Sunday, October 24, 2010

Allie's Must Read of the Month

Maybe I'll start a new series of posts...

But for now, I just have to express my love for this book series I've recently discovered, called "The Millennium Trilogy".

"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" is the first in the series by the late Swedish author, Steig Larson. It is followed by "The Girl Who Played With Fire", which I am in the process of reading, and "The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest". They've taken the NY Times Best Seller List by storm, and the first Hollywood movie is already in the works.

Larson has woven a very complex, intriguing plot of mystery and murder together with a set of unconventional but fascinating characters to create a suspenseful nail-biter that I can't put down! (Or I can't stop listening to, in my case, since I downloaded the audiobooks from for my commutes back and forth from Memphis to Jackson.)  Being a long-time murder/mystery fiction fan, I've gotten to a point where I can predict a lot of the endings and twists in many books that I read. Don't get me wrong, Mary Higgins Clark is a quick, enjoyable read for me, but sometimes I just want to be knocked off my feet!

That's exactly what this book delivers.

One of my favorite things about this book is the heroine, Lisbeth. She's not your typical "I'm beautiful and smart, but I just don't realize it" or "My parents divorced when I was young, so I've never trusted anyone... until now" type of heroine. She's rough, in the way she looks and the way she acts. She's the girl you'd stare at and judge if you passed her on the street, but she'll surprise you.

I love her for many reasons. She's not a victim, even though most people in her situation would be. She moves ahead, and takes care of business. She's an absolute genius, and extremely talented, and could easily use her talents to her advantage. But she's incredibly and surprisingly moral, so she only uses her gifts to give people what they deserve. There is lots of bad-guy butt-kicking involved! I can't help but cheer for her the entire time, and feel oddly proud of her as she evolves and "grows up" from the end of the first book and into the second.

I tweeted right after I cut my hair shorter and dyed it darker that it make me feel like Lisbeth! Of course, I don't want to be just like her- I'll pass on the piercings and tattoos and terrible goth clothes she sports in the first book. However, she has a mental toughness and take-charge-of-her-life attitude that I wouldn't mind sharing!

The American movie "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" is filming now, and set to be released in late 2011. I. CAN'T. WAIT. For now, I've watched the Swedish version several times, and "The Girl Who Played With Fire" is on it's way to me from Netflix. Here's a trailer of the Swedish movie if you are interested!

**** Obviously, these books are only suitable for adults. I find the crimes committed particularly disturbing, even though I have read countless thriller novels and I don't scare easily. (Wikipedia the book or ask me if you are curious). If you can handle this, I highly recommend reading them, because it makes Lisbeth's butt-kicking even more awesome and justified!****

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

2 years down, 63 to go!

Brandon and I have been married for two years! This year, we decided to celebrate by doing fun things together, instead of buying presents.

A few weeks ago, we went to see Seinfeld's stand up routine at the Orpheum.We both laughed so hard we cried, and I thought for sure my makeup was going to run all over my face!

This weekend, we had tickets to see Wicked, also at the Orpheum. This was my second time to see it, and I tried really hard not to sing along to my favorite soundtrack.  No worries though, because Brandon and I spent the next day singing along together, and recalling our favorite lines from the play.

After marveling over how it's been two years, I asked how many years we should aim for. I'm all about setting goals these days! 75 sounded like a good number, but after calculating how old that would make us, we shook our heads in unison.

Sixty-five years, we decided, would be perfect. That means I would live to be 88, and Brandon 87. "Yeah! That way we can go out while we're still ahead," Brandon said. "By that time, our grandkids will be having kids, and our job will be done!"

I don't know if we'll be that lucky, to live long enough to make it to 65 years of marriage. But I do know that I'll be thankful for every year, even every day I'm able to spend with Brandon. He makes me smile, and today I love him twice as much as the day we were married. If we make it that long, I'm sure by then I'll love him 65 times as much!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Make My Day!

Today has been a particularly good day for me, for several reasons.

First of all, I made a difference it someone's life today. Which is why I love my career choice. We'll call her "Little Old Lady", or "LOL" for short. I called Ms. LOL to talk to her about her medicine. She explained, with sadness, how she hadn't eaten greens or salads for months! Her doctor had told her it was a huge no-no with her medication, and so she was simply following doctor's orders.

This is where I stepped in.

I spent quite a long time on the phone to Ms. LOL and Ms. LOL's daughter, educating them about why greens and salad do affect her medication, but she CAN eat those things as long as she pays close attention to the frequency and portion size. She exclaimed, "I'm going to eat greens tonight!" and her daughter said, "I'm pretty sure you just made her day! She's loved greens and salad all her life, but was trying to do what the doctor told her to do".

