Sunday, December 30, 2012

Good Morning, New Year's Eve

This morning, I woke up in Odie's apartment in Balmain, a borough outside Sydney, and it's New Year's Eve. I'm drinking coffee, trying to blog on my Kindle, and listening to Ghostbusters while a breeze blows in off the balcony.

Yes, I feel gaping asshole levels of pretentiousness in that this is such a fantastic morning. Just bear with me. I'm sure I'll have a drunk white trash anecdote here eventually.

2012 has been such a shit show of awesome and terrible. But, it's been such an eye opening shit show. And with all I've gone through this year, I feel like 2013 has nowhere to go but forward ( I would have said "up" but I hate that movie, and I don't want my life going that way.)

Happy New Year's from the land of Oz! Odie and I are off to the aquarium. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Off to Sydney!

I'm about to go Down Unda, guys! (Best "Audrey going down unda" joke in the comments wins a prize).

See ya in 2013!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Landmass-Mas!

Merry Christmas, to all those who celebrate!

And Happy December 25th to all the non-celebrants! I hope you, at least, have an awesome day off from work.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Eve of Christmas Eve!

Holy Crap!

It's December 23rd! When the Hell did that happen?

It's been a whirlwind of a month here at Camp Audge-Podge. I feel like it was mostly road trips interspersed with work and sleeping and bouts of frantic Christmas present shopping. 

But, it's all good! This weekend, my parents decided to take a re-charge weekend at one of their favorite b-n-b's in Hendersonville, and since I was headed up to Natacha's anyway, we decided to road trip together. We trudged through the snowy mountains, listened to stand up comedy and some terrible Christmas music (including REO Speedwagon's Christmas album. Our car was basically where good music went to die.)

whussy snow, but snow nonetheless!

I won first place at Natacha's Ugly Christmas Sweater party (yes, finally, sweet victory!), played arts and crafts with hot glue and felt for like, 6 hours as I decorated my Ugly sweater and while watched Christmas movies, had a glorious time, saw a lot of old friends, and survived 9 hours in the car while battling an especially unruly hangover, one that is still lingering at 10:45 PM (what did I do to myself? I have no idea. But I'm sure throwing up spicy shrimp pasta for 3 hours this morning has something to do with it.)

sadly, the best picture I got of my [award winning] Gnarly 90's Ugly Sweater, and Natacha's awesome Fruit Cake sweater
 I think the best part of the trip was when I was trying to buy my crafting supplies and big ass bottle of wine at Wal-Mart, and my debit card got flagged for suspicious activity. How cool is is that I had to sit in a Wal-Mart McDonalds, admitting that I was in fact, spending like $100 on supplies at Wal-Mart at 10:30 on a Friday night, and then pleading with the bank to let me make my purchase.

White trash level achievement: 80.

I'm so excited for Christmas, even if I did get a whammy of an onslaught of PMS Feelings Monster that left me sobbing at Home Alone, at not being able to cut felt straight, at my nail polish being chipped, etc. etc. WAY TO GO HORMONES. I'm also excited for Australia. Like, full on, balls to the wall excited. EEeeeEEeee!

Alrighty, tomorrow will be filled with last minute errands, visiting my big brother Josh, who sadly can't make it down for Christmas day, and packing and cleaning.

As for now, I've gotta hit the hay. But in the mean time, here's some pictures of sleeping fur children:

Scottie Jane and Bill Purray are now the cutest BFF's ever.

Happy Eve of Christmas Eve, guys!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

50 Shades of Grey

A few weeks, ago, mom gave me my early Christmas present, a Kindle Fire. On that Kindle, I have access to her Amazon Prime library (yesssssss), including... 50 Shades of Grey. 

Now, I've spent A LOT of time making fun of my mom and the other *ahem* mom's I know who have read this penis and vagina-fest Twilight fan fic. But, last week while waiting to pick my boss' husband up from the airport, I decided to give it a read. It was free, after all, and someone told me that Ryan Gosling was in talks to play Christian Grey in the movie. So I cashed in my RG fan club card and tried to read it.

