Sunday, October 19, 2014

31 for 21 - Day 19 - Eggos and Peanut Butter with a Side of VH-1: a.k.a. My Top 5 Musical Memories From the '90s

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. I am blogging every day in October as part of the "31 for 21" blog challenge. 

Eggos and Peanut Butter with a Side of VH-1:
a.k.a. My Top 5 Musical Memories From the '90s
As I have mentioned (a couple of times, actually) lately, I call myself a cesspool of useless information - and that includes bits of random memories from my childhood that have permanently rented space in the back of my brain. One such memory unearthed itself last night.

I made the mistake of drinking a cup of coffee after supper, and just as luck would have it the caffeine kicked in around 10 o'clock. Suddenly I was all over the map, jumping from random thing to random thing on the Internet. And then, somehow (as I don't really remember what actually started it) I ended up posting links to a bunch of old '90s music videos from YouTube to my Facebook page - which triggered this particular memory...

When I was in middle school and high school, I used to eat mini Eggo waffles with peanut butter on a snack tray in our living room in front of the TV while watching music videos on VH-1 before school in the mornings.

Yeah, it's a weird memory, but like I said, that's how it is with me. For that matter, I can also still see myself as a senior in high school, sitting on the bus on the ride home after school, listening to my cassette tape of Street Angel, my favorite Stevie Nicks album, on my Walkman. Yes, cassette. Yes, Walkman.

But I digress.

Back in the 1990s when I was in junior high and high school, VH-1 actually played blocks of music videos throughout the day. What were some of the videos I loved to watch during those early morning hours before school while I munched on those mini Eggos smothered in peanut butter? Oh, you're in for a treat! Here are just some of my favorites...

Love Shack and Roam by the B-52s...

Shiny Happy People by R.E.M....

Groove Is in the Heart by Deee-Lite...


 The Look by Roxette...


Countdown by Lindsey Buckingham...


 Pretty much anything by WILSON PHILLIPS! (it's all their fault that I've been a Fleetwood Mac, Beach Boys, and Mamas & Papas fan for over 20 years)


And last but not least, my ONE guilty pleasure...

Yep. I went there. And no, I'm not ashamed to admit it either! :)

So, what are some of YOUR favorite music videos / songs from when YOU were growing up?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

31 for 21 - Day 18 - 3 Things That Make Working in a Library AWESOME

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. I am blogging every day in October as part of the "31 for 21" blog challenge. 

Three Things That Make Working in a Library AWESOME*

1. I am surrounded by books. Being the book nerd that I am, this is my definition of heaven on earth. Working for two libraries in a different county from where I live allows me a much broader radius from which to procure reading materials! Sometimes I forget which books go back to which library (I did mix things up once), but I've also discovered many more great books this way.

2. I get to interact with people constantly. Working the circulation desk is definitely rewarding. Tons of people of all ages walk through our doors every single day - and with nearly three years under my belt at Riverdale I've met a lot of people! And while some are more challenging to deal with than others, I've also been blessed with a few friendships along the way, which has definitely been an unexpected perk of the job! 

3. It forces me to read more. First off, I obviously have our entire library's collection of books at my disposal to check out anytime I want to. And I also take suggestions from our patrons, should they feel so compelled by a title to want to share it with me. But during my first summer working at Riverdale, I also decided to take on my own personal summer reading challenge in conjunction with the library's program, which ended up snowballing on me in a good way! Instead of stopping at the end of the summer I just kept going, keeping track of every book I read until the end of the year! Then, I was so impressed by how many books I'd read (granted, I read everything from picture books to adult fiction, but that's what I do on a regular basis anyway), that I decided to continue in 2013. Two years later I'm still keeping track of the books I read, both handwritten in a notebook and on Pinterest. I haven't yet beaten the quantity of books I read in 2012, but I enjoy going through my log to see what sorts of titles I've read through the years.

*Thanks to Don Smith for the idea for today's post!

Friday, October 17, 2014

31 for 21 - Day 17 - Unearthing the Weirdos!

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. I am blogging every day in October as part of the "31 for 21" blog challenge. 

After yesterday's three-day combo catch-up post, I honestly wanted to punch the wall when I realized it was nearly 10 PM and I still had no ideas about what to write for today's post. Even though I know it's not a crime to miss a day here or there, for me, the whole point of participating in this month-long challenge was to get writing regularly, and so missing a day is tough for me to accept - hence yesterday's post.
But then I got a really great idea to help jump-start an idea for tonight's post. I decided to look for inspiration between the pages of my old journals! I grabbed a random journal off the shelf and just started flipping through the pages.I knew that something would jump out at me - and it did! I'm still laughing about it now because, as bad as my memory seems to me sometimes, I still vaguely remember this particular event that I wrote about, and I can understand why I reacted the way I did - and I definitely believe that if I was there today, I would have reacted the same way! 
Four years ago in February 2010, my buddy Don and I attended a writing event at our town library. He and I know from experience that writers are a rare breed, as we are writers ourselves and don't consider ourselves normal at all! But the people we met at this particular writing event were beyond weird; according to what I wrote in my journal I found them down right creepy. I don't remember particulars, but I do remember how completely out of place I felt there - Don did, too. Their writing was...well, different from what I write, and even from what Don writes, and I wouldn't be comfortable reading their stuff no matter how old I was. But apparently what really got me turned off was their arrogance - they were dripping in it according to what I wrote! In the end Don and I both left the event, albeit at different times - and to quote the words I wrote in my journal, "...I wasted over an hour of my life on people...who are full of themselves who I hope I never see again!"

