Is it the end of #Awesome?

Yes folks, sadly it is….or is it?

The blog 1000 Awesome Things countdowns 1000 , well, “awesome” things.  Launched in June 2008, it has been updated everyday since and is now coming to an end later next week, culminating in the #1 awesome thing.

Although I’ve never actually read his stuff until now and only recently learned of his blog’s impending passing, I am truly sad that ol what’s-his-face is ending whatever-that-blog-was-called again.

Neil Pasricha is the creator of  1000 Awesome Things  and has since authored several books about awesome, including The Book of Awesome, The Book of (Even More) Awesome, and The Book of Holiday Awesome (I love his titles!). His daily blog is described as :

“Unrelentingly optimistic without being sappy. It’s less about awesome things than it is about seeing the awesomeness of the everyday.” The Toronto Star

Some of his top rated posts include:

With millions of page views, and thousands of fans following his every awesome thought, although it’ll be interesting to see who takes over the ‘reign of awesome’ in the blog’s splendid wake, what fans are most anticipating is the ‘# 1 most awesome thing’.  After 4 years, 3 books and a countdown clock that seized the attention of a generation, what will the #1 most awesome simple pleasure be?

Whatever the case, endings are always sad, but only when they mark the ending of something really good.

Always being contrary, in honour of the unfortunate ending of 1000 awesome things, I bring you a list in a different spirit:  I present to you…

10 things that #suck:

  1. Arriving home from the grocery store and realizing you forget one of your grocery bags at the checkout stand – dammit!
  2. Getting to your car 2 minutes past the meter end time and seeing a parking ticket already on the dash – oh c’MON!
  3. Your boss scheduling a lunch time meeting – but not providing you with any lunch – shoooot!
  4. Picking up someone’s baby and having it start to cry uncontrollably in your arms.
  5. Your boss schedules a 4:30pm meeting on a Friday– uh oh!
  6. Taking  your new clothing purchases out of the bag at home and seeing the security tag was accidentally left on the item – boooo!
  7. Putting money in a parking meter but no ticket comes out  – son-of-a-@#$%
  8. Finding a stain or a hole in your favourite anything –  WTF!
  9. Pouring a cream packet into you coffee and watching your coffee curdle because the cream has gone bad. Gah!
  10. Finding a thick curly hair in your food – just before you finish the dish. YUCK!

Ok, ok. Calm down and get out of that hair-tangled-in-your-food funk.  To bring you back up to normal (aka 2-drink minimum happy), in honour of the end of something awesome,   I present you with…

10 things that @#$%^&* rock!:

  1. Getting to a parking meter and there’s already money in the meter – hells yeah!
  2. Having nothing to eat at lunch but then walking into the lunchroom at work and finding leftover snacks, sandwiches, etc from a catered meeting that day – woo hoo!
  3. A slice of someone else’s birthday cake (even if you hate chocolate). yum-o!
  4. 50% off Halloween chocolate on November 1st. yes please!
  5. When someone else’s baby recognizes you and smiles expectantly. awwww!
  6. Using the candy/pop  vending machine and when you put your money in and make your selection, 2 items fall out instead of one. 2 for 1, baby!
  7. Going to pay for the bus but the payment system is down so you get to ride for free!
  8. Leaving a store, checking your receipt and realizing the cashier forgot to charge you for an item – woo hoo!
  9. Buying an item of clothing already on sale, and when you get to the counter, you find out there’s an additional discount – yea baby!
  10. Free anything! (mattresses excluded)

Now go forth and appreciate all the #Awesome things today!…

and try to avoid the ones that suck. 😉

And feel free to share whichever ones hit you today in the comments below!

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Image sources:  going home , greasy fingers; potato chip sammich

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Why I don’t want children and other false confessions

Awww look at the baby! (not mine, promise!)

Not now but maybe one day if by accident. I’ve got too much to do first to saddle myself with a few missteps children.  Sure these eggs are getting older and fewer and far between but as I sit down to visualize my life with one, or two, or gawd forbid four beautiful young things, an unsettled, unfinished feeling weighs down on my chest and normal breathing becomes a struggle. Realization: In order to have offspring and let them live their lives, I have to live mine first and I’m certainly not done with it yet.

