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So, This Is the New Year

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it’s a good day to have a good day. (Hillsboro Village, December 2017.)

Well, hello and happy new year to anyone reading this four days into 2018. I’m not one for “New Year Resolutions,” but I am one for goals, and I feel like a serious slacker for my lack of posts as 2017 came to a close. Oh believe me, I was still consuming plenty of music, books, and (maybe a little less) film, but what the heck is wrong with me, in why it’s taken so long for me to share it with you? So, here’s to a new year and me sharing the things I stumble upon when I find them instead of dragging my feet. On top of that, how about I throw in a mix of some other things I discover now and then? I’ve really tried to avoid chains in the past few months – whether it be food or retail (though, let’s face it – I can’t give up Target or Trader Joe’s.) More than just sharing food photos, I’d love to share when I’ve had great encounters at small businesses. I love that moment when I walk away from an interaction with a smile on my face. It’s even better when you also get to eat something yummy, or find the perfect little gift to send someone to let you know you were thinking of them, or you know the pets and fetch you get to give a shop dog around the corner when you don’t have your own pet at home. It’s just as much about the moments that effect us emotionally, as the tangible things we take in. SO – here’s to just sharing more in 2018. I’m in this wonderful city, I’m constantly taking in great experiences, even on the rough days you know someone nice chats with me over buying coffee, or an Uber driver gives me a great music store recommendation, and it’s just a shame I don’t write about them more. So maybe 2018 will be something more like “read this, listen to this, watch this, try this.” Let’s all just simply try more in 2018. If i’m honest, it’s not even always trying “harder” it’s just the pure effort of putting yourself out there and making those attempts now and then. We get caught up in our comfort zones, those safe warm cozy spaces where we don’t have to go out on a limb because we only reach for things in an arms length. Well, take it from me – it’s those moments when we stretch a little further that become the game changers. Sometimes it happens in such small increments you don’t even realize it’s happening, until you look behind you and realize how far you’ve come. So, join me in this endeavor if you’d like – no wild, outrageous expectations for 2018 – just more trying, just more hopping out of that easy space, and let’s just share with one another more. If the past tumultuous year has taught us anything, I think it’s really been that although we collectively as a culture forget it far too often – we do really share so much common ground.  When we share our experiences, passions, hopes, hurts, etc. with one another is when all these things come to light. I don’t know, I’ve always been on the optimistic side – painfully so; I’ll hang onto that sliver of hope til my fingernail is snagging on that last piece of thread – BUT I do this without shame. You should drink in that optimism sometime. It tastes good. And I have a good feeling about our coming days. Something is stirring in everyone, and once that’s been woken up – there’s no going back to sleep. So, welcome to the other side. I’m looking forward to this journey we’re all on, together.

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listen to this, meg says listen to this, Uncategorized

Listen to This: 12-23-95

It’s that time again, Christmas Eve Eve! And what better song to listen to than Jimmy Eat World’s 12-23-95? None, of course. I definitely listen to this classic song whether it’s the holiday season or not, but there’s something extra special about listening to it on the day of its title. Anyway, if you don’t know this one – add it to your next holiday music playlist because it’s definitely unique! There are some songs you  know you’re going to hold onto for years to come, and this is one of them for me. (Also, a thousand years ago the Maybe This Christmas album was my jam – from Thanksgiving to New Years that album was on heavy rotation – Paul Frank’s Julius the Monkey album art, and all.) Whether or not you’re familiar with this gem of a tune already, go ahead and give it a listen below. While you’re at it, go ahead and add this one to your holiday music playlist.
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Meg Says Listen to This: “Send the Sun”

My word, I am sucker for a sweet song and especially one that mentions sunshine. Maybe it’s one of those things that’s always carried on with me from the love of “You Are My Sunshine” song as a child? Who knows, but you play me a sweet song and I’m hooked. I heard Nikki Lane’s “Send the Sun” recently, and I thought to myself what is this beautiful piece of art? It speaks to distance and to darkness, but also to turning towards the light. Someone trying to assure someone of their love from miles away, and make them feel their love and warmth. Lane’s voice is smooth and steady and really seems to convey that heartfelt wish to a person out of reach at the time. One of those where you hear it, and you feel it. And I swear I’ve had the line “Darlin’ we’re starin’ at the same moon” in my head for a week, especially with the full moon hanging in the sky recently. Simple and sweet, but so memorable all at once. Let me tell you, if you listen to this one in the morning, it’s a pretty great way to start your day. If you haven’t heard this one, check it out.

