Friday, August 5, 2011

Pinterest & Josh Ritter

There is a Josh Ritter lyric that I absolutely adore. Okay, let's be honest. There are many Josh Ritter lyrics that make me melt into a puddle. That man can write a song like no one else in this decade. I wanted to post this one in particular on my pinterest site (because I've become mildly obsessed)--but to my dismay, there's not a single "image" on the web with the lyrics I was after. So, I called upon my awesome friend Dwight Chambers to make something with an image I grabbed from the creative commons section of Flickr. What do you think?


P.S. Josh is the smiliest mofo around. I have had the good fortune of seeing him perform live many times, and he always looks like he is having the time of his life. The smile is contagious. Amiright?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Quick Vlog

Are the cool kids still vlogging these days? Just wanted to try out my new webcam-thingy and show you my new haircut. It's been a long time since I posted a photo or video, so I didn't want you to start wondering if I was actually a 46-year-old guy from Michigan or something.


It's 'bout time from Mermanda Mermanda on Vimeo.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

And they said it couldn't be done... (no they didn't)

After posting about not being allowed to watch "The Bodyguard" as a kid, people started telling me that they wanted to know what I thought after building suspense for two decades. So, I did what anyone in my position would do.

I live tweeted it.

Yes, I live tweeted my watching of a nearly 20-year-old movie. And guess what? I didn't lose a single follower, miraculously. Some even claimed to enjoy it.

My initial thoughts are:

Wow, how did they get her in that metal bodysuit?

No nudity? No awkward sex scenes? Why was I not allowed to watch this as a kid? I heard worse language from my parents' mouths when someone lost their favorite pen... (sorry, Dad.)

I don't want to include any spoilers for anyone who is waiting 30 years to watch it for the first time, so I'll just say, "OMG! I can't believe her (noun) (verb, past tense) a (noun)!!! I didn't see that coming!

If you want to know more about what I thought of the movie, check out my tweetacular commentary.

So, what's next? Maybe "The Sound of Music"? "My Cousin Vinny"? (Shout out, Lauren! I never saw it.) Only time (and Twitter) will tell.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

My 9-year-old self would be ashamed

My parents were pretty protective of me growing up.

I was only allowed to ride my bike on the cul-de-sac behind our house and, of course, I always had to wear a helmet. (Once, my mom even made me and my sister wear helmets INSIDE. Tornado warning. The stress of being crammed into the basement powder room with our bike helmets must have really affected my sister. She totally tossed her cookies.)

Every morning before school, my mom walked me to the bus stop (2 houses down the street) until I was old enough to realize that this was SO EMBARRASSING that I begged her to stop. So as a compromise, I walked to the bus stop like a big kid, alone, and my mom stuck her head out the door--watching to be sure that I got on the bus safely. Much better.

Well into my teens, I still wasn't allowed to go to the mall without parental supervision.

And R-rated movies? Uh uh.

I don't remember ever being as upset about not being allowed to see an R-rated as I was about my parents sending me to bed while they watched "The Bodyguard" on HBO.

Excuuuuuuse me. I might have only been nine-years-old, but I knew Whitney was a goddess. (Emphasis on was. Sorry, Whitney. I saw your reality show. Eek!) I had The Bodyguard soundtrack on cassette, which I blasted in my walkman that was bedecked in stick-on gem earrings.

I pitched a fit. I cried. I stomped. It was SO! UNFAIR! I threw myself on my bed and cried the whole time my parents watched the movie in the other room. Or maybe I just cried until I thought they weren't listening to me cry anymore. At that point, I likely retreated to the Barbie Dream House (the one with the elevator) and took out my rage on Western Fun Barbie.

Ugh, what an insufferable b*tch.
I want you and your damn horse out of my FACE!

Anyhow. It just came to my attention that here I am, approaching my 28th birthday, and I STILL haven't seen the movie! Methinks it's about time that I serve my nine-year-old self some justice, Netflix-style. (It's streaming. My nine-year-old self is astounded with how far technology has come. Be kind, rewind.)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Gratuitous Dog Post

I've been at the new job for more than a month and still can't believe this is my life. I have sipped champagne on the wrap-around patio at our office TWICE since I started, and holy moly. Is this real life? I have to say things are going swimmingly.

Speaking of swimming... I bought a baby pool for our greyhound baby today. I have decided the vinyl bottom might be too delicate for his mighty talons, so I'm going to return it in favor of something more hardy. I am excited for our first dip. (Possibly relevant side note: I don't know if Luke especially enjoys water--bath time is never a fun experience for anyone...)

Anywhoodle... why is it almost July? Can anyone tell me why the winter seems to go by at the pace of a mildly injured snail, while the summer is moving at the rate of a wild mustang on speed? This is highly unfair and I would really like to file a complaint with the appropriate person.

Oh, hey. Speaking of complaining! Let me vent for one hot second. My old job was extremely late with filing my resignation paperwork and because of their incompetence, I was overpaid on my final paycheck. Do you know what this means? First, let me tell you what this doesn't mean. This doesn't mean I can go on an Etsy bender... or McScrooge my way through a pool of gold coins. No. This means I have to write a check to my former employer in excess of $1,100. Can I tell you how painful that is? I don't care if the money was never mine in the first place. I am extremely annoyed by the whole situation.