But I got about 4 pages into it before I decided it wasn't worth the energy it took to move my eyes from left to right to read it. But then I remembered, I have the audio books from Daron. And I'm also facing a 7 hour road trip and I am sans-iPod. And I was curious as to *just how bad* it could be. So I burned the books to 5 cd's and set out on the road.

I made it to chapter 5 before I got so simultaneously bored and angry that I wanted to scratch my own eyes out. It's a shitty book to begin with, but the only way to make it worse is to have it narrated by a drab, banal Valley Girl.

I spent so much time laughing at her shitty inflection that I lose track of the "story." Honestly, I understand that it's an S&M "romance" book and that plot/conflict/resolution and character development don't mean much, but shit. Even porn needs an intriguing story line. And I didn't think I could find characters less redeemable than the Twilight clan, or dialogue so awkward and stiff than the George Lucas penned episodes of Star Wars, but EL James has done it.

I have no idea why so many women think this is a sexy book. I'm too distracted by how terrible it is. Early on, I figured I'd read/listen to all the books just to say I did it, and to figure out what this story is all about (everyone tells me the climax (hurrhurr) occurs in the 3rd book). But, I don't know if I can handle 2 more books of this vapid 21 year old refer to her "Inner Goddess" (vagina) every 36 lines, or listen to her say "My subconscious screamed at me" whenever she has a moment of inner monologue (which is 99% of the book).

I cling to a lot of terrible Pop Culture hullabloo just for the novelty or because it's just so much fun to hate (Twilight). But, this and HoneyBooBoo are the first "icons" to make me nauseous with how bad they are (did anyone see the episode where they all breathed on a blind folded sister's face and that sister had to determine who it was based on the smell of the breath? #vomit). There's just nothing good I can say about this. I can't even say, "hey, at least Ammmrrka's reading!" because it makes my brain deflate to think that this book has sold more copies than anything by David Foster Wallace.

But on a serious note, I'm concerned with how books like this and Twilight shape how young girls view love. Christian Grey is a scurrry character. The type of distant, cold, stalky, insulting, control freak who clings to thoughtless women and rewards their submissiveness with clothes and orgasms (albeit sadistically derived orgasms). Not that being rewarded with clothes and orgasms is a bad thing, but yikes. In any other universe, Christian Grey would be a wife beater. In this one, he's a guide through "deep, dark, places."

In summation: It *is* as bad as they say. I fear for the young women who fall in love with dudes like Christian Grey or Edward Cullen. Read this book if you get off on idiot women being controlled by Diet Patrick Bateman.

Mmm, Patrick Bateman.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Everything's Ok

The shooting in Newport was sad. And with people I know who are parents to children that age, it's easier to imagine the pain that those families are feeling. It's easier to feel bewildered anger at the media for exploiting the ever living Hell out of it. It's easier to want to point the blame at gun laws and parents and whatnot. It's easier to feel small and weird and powerless. 

So Friday was sad and weird, made more weird and sad by having to drive through the scene of a car accident, where I got a glimpse of a bloodied body being covered by a white cloth.

But, I worked through the weirdness by remembering the good things that I have right now, that I've had before, that I'll have in the future, and all the good people I've been lucky enough to surround myself with. And I ended up having a fantastic weekend in Charlotte. 

Can I just say, I effing love white lights in trees.

I finally got that pony I always wanted.

"I wish I could have ordered my pizza from Domino's. In the 80's."

