Favorite Things Friday

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I was traveling for work last night and didn’t get up and moving quite so early as normal this morning so didn’t take the time to write.  Better late than never, right?

Without further ado… here are my favorite things right now.

1. Dueling Pianos

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Seriously, I love any dueling pianos.  But these guys are probably my fav.  They do three fundraising dueling pianos events with my organization every year and the last one – my personal favorite since I coordinate it – was last night.  Amazing as always.  If you’ve never seen dueling pianos I have two things to say to you.  1) What are you waiting for? and 2) Hurry up and remedy that.

2. This Little Fluffer Nutter

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I’m writing this from my mom & dad’s couch since I’m in Green Bay for the weekend.   We’ve* been here for about an hour and Charlie’s definitely made herself at home.  While I sat here and worked, I watched her enter the living room from off the dining room counter, slink her way across the back of the section, jump to the recliner, jump to the coffee table, leap to the rocking chair, and walk across the front of the entertainment center.  From there she flung herself into the dining room.  Yep, she made it all around the living room without touching the carpet.  It’s clear she’s done it before and was proving to herself that she still can.

3. This Curious Creature

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I can’t play favorites.  Lady Bug has been pretty cute lately too.  (Also, after my rant about cat ladies the other day, I realized I haven’t taken many pictures of them lately so they were bound to appear in the favorite things list this week).  See above how we’ve only been here an hour.  She’s managed to root out at least two hair ties and knock over a clean pan.  She’s nothing if not persistent.  I’m so thankful they both enjoy coming here though.  Makes being gone all the time a little more bearable if they can come with me on some of the trips.

4. Zac Brown Band

With all the time in the car lately, even I’ve needed a break from podcasts.  I bought the new Zac Brown Band CD earlier this year but it had been replaced by something else in the car recently.  Threw it back in earlier this week and there are two songs on this CD that just make me feel good.  I am not a country fan but I cannot get enough of this band.  I literally interrupted a conversation last night because Homegrown came on and I just needed to sing along.  Also I’d had a (few) rum & Cokes so that may explain why Castaway just speaks to me.

5. Art Fairs

Seriously.  Who doesn’t love a good art fair?  Aside from just enjoying seeing the parentals, I came to Green Bay this weekend for Art Street.  I always need something extra for my house, or a little trinket for my hair, or more green and gold-ish jewelry.  You never know what you might find that you just have to buy.  Plus, Art Street sounds like an amazing excuse to wander around downtown and grab a bloody mary.  Cheers!

 

*Yes, the cats travel with me.  No I don’t (usually) have to force them into the crate.  They seem to genuinely enjoy traveling.  I have weird cats.  I know.
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On the Crazy Cat Lady Stereotype

If you’re on Facebook, you may have noticed that yesterday was apparently “National Dog Day” again.  I feel like we just had such a day but that’s besides the point…

I couldn’t help but think if I were posting as many pictures of my cats as my friends posted of their dogs, I would never hear the end of it.  In fact, I got so much crap for posting pictures of the girls that I started a blog.  I rarely post photos of the cats on my person page now.  Instead, I post them on the blog’s Facebook page.

The double standard always drives me crazy.  My friends who have dogs are way more over the top about their pets than I am with the cats.  And yet I’m the crazy one.

Among the dog photos I saw yesterday, a friend of mine also posted this article about why we should stop trying to debunk the crazy cat lady stereotype.  I agree to a point.  Especially with this excerpt from the end:

To some she may be a spinster, but to me she is independent.
She may be considered dowdy, but I say she has authentic and individual style.
To some she may even be crazy, but to me she is a woman who has always felt empowered to strike her own path.

There are so many things about being a cat person that make me “better” than my dog friends.  I can be much more independent and spontaneous. You will never hear me beg off plans because my pet needs to pee.  I can literally pick up and leave for multiple days in a row at any time without worrying about who is going to watch my pets.  When it’s 30 below in January, I don’t ever have to get out of bed, put on 15 layers, and walk my pet.  I would never dream of just showing up at someone’s house with my pet without asking first.

I’m not saying that my friends who love their dogs are wrong.  In fact, in some ways I’m way more of a dog person than a cat person.  My cats just happen to be easy to care for compared to dogs and I personally know I don’t have the time or the energy to deal with a dog right now.  Truth be told, neither do plenty of people who have dogs and I just know better than to think they’d be a good pet for me.

I find myself lucky because I have the best of both worlds.  My cats have more personality packed into 7 and 14 pounds than some St. Bernards.  They are cuddly and affectionate.  They greet me at the door.  They can curl up into tiny little spaces and snooze for hours when they just want to be left alone (which isn’t all that often if I’m home).

Yes, I am quirky and prefer being along sometimes.  Yes, I’d rather stay home and drink wine than go out every night of the week.  Yes, I could lay in bed all day and read a book instead of venturing outside.  But I was all of those things before I was a cat person so they really have nothing to do with the girls.
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What I’m Reading Wednesday

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Morning friends!  We’re almost half way through the week.  Here’s hoping that you are surviving… even better if you’re thriving this week!

Last night was one of my favorite night of the month – book club night.  I’ve been part of plenty of book clubs and all of them take on a different flavor.  Only one that I’ve participated in was truly about the books.  The one I did in Lexington was mostly about the wine.  The one here is primarily about the food.  Really though, book clubs are always about the camaraderie.

This month we read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.  This book had been on my list for quite a while and I just hadn’t gotten around to it.  I’m always so thankful when we choose a book that I’ve been wanting to read anyway because it gives me an excuse to actually read it!  Otherwise, it’s easy to keep putting it off because there are always cheaper, shorter, or easier things to read.

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The Girl on the Train was somewhat Gone Girl-ish, if you read and liked that.  Personally, I didn’t like Gone Girl.  I found it disturbing.  But I thought Girl on the Train was phenomenal.  Without giving too much away, I think the difference was in one, the villain didn’t get what they deserved.  In the other, they did.

In general, Girl on the Train focuses on Rachel, an alcoholic whose life is truly a mess; her ex-husband Tom and his new wife Anna; and a couple who lives down the street from the ex.  Rachel takes the train passed her old neighborhood every day and can’t seem to extract herself from that old life.  When one of the women goes missing, Rachel feels that she knows something important but her blackouts make it hard to understand what she really knows.

I think all of the ladies at book club agreed that we loved the false leads throughout this story.  Multiple times things are presented that may or may not be important.  Hawkins has an incredible skill of weaving in seemingly unrelated details that turn out to be relevant, while also setting up scenes that appear to be meaningful and turn out to be completely unrelated.  She also set up the story in such a way that almost everyone who was reading figure out the “who-dun-it” before we got to the end.  But the story was so interwoven that you just needed to keep reading to see if everyone else figured it out.  And to confirm that you were right seeing as how you changed your mind multiple times about who the villain was.

All in all, Girl on the Train was an incredible ride.  I just finished it last week and I’m already planning to re-read it because I have so many questions after book club last night.  When did the other characters figure out who was to blame for the disappearance?  Where all of those false leads truly false leads or were they actually important and I’m just not able to piece them together right now?  What did Rachel really remember from her black outs that I’m just missing after the fact?

A book that leaves you wanting to re-read it a few days after you finish it?  That’s my kind of story…
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