-year-old Ali who disappeared on the last day of Seventh grade 3 years earlier. Ali was the Queen Bee of her group of friends: Aria, Emily, Hannah and Spencer (Really, who names their kid Spencer?) It’s three years later and the girls have moved on, but still can’t shake the memory of their missing friend–mostly because she knew secrets about them and individually she was the only person they told.  Then  there’s the question if she’s alive or dead.  And finally there is a mysterious character “A,”  who contacts all four girls (via e-mail and texting–duh) and tortures them with the secrets she knows, but only Ali could know. So is Ali back or is there someone else who knows all their dirty little secrets? Think you’ve figured out who is “A” or how Ali disappeared? Guess again, because Unbelievable (PLL#4) has me switching my vote.

The excitement from these books has me reading every chance I get. They’ve been total time suckers: work breaks, late nights, waiting to get my haircut, anytime I can fit in a few pages, I do. I am that hooked into unraveling the mystery and reading all the scandal.

Warning: the PLL series is a bunch of cliff hangers and will suck you in to read the next one. I’ve already invested about $36– at $8.99/book and will probably have a bill double that once I finish all of them.

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Successfully Saving (NOOKbook #3)

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January 15th, 2011 Posted 11:15 pm

I have just finished reading and watching “Confessions of a Shopaholic” By Sophie Kinsella. It was so funny and so real, I laughed out loud like a crazy many times. Although it’s just a story, real people are facing some real debt and and aren’t sure what to do about it. I’m not going to give out any financial advice..because I totally don’t have any. But the book left me with a feeling of nostalgia from 2 years ago when my spending way way out of hand and also some thoughts on the future.

Rebecca Bloomwood is an amazing character with a love for high fashion, but a great lack of self-control. I know I have drooled over amazing jeans or jacket that I just couldn’t afford and had to walk away. Rebecca goes out and get what she wants and from what the book describes looks fantastic in it as well. But her salary as a journalist working for a low-end magazine “Successfully Saving” isn’t enough so her father suggests two options, Cut Back or Make More Money.

I have run into this dilemma as well. With the recent purchase of my house I am currently on the Cut Back plan and actually have been for several months. I had a hell of a summer last year, first with my mom being hospitalized several times, then my grandma dying and finally my job being cut back to half time. Working half time I was given the option to apply for assistance from EDD. It was many weeks before I saw my first paycheck, so I definitely had to cut back. That meant no extra spending: pedicures, shoes, wine tastings, movies, pretty much everything. I even contemplated canceling the cable in my apartment but I figured with all this free time I had now I would probably spend a good portion of it moping and watching Oxygen. Which I totally did.

Once I started spending less, I noticed that I was less tempted to spend at all. These material things weren’t going to satisfy me, it was just going to feed into the monster inside of me that needed to shop and shop. And then one day in September I came home from work and Joey had been on the phone with a Realtor and had looked into a loan for a house. He was tired of trying to negotiate with our landlord who was raising the rent a ridiculous amount. Considering that our washer was left broken 3 weeks  after we filed a notice of repair and the damn hoodlums were able to  shut off our  main breaker twice because there was no lock on the panel, we were definitely not going to renew our contract.

For the next two months I barely spent anything knowing that we would have to come up with a good down payment.  It’s been exciting and expensive being a homeowner and fixing up our fixer upper. So even though I didn’t get those shoes I wanted or go on vacation to Harry Potter land with Ryan, I totally saved and got something better that will last a lifetime…well at  least the next 30 years.

Overall, “Confessions of a Shopaholic” was a great read, I finished the book in about three days. Rebecca’s antics are hilarious in the ways she tries to avoid her debt or reason it (Well I definitely needed to buy that wine, it’s essential–excuses I am familiar with) and struggles to keep her life together. The British slang had me checking the online dictionary several times. In the end, Rebecca solved her continuing money issues with epiphany on shopping and spending and I learned that Sophie Kinsella may just be my new favorite author.

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