It's a week til Christmas! I finished my shopping tonight, and now I'm just faced with the daunting task of reconciling my bank and account and gift wrapping. I am the worst. gift wrapper. ever. And I always say "this is the year I make everybody's presents because I'm broke." But once again, I overindulged because my family has been awesome to me this year and they should be awarded. But it's ok. Because I'm eating homemade cookies and homemade spaghetti and there are three snoozing pets on my bed.

and everything is ok. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Interesting Things Found While Cleaning Out My Car

Today, I sporadically decided to take my car to the shop for a winterize well baby exam (hooray, coupon--and hooray, keeping my promise to my car), which meant I finally had to strip my car. I haven't really unloaded or cleaned it out since February, and it finally got to the point where I was embarrassed to be seen driving in it. And while I didn't have time this morning for detailing, I did unload all the crap that was hoarding it up in there. And it made for a relatively interesting scene:
  • 5 different gloves, all left handed
  • 1 pack each of: Ginger Ale, Dr. Pepper, and Diet Dr. Pepper
  •  a random high heel
  • 3 pairs of gym sneakers
  • 14 lbs of clothing, ranging from spring-summer to underwear
  • 4 travel mugs, all beyond washing
  • various over the counter pills
  • bowl
  • plate 
  • set of silverware
  • (approx) 197 cocktail peanuts (found scattered and in every crevice of the car)
  • box of kitty litter
  • 1 sock
  • half a plastic gun
  • Breaking Dawn pt 1 poster
  • 4 overnight bags with clothes and crafts
  • 3 phone chargers, all different
  • anti-nausea pills
  • 1 Target bag full of moldy clothes (ew.)
  • (approx) 47 empty or half-empty water bottles
  • a random 6 pack of ginger ale (why so much ginger ale?)
  • flapper dress
  • bag of dragons
  • blow up doll (oh, hey Halloween costume)
  • baseball bat (decided to leave this in the car, in case of rapist attacks)
  • $14 in change
  • bag of assorted linens
  • 5 purses
  • medium sized pyrex baking pan with lid
  • various iPod accessories :(
  • tooth brush shiv
  • bag of Christmas decorations
  • a medium sized white board that says "a white people board for white people problems" in permanent ink (thanks, dad)
  • bridesmaid dress from Mary's wedding
  • giant box of antique books from Mary's wedding
  • that one bra I thought I had lost
  • a huge craft bag filled with name-board trash, programs and a paper cutter from Mary's wedding
  • 3 lbs Chik-fil-A trash
  • the bones of a rolling garment rack that was clearly broken
  • cookie cooling racks
  • Holiday Tobias Rexington  (pictured below)
  • shovel
  • rope
  • lye (just kidding)
  • 6 Hobo's (am I kidding?)
What's really embarrassing is that I've taken it to the shop in varying stages of Hobo-Ford Focus-Rape-Town what, 3 times so far this year? And it's just now gotten to the point where I'm compelled to clean it out before I take it in?

It's a good/sad thing to know that I have so little respect for my public appearance.

In other news, I may have siatica. Or however you spell it. Joy.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

No Good Very Bad Christmas Music

Oh man, I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas music. Mostly hate. On one hand, it's very nostalgic (my mom is a big Christmas music fan) and it always puts me in the Christmas mood. On the other hand, I worked in retail for almost 10 years and every Black Friday they'd pump the same shitty Christmas music through the speakers until I felt I was going to stab my ears with ball point pens.

Ok, so maybe the holiday cheer released before the 1970's isn't too bad. And "Walking in a Winter Wonderland" is probably my favorite Christmas song:

But man, the 80's and 90's were some TERRIBLE times for the Holiday Music Industry.

For example: A few years ago, Look Who's Talking Now came out on Instant Netflix, and being a sucker for movies I loved as a kid, I watched it. At the end, there's this... intriguing music video. It instantly got stuck in my head, and I found myself humming it all the time, regardless of the season. That was years ago. I still hear it. It's catchy. It's creepy. It's full of French Christmas spirit. And now I want to gift it to you, because the timing is appropriate and I feel like I can pull a Ring move and inflict this on someone else to free me of its evil spell.

Anyone remember Jordy Lemoine?

And that reminds me of another terrible, awful, no good, very bad, very infectious Christmas song:

Which reminds me of my most HATED Christmas song of all time:

see what happens when you remove the Philips?