Finally, I leave you with some recent photos of the soon-to-be Olympian swimming champion. I submitted these photos and others to our local greyhound rescue (Going Home Greyhounds) to be included in their 2012 calendar. I hope Luke makes it in at least once! Cross your paws.


Have you ever seen such bliss?

And so the impromptu rhododendron photo shoot begins...

His collar has tiny cassette tapes on it.
He's so analog.

Okay. So this isn't exactly "recent"... but LOOK AT THAT TOOTH!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Friday was my last day at my job. During my week off before I start my new job, I am supposed to "decompress."

So far, my week consists of rearranging furniture, cleaning out closets and junk drawers, sewing buttons on clothing that has been awaiting mending for almost a year, helping the husband with yard work, working on freelance writing, and driving all over the region in search of some antique furniture that won't break the bank. Does that sound like "decompressing" to anyone? Yeah, I didn't think so.

I'm not a total failure, however. I did get an intense massage on Saturday. (It left me feeling like someone beat me up, but I felt quite good the next day.) I also celebrated my sister's 22nd birthday with a visit to Red Fin Blues, where the entire family ordered the "all you can eat" crab legs. Mmmmmmmm.

Tonight, Andrew and I are beginning our hunt for a love seat. Something nice, but not too nice. After all, as Andrew put it yesterday, we are basically buying it for a dog to lay on all day. (Luke thinks every surface in our house is "his bed." It's cute, except for when he's kicking you in the ribs at 3 a.m. (Okay, even then, it's still a little cute.)

I mean, just look at him.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Goats! Woo!

I am struggling with the green-eyed monster today. Michelle Woo just moved to some magical land where they bring goats to feast on the land surrounding her home. How nice is that? Seriously. Just having goats walking around, eating your grass.

Honey, we are so getting goats... (I know he won't object. We had the goat conversation before marriage. All savvy couples do.)

Photo by Michelle Woo

Thursday, April 28, 2011

New Job, Same Blog

I have some good news to report. After starting to look for a new job last summer, I finally found a great opportunity with an institution that is excited to have me on their team.

After five years, I am leaving my first "big girl" job next Friday. Most of my coworkers are genuinely happy for me to take this next step in my career, but there are a few sour grapes around the office, unfortunately.

My new position is relatively similar to what I do now--public relations for a higher education institution in Pittsburgh. However, this new opportunity will offer me a chance to learn the ropes of event planning and some advertising. As someone who enjoyed fawning over which napkin color to use at my wedding, I think event planning will suit me well. I am most excited about the fact that I will also be the managing editor of the university's alumni magazine. My area of concentration in journalism school was magazine journalism--so I'm thrilled to get back to that interest.

While there are a few butterflies about making this transition, I am happy to join a team that seems to recognize potential that has gone untapped at my current job (through no fault of my own...)

Oh, and did I mention that my office will be in an old mansion? Do you think they will let me ride in the dumbwaiter?

One last thing, (thanks to my new job) I've decided to stay put on Cusp of Normal. If bullies want to keep reading, be my guest. Oh, and maybe try some sugar on those sour grapes, eh? :P

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I miss you too

A handful of tweeps recently mentioned my sudden disappearance from the blogging world. I have to say that it was really nice to see that my rambling nonsense on this blog was something that people honestly enjoyed reading.

I want to clear out some of the cobwebs on Cusp of Normal to admit that I have been missing blogging and am hoping to get back into the swing of things. But I might need to find a new space... this blog no longer feels like my own. I no longer consider it to be the sanctuary that it was for so many years. I'm sad to think about leaving behind the posts that I've accumulated since I started this blog in 2007. (It's hard to believe it's been four years!) But a new blog might be the breath of fresh air that I need to get back into the hobby that I so adored.

I'm currently brainstorming new names/concepts for a new blog. I should just pick something and get on with it--but I kind of love coming up with names for things (especially nonexistent children and rock bands) and want a name that truly feels like me.

In the meantime, know that I miss you. I hope some of you will follow me to the new space. But I won't be posting the new address here--so you will have to do some sleuthing or direct message me on Twitter once I announce that it is up and running. Oh, and I'll probably eventually need a new Twitter handle too. Blarg.

This new blog will be my own personal fight club--or something. And you know what they say about talking about fight club...

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Resolutions for 2011

I'm keeping it simple this year:

Resolution #1: Be happy.
Resolution #2: Be active (mentally and physically).

I have been pretty down lately. Not sure if it's just the winter blues or something more. I've been trying to make some changes that will help me through to the spring. The first step is to get my blood pumping so I'm not so fatigued all the damn time. (I still am without a diagnosis to explain this constant symptom.) My in-laws gave me some Zumba workout DVDs for Christmas and I think doing a few workouts a week will help me feel a little more energetic this winter. I'm also starting back up with a very basic lifting routine to hopefully prevent any future incidence of oesteoparosis. (Something wee ones like myself must think about long before old age.)

I've also been involved in several freelance projects that are keeping my mind busy this winter. (Bonus: The extra money from these projects will help us make some much needed updates to the house this spring.)

So, that's that. What are you hoping to achieve this year?