I never did see any of those people again, and that is just fine with me. My writing would have been too tame for them, anyway. ^_^

Thursday, October 16, 2014

31 for 21 - Day 14, 15, & 16 - Dry Spell

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. I am blogging every day in October as part of the "31 for 21" blog challenge. 

Sorry it's been a couple of days since I posted. Honestly, I've been tired every day this week, even though I'm sleeping soundly every night for 7 hours straight. I think it has to do with the gray, rainy weather we've been having around here. That sort of atmosphere does not lend itself well to my creativity.

So humor me as I write this triple header combo post.

Aside from the weather, I've been massively addicted to 24 Karat Gold, listening to it practically every single moment I can - I even burned the CD onto my computer and synced it to my Android phone. The fact that I'm actually not listening to it tonight is beyond a miracle - but in keeping up with my addictive nature, I'm already on my second round of C'mon Eileen by Dexy's Midnight Runners...

And while we're still talking about massively addicting fun stuff, I've also been watching episodes of Ghostwriter on YouTube every single night this week. Ghostwriter is like Doctor Who in that each story is comprised of four or five half-hour episodes, so each story is essentially two hours long; watching them at night after work usually finds me zoning out after the third video, but since it's been such a long time since I've seen some of these mysteries I still manage to find myself excited about getting to watch that last video the next night and finally solve the mystery once and for all. :) 

This week I also got a very awesome but unexpected phone call, and on Monday I have an appointment that, depending on how things turn out, could usher in some changes in my life. I know I'm being incredibly vague, but I don't want to give anything away right now...

Hopefully, with tomorrow being Friday and having the weekend off, I can get back into the groove of writing regularly, as I had looked forward to doing this month. I remember having an off day here or there other years while participating in 31 for 21, but this was ridiculous. And I'm even backed up on the online writing course I was so thrilled to be participating in! If it really is the weather getting me down, I guess I'm going to have to move to Florida!

Monday, October 13, 2014

31 for 21 - Day 13 - Coming Full Circle

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. I am blogging every day in October as part of the "31 for 21" blog challenge. 


When I began third grade, I switched schools. To this day I still remember that the girl who sat in front of me in the first row of seats by the door to our classroom - the girl that would eventually become one of my best friends - was absent on the first day of school because she was traveling home from vacation with her family in Florida. Don't ask me how I remember that, I just do.

That same year, I would become best friends with another classmate - I'll call her L. - and I still remember exactly how we met: we bonded during a rainy-day recess in the gymnasium over My Little Pony. I was terribly shy at that age, but I knew I wanted to be her friend - so I asked her if she wanted to play with me, and she said yes! I still have random (albeit somewhat vague now) memories from our friendship: walking to the convenience store by her house for Andy Capp's Hot Fries during after-school play dates, her great birthday sleepover parties (remember Caboodles?), our dreams of opening a beauty salon together, and fun early morning carpools with me wedged in the backseat of their tiny car between her younger siblings while L. balanced a notebook in her lap and a cup of tea in her hand as we did last-minute cramming for a test or quiz.

Well it's been many years since we last saw each other, and we never did open that beauty salon together, but L. and I are still friends; her family moved away while we were in high school, but thanks to Facebook we still keep in touch regularly.And today, I realized that our friendship has come full circle.

L. messaged me this morning about My Little Pony, the very thing that brought us together. Her daughter is getting into playing with them, and while L. gave her daughter some of her own from when she was growing up, she remembered that I still had some of mine and wondered if there were any I'd be willing to part with. Right away I said I'd get them out and send her photos of the ones I thought were still in the best condition. I loved giving my My Little Pony haircuts, and some of them had even lost their tails through the years - but some are still in great shape and certainly could use a new little girl to love and play with them! 

Baby Firefly has had her mane trimmed, but she's still eager to play!

So we'll see what L. thinks of the photos I sent her. Maybe some of my My Little Pony friends will be heading off to a new home soon and will be able to make another little girl as happy as they made me all those years ago. I certainly hope so!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

31 for 21 - Day 12 - Silent Sunday

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. I am blogging every day in October as part of the "31 for 21" blog challenge. 

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Louis Bay II Library, Hawthorne NJ

Saturday, October 11, 2014

31 for 21 - Day 11 - Spending Saturday Night with Good Friends, Good Food and the Good Doctor

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. I am blogging every day in October as part of the "31 for 21" blog challenge. 

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Tonight I was invited to have dinner with some very close friends at their place. They recently bought a Crock Pot and had been testing out various recipes; I may be tiny but I love to eat so I was more than happy to be their test subject! 

My friends did a great job; not only was my mouth watering at the smell as soon as I walked through the door, but it tasted so great I actually had seconds! The chicken was so tender you barely needed to cut it with a knife, and the broccoli and rice were also perfect. And the cheese sauce - well, I just plain adore cheese so of course I loved that too!

There was also homemade applesauce for dessert. I'm not much of a fan of applesauce, but this was special applesauce because it was made from three different types of apples - one being Granny Smith, my favorite! So no question there as to whether I liked it. It was awesome.

After all of this delicious food had made me good and sleepy, we watched the latest episode of Doctor Who called Mummy On the Orient Express. I liked it and found it pretty interesting - I mean, the Orient Express in outer space? Cool concept. And the mummy looked just like something out of Poltergeist! Creepy, but definitely cool. 

So this was a pretty fantastic Saturday night to be had. I couldn't have asked to spend it with better friends, that's for sure!