Ah, Christmas Crap.

But! To radically change the subject from Christmas Crap to Christmas Cheer, please take a second to write a Thank You note to Santa on the Toys for Tots Facebook Page!

All you have to do is like Marine Toys for Tots, submit your Thank You note on your favorite or most memorable present, and then Hasbro will donate a toy to Toys for Tots on your behalf! It's easy! Fast! Free! Charitable! And who doesn't feel like they're being a good person? Exactly. Share and encourage your friends to do it, too. Then you can sit around with justifiable smug looks and be like Yeah. I'm Awesome. I helped a disadvantaged kid. 

Alright. It's 5 PM on Sunday. Probably time to finish my laundry and de-germ the house (I got attacked by some kind of flu-funk on Friday. Now I'm on a warpath.)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Getting Older, Growing Stronger

This morning, I randomly found this picture in the living room:

my siblings, our awesome dog Joey and me in the spring of 2002
So I put it through the editor and put it up on Facebook with the quickness, because that's what I do.

Kristin was quick to point out that 2002 was a decade ago. And then, Cara pointed out that Men In Black was 14 years ago. And I was like, Cara, we met 18 years ago.

Holy Crap, I've known my oldest BFF's for a long time.

I met Cara in 4th grade: 18 years ago.
I met Leah in 7th grade: 15 years ago.
I met Scott in 9th grade: 12 years ago.
I met Odie in 10th grade: 12 years ago (no, I didn't do the math wrong, I met them both in 2000).
Not to mention Kristin and Daron, with whom I'm approaching the 6 year mark.

Being a military kid, everyone I knew moved around--A LOT. And eventually, after 2 or 3 moves, phone numbers became long distance and friendships kinda faded away since we were too young to talk on the phone when long distance was cheaper (ah, the good old days). So when I was growing up, I used to envy people who had been friends with their friends since like, kindergarten, because everyone had stayed in one place. I assumed I'd meet new people wherever I went, and I'd have friends for a few years and that'd be it.

But, God bless email and Instant Messenger and free nights and weekends on cell phones, because it sure made keeping in touch immeasurably easier. And you know, after doing the numbers, I guess I do have some life long friends.

They're my favorite tumors. I love you guys.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Toys for Tots and the Day Audrey's Heart Grew 3 Times Its Size

Spoiler alert, this blog is going to be really braggy about how really awesome my day was, because it really was really fantastic. Really.

My day started, like it's started the last few weeks, with Toys for Tots. The PR firm I work for is one of their cause marketing partners, and we have been gearing up for this event for a while now.

I'll be honest, I only knew of the good that Toys for Tots does. I mean I had heard stories and seen the really cute commercials, and that was it. But today, I saw and felt the difference they make. Volunteers loaded 2 U-Haul trucks full of toys onto a C-130 plane, and then the Blue Angels flew the plane, known as Fat Albert, to NJ. There, the toys would be added to the toys already collected in NJ, and given out to deserving families on the east coast who were displaced by Hurricane Sandy. As the key speakers took to the stage to reflect on the spirit of giving and the magic of the holidays, I felt a lot of genuine compassion and empathy, a lot of people who really believed in this. It wasn't just about how important it is for kids to get presents. It was about how important it is to instill hope in every generation, how to teach people that all is never quite lost. And before my cynical side could wash over me, I introduced myself to and talked to every single speaker just to get a real feel for them.

And they were legit. People who really did care. People who weren't doing this for the photo op. As I took pictures of the volunteers and organizers forming a human chain to unload and re-load presents, I was honestly inspired. There was a crazy uplifting feeling that I couldn't ignore, no matter how hard I tried. I woke up this morning at 4 to get ready for work, overcome with dread that I was going to screw something up, or that I already had. But I left Reagan with such a spring in my step, such a philanthropically inspired smile in my heart that I had to check twice to make sure I wasn't having a caffeine overdose.