You may think this isn't that big of a deal, but I'll tell you. I'd be pretty upset if someone told me I could never eat spinach or salad again! All it took was 20 minutes of education, and she's back to eating her favorite foods, TONIGHT!

It absolutely and positively makes my day to be able to help someone like this and make a positive change in their life. For this reason, I know deep down in my heart that pharmacy is the right career for me.

Secondly, my Daddy makes me smile. You know how when you are little, your parents aren't really "people". They are just your parents, and their purpose is to work so that you can have things, and take you all the places you want to go, and be there for every single volleyball game, etc. At least that what my parents did.

When you grow up, you realize that your parents are, in fact, people. They have their own interests, hobbies, personalities and everything! For example, my Dad has rediscovered his love for playing guitar. Every Thursday night, he gathers with other Jacksonians for "Pickin n Grinnin" at The Old Country Store. They entertain the crowds with their country and bluegrass tunes, and Dad loves every second of it. I'm incredibly happy knowing that he has something that he does for himself.

Of course, he had the biggest fan club there! (His agent, Richard took this picture. )

Besides being the next George Strait, my Dad is also very silly. This fact, I've known all along, because I inherited a similar sense of humor. In case you have never had the privilege to experience his silliness, check this out, and pay close attention at the end.

Every time I see this, it makes my day! :) 

Friday, October 8, 2010

You Know What October Means!

Me to Brandon: "Guess what!! It's October, and you know what that means!"

"Halloween, our anniversary, and the start of your favorite time of year", Brandon replied proudly.

I was so excited! "So, you are going to put up our Halloween lights this weekend, right?"

Brandon seemed puzzled for a moment, and said, "You do realize that you are going to be in Jackson for your rotation, and you aren't going to be home that many days of the month, right?"

At this point, all I had to do was give him "the look". "The look" that means "You do realize how happy I get over Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas lights and decorations. At least you should realize because I've told you every year!!!!"

He quickly read my mind and said "I'll have them up first thing in the morning, because I don't want you to have to go any longer without the happiness our Halloween lights bring to you."

Isn't my husband so sweet?

Nancy gave me this last year, and I still love it!
Very strategically placed lights! If you look closely, you can see Phoebe peeking out of the door.
This one is pure evil!

The pumpkin, I mean. Of course.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I Wanna Be A Billionaire, So Freakin Bad!

I swear, I wouldn't know any current songs on the radio if it weren't for Glee.  I first heard "Billionaire" on the first episode of the season, and I've had it on repeat every since. It's a cute-sy little song about all of the things he would buy, and the nice things he would do if he were a billionaire, which got me thinking....

What would I buy and do if I were a billionaire?

First, I would buy a huge house/ apartment/ condo in Memphis, Jackson, Nashville, San Fran, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, Asheville, New York, L.A., Paris, Venice, Spain, etc. You get the idea.  Of course, I'd also hire someone to clean and look after each of them. I wouldn't have time to clean in my fabulous new life!

Then, I would buy a lifetime airline pass for myself and all of my friends and family, and give them all keys to my property, so we could all travel anywhere we wanted at any time.

I would also hire a personal trainer and a gourmet chef. My personal trainer would whip me up into tip-top shape, and my chef would fix me and Brandon homemade, organic, and delicious vegetarian meals.

Who am I kidding? If you know me, you know I would have gone on a major shopping spree (or three) by now. Kelly and I would be on the best dressed list for sure!

I'd also buy my friends and family anything they wanted. A house for Mom and Dad? Done. Complete with a guest house in the back for Grandmom. I'd build a lake nearby for Dad and a few boats so he can fish anytime he wants. Mom can have an even bigger TV than she has now with speakers throughout the house so she can always hear what's on ESPN. The whole family would have lifetime season passes for the Cardinals games and the Colts. New vehicles for everyone too!

I'd get Brandon several really awesome motorcycles. Actually, all the boys get a new motorcycle so they can play while the women are off in New York and Paris shopping.

Since I wouldn't have to work, being a billionaire and all, I'd like to spend a few days a week volunteering for a charity. Something to do with orphans and needy children, animals, cancer patients, or cancer research.

Now, back to things for me. :)

Definitely would get a super duper Mac computer, and an Ipad for travel. Of course, I'd buy Will and Jake as much Apple tech-y stuff as they want.

Where's the fun in living this amazing life if I don't have my best friend to share it with? I'd pay the best scientist in the world to develop medicine or technology so that a dog's lifespan can be as long as a human's. That way, my little Phoebekins can live to be old and gray with us.

 It's nice to dream, isn't it? While all of these things would be super fun, I'm perfectly happy in my normal non-billionaire life! I'll be even happier in May when I graduate.
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