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Read This: The Woman In Cabin 10

Recently I read a mystery book that I had really been looking forward to. Unfortunately, I was totally let down when I finally got my hands on a copy. So, I was a bit apprehensive when I checked out Ruth Ware’s The Woman In Cabin 10 last week. Though really, I shouldn’t have been because when have Reese Witherspoon’s recommendations led me astray?
So, here we go. The Woman In Cabin 10. Read it, right now, if you haven’t already.

I read this in less than 24 hours. It’s a page turner, it’s exciting, Ware’s writing is great. This was exactly the type of mystery I was looking for. The story begins with Lo in her apartment in England, being awoken by her cat who keeps nudging her. Of course, she tried to sleep it off…until she heard a noise. (If you’re a restless sleeper because of everything that “goes bump in the night,” then this is probably your worst nightmare.) The noise wasn’t just the refrigerator or the air conditioner or some banal house sound, it was an intruder. The physical harm the intruder caused was minimal, but the psychological damage was much more than Lo lets on to her coworkers, boyfriend, neighbors, police, etc. Of course, who could blame her? It was a violation of her privacy, and she was trapped in her own home, and her cell phone was stolen. So! That was a bit of a jarring opener to Lo’s story. Amidst the whole, get all her credit cards sorted, and a new phone, calling locksmiths, and all the other unpleasantries that go along with being robbed – we find out that Lo was prepping for a big gig for her journalism job with a travel magazine that would hopefully open doors for her to climb up the industry ladder. With Lo’s boss in the hospital, she’s supposed to fill in as a guest – taking a cruise on a luxury liner, and reporting back all the details, and hopefully schmoozing some advertising deals with fellow passengers in the process. With Lo’s luck running a bit amuck lately, of course everything doesn’t go quite as planned. Ruth Ware writes intently. It’s easily to imagine Lo’s surroundings, how she’s dressed, whether the person she’s conversing with is a snobby jerk, etc. You’d think maybe with a story that opens with a burglary, that’s where the mystery would be…think again. Ten cabins on this ship, and not everyone is accounted for at the first dinner. Dun, dun, dun.

With recent thrillers like Gone Girl or The Girl On the Train maybe you’re wondering as a reader, is Lo a reliable narrator? Well, that’s up to you to read and find out.

Who’s the woman in cabin 10? Does Lo have reason to be suspicious of her fellow passengers? An ex-flame? Her boyfriend who’s off on a work trip (what’s their status anyway?)

I love that Ruth Ware doesn’t belittle the reader. I hate when we’re clonked over our heads with repeated facts, and the dots are connected so cleanly way before a story is wrapped up, as if not to give readers a chance to speculate their own theories – she does the opposite.

If you’re looking for a book you won’t be able to put down, something original that will keep you guessing, with a great plot and interesting characters – I say give this one a try! I enjoyed this one so much that I immediately texted two friends who’d read it so we could chat. Then of course, I recommended it to a lot of people, and of course had to post here. Now I’m thinking that I’ll need to read Ruth Ware’s other novels as well! Have you read The Woamn in Cabin 10? What did you think, did it meet your expectations? Leave a comment and share your thoughts!

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Meg Says Watch This: Superstore

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but NBC’s Superstore is so worth mentioning again. Remember my post about the importance of finding things that make us laugh? The value of comic relief? Superstore hits the nail on the head. I can’t even tell you how many times I laugh until there are tears in my eyes during one episode. On multiple occasions I’ve realized I’m still laughing when it’s segued into commercial. The comedy show is brought to you by the geniuses behind The Office. Last night’s Valentine’s episode was just the amount of laughter my week had been missing. It’s actually available on NBC’s website, now. If you’re not already a fan of this show and you could use some laughter in your life (who can’t?) I highly recommend checking it out!  The show features an eclectic group of people working at a major chain store. Hilarity ensues whether it’s an HR meeting, making a playground out of the inventory room, off-limits romantic sparks between coworkers, a little bit of everything. Sometimes, it might seem so off the wall that it’s unbelievable, but that’s just it – at the bottom of everything it’s insanely realistic. Here’s a trailer I found on YouTube because even if you don’t have time to watch a whole episode right now, this might make you giggle.