No chemicals, though, just honest good feelings. I enjoy feeling like I was a part of something good, that I helped affect a positive change--on a national level. I found out today, that through 4 events in 1 day, we reached 5 major media outlets, and we raised over a million dollars worth of toys for deserving children.

Today was just one of those days when you just feel transformed by your job--in a good way. And it was so unlike me to be affected by something like this. I love it. In fact, it's after 10 PM, I've been awake since 4 AM and haven't napped once and I still feel like I could stay awake for hours.

I wish I could post some of the like, 500 pictures I took today (including me MEETING SANTA!), but blogger is acting wonky and won't let me upload anything. So I'll just leave this wordy, pictureless positivity ramble.

Ah, good days. Time to kick back with a glass or two of wine and watch some re-runs of 16 & Pregnant. That should shake me out of this "hopeful for humanity" mood.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

It's December!

tree, phase 1: complete
It's December!

And there's so much to look forward to:

-working my first PR event tomorrow (!!)
-ugly sweater and Eve of Christmas Eve parties!
-big fancy hair appointment!
-knitting class!
-these muffins!
-weekend travel!
-making the last of my Christmas gifts!
-Les Mis (my mom cries whenever she sees this trailer. Shayne cringes. It's going to be fantastic.)
-GOING TO SYDNEY!! To see this guy:

Odie is an iStock photo model in his spare time

*On an incredibly fantastic side note, I have an 8 hour layover in Los Angeles, which means I get to see this lady:
karma strikes: I stole that drink because I thought it was a gin and tonic. It was water.
-There's a distinct chance that I might get to see all my nearest and dearest this month. Now, I just need to work on convincing Cara and Dan and Good Sir Jack coming down for Christmas. *HINT HINT* :)
-Some good things happened to me last week. Can't blog about yet because I don't want to jinx it, but yeesh, I'm excited, you guys!

Here's to an awesome December, everyone!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Jenelle Evans, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Past Life Decisions

Jenelle Evans is the second place winner in the Teen Mom Train Wreck Awards (second only to Amber Portwood, who currently is imprisoned because she chose jail over a second rehab stint in Malibu).

Most of Jenelle's segments are a ride through Crazy Town. And normally they're full on ridiculous. But this week's adventure with the adamantly defensive "marijuana addict" was especially special:

I mean, wow. This is only a conversation you'd have with someone who has smoked themselves into idiocy.

Now keep in mind, the reason this girl is facing jail time is because she violated her probation. All she had to do was not smoke pot for 9 months. But, she smoked (surprise!) and failed a drug test. Then, her probation officer decided to give her a second chance, by letting her start her probation period over again.  She refused, stating: "I can't not smoke pot for another 9 months."

I guess jail is preferable to being on TV and going to college while your mom raises your kid and pays your bills?

It's ok, we understand. You did put feathers in your hair. That means something.

Man... watching Jenelle on Teen Mom 2 makes me happy that my white-trash, pot smoking friends ditched me in 9th grade because I wasn't allowed to party all weekend.

Spoiler alert: her probation officer arrested her anyway.

(third arrest, beeteedubs)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Did your Thanksgiving involve free air travel?

All you can eat oysters and crab legs?

Turkey and beef tenderloin?

A kitchen buffet full of artery clogging deliciousness?

Pumpkin Ginger Snap pie, scotch eggs and cinnamon sugar donut muffins?

Free movies and TV you've been dying to catch up on?

Sunny 62* weather?

A gross bout of food poisoning?

Dart games, Star Wars debates, and making 90's style sand crafts?

Delicious and inexpensive phở?

Long nights, great conversation, and hours of catching up with old friends and family and basically having a fantastic time?

Mine did. And it was glorious. (well, except for the food poisoning)

Natacha and Chris flew me down to NC at the last second, and I spent the week re-charging and hanging out in the mountains. I know some great people.

Shiva Bowl champion
Yes, that pathetic 4 points is the best I've ever played in darts
the "grand slam": I can't remember the ingredients, but it involves booze-infused bacon, is chased with OJ and tastes like breakfast in Heaven.

Chris and Natacha's "tree that ate Asheville." To give you an idea of scale, that door is 8 feet tall

new camera app makes for insufferable  amounts of self portraits 

sweet graffiti 
I came home today to a reminder from Billvis Jay Purray that I had forgotten to eat my Bojangles. He opened my bag and sussed it out himself. I have the fattest, greediest cat ever. Never mind the fact that I had a Bojangles chicken biscuit in my computer bag. Shut up. 

Sigh, I love vacation. But now it's time to get back to work. And life.

And Liz and Dick, which is so terrible. Absolutely terrible. And not like, in a fun way. womp womp.

Oh well, good decisions.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

the end of a saga

First things first: I don't know why I'm into Twilight, but I am.

It's the guiltiest of my guilty pleasures. I hate the writing in the books and in the screen play. I don't think Taylor Lautner is hot. Kristen Stewart has the charm and charisma of wall paper paste. The cinematography is canned. The make up and wig people should have been fired. The story is tired and obvious and then it's down right creepy and weird. There's nothing redeeming about the series, except for the fact that it made people read. 

So really, what it boils down to is it's just something I love to hate. People don't really get it, and I'm ok with that. I'm not a twi-hard. I'm not emotionally invested in the franchise. I'm not this girl:

But I am, however, the girl who likes to make a big to-do out of things. So in celebration, the Sparkle-Pire alliance gathered, and wore the mustachio'd t-shirts I made and drank up some boxed wine and headed to the theater. Because we're all in our mid to late twenties and we have no shame in our game.

Yep. I will admit, though, this was probably the most surprising movie experiences I've had in a quite a while. And I really want to talk about it, but I don't want to post spoilers. 

But, I will tell you that I was getting all kinds of riled up at the end, because it was uncharacteristically spectacular, and it was going in the direction of how the book should have ended. BUT THEN, there was a twist. And the twist was turrible. And I got so mad that I cried. (ok, that might have been more to do with the boxed wine and how mad I was at myself for actually having expectations of this steaming pile of cheese, sentiment, and creepy Mormon abstinence propaganda in the first place, but still).

Oh, and I lost my muff-purse somewhere in the theater D: I'm not sure what happened to it. But thank god I wasn't using it as a purse-purse, or else I'd be way more sad. 

Anyway, it seems like yesterday that it was the fall of 2008 and the psychologists I worked for convinced me to read the first book. And then, after a 5 month hiatus, I tore through the next 3. I'm a little bummed out that we won't have another shaming nerd fest next year, but I'm glad I had a buddy come with me on this terrible ride.

... This is quickly becoming the most embarrassing entry I've ever posted. More embarrassing to note is, I'm on my way to see it again. This time, with my mom.

No shame, guys. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

S*** I'm Thankful For

A gaggle of my Facebook friends are doing the "30 Days of Thankful" thing where everyday, they post one thing they are thankful for. I thought about doing it, and before I knew it, it's the 12th of November and I'm already 12 days behind. Clearly, I'm not good at posting every single day. So I'm just going to knock it all out right here.

30 Random Things I'm Thankful For:

1. My family.
2. My inner circle.
3. My pets (past and present).
4. My car.
5. My jobs.
6. Being able to read.
8. Metabolism.
9. IKEA.
10. Electric Washers and Dryers.
11. Make-up.
12. Art.
14. Hot showers.
15. The Internet.
16. Computers.
17. Coffee.
18. Joseph Gordon Levitt in a suit vest.

19. Science.
20. Knitting.
21. Movies.
22. Post-modernism.
23. Hot Dudes in glasses.
24. Hot Dudes with Beards.
25. ok, Jon Hamm.

27. My country.
28. Baked Spaghetti.
29. Advances in dental hygiene.
30. Low healed boots.

What are you thankful for?
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