Plus I love the idea of adoption. Adopting 5, 6 and 7 year olds and bypassing those diaper-ridden, work filled early years.  You can adopt at any time too and it still equals all of the joy, none of the ripped uterus/cracked pelvis reality. A win followed by another win followed by raising kids for the rest of their (your) life.

Hold on

Yes, it might be that my guy fella wants babies and if that were the case then I would absolutely consider it should his desire be so great. To unilaterally decide not to have kids is both selfish and unrealistic.  I would feel the same meeting a guy fella who says ‘10 kids or nothing’ to ‘No kids but travelling’. These are decisions you make together and definitely not alone.

You owe me

Plus I would feel a little indebted to him as the preacher announces Mr John  Smith and Mrs First Name first and keeping my Last Name na na na na boo boo to you.

You see, I’ve had this name for 20+ years and I’ve only had him for quite a few less so unless his last name is Rockerfeller or Rocafella, I’m keeping mine until the end of time. Now, if he persists I take his last name then I’ll insist he take my first, or even my middle one in exchange. As is my nature, I’d at least give him some options.

To be real though, if my guy’s telling me what to do, then he’ll soon be somebody else’s guy. I love and welcome suggestions but I detest and reject orders. If you want to order me around, I had better be wearing an apron and yielding a pad of paper and a pen and calling you ‘sir.  And should it come to that, I implore you to please take a quick glance out your window in search of the flying swine I guarantee to be present.

But in the meantime, me popping out babies?

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Not on my watch.

–photo source

Summer Lovin’

Awwww Summertime (or Vancouver’s reasonable facsimile of) A time for sunshine, warm breezes, new wardrobes and most importantly – summer vacations!

I'll take a mai tai please

And speaking of vacations, I’m taking one too.

Expect change

With so much to do, hear and taste this summer, there’s the possibility for a post on everything and everyday!

Realistically though, over the next 2 months, I will post updates on random events and summer fun but in no particular schedule.

Nelleytimes will go back to regular posting in September but for now… stay tuned!

Want to stay up to date on the fun? Subscribe by RSS feed or easily subscribe via email above.

Happy Summer!

Sunflower pic source
Beach umbrellas pic source

 

Wicked

Nope, I’m not describing what I’ve been up to lately (and not because ‘wicked’ would be too tame a descriptor) but instead the famed musical – Wicked, based on the book Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.

If you were to read the theater reviews (and I don’t) you’d probably be told what a great show it is, what a wonderful cast they have and what fantastic sets they use. Well I’m here to tell you my first hand story of my life and time at Wicked…

And the invitation goes to…

Receiving a second hand invite from a friend with an extra ticket; I give her an offhand acceptance with innocently innocent inquiries on ticket prices & potential resale value. Having been sold out for months, this show was highly anticipated and I could imagine tickets reselling for an exorbitant price. My good friend, knowing me well enough and long enough, held onto my ticket until show time to ensure I did no such thing. Apparently she bought the tickets because she wanted to see the show and wasn’t looking to make a profit (amateur!). With tickets safely locked away in her purse, we headed downtown to watch the show.

Cut to Act 1, scene 1

I’m falling asleep. Actually, I think I’ve fallen asleep several times already and I’m not sure if it’s still the first scene or even still the first act.  Years of attending boring lectures and never-ending meetings has taught me how to look awake (sit upright, hold head straight) while dozing quietly away. As the singing chorus on stage bursts into song, I awake with a start. Glinda the good witch is regaling her court with a story of the Wicked Witch of the West. As the chorus leans in expectantly to listen to the good witch’s tale, I know should feel excited, I should be intrigued, I should be on the edge of my seat but I can barely keep my eyes open…

2 hours before showtime

My friend and I are sharing stories and making up for lost time the best way we know how – our traditional tequila shooters ( Recipe: take regular tequila and then add the word ‘traditional’ in front). They’re on special tonight too, a sure sign that we were all meant to be together…

1 hour to showtime

Martinis on special you say? Don’t mind if we do. If our glasses are empty waitress dear, that means we need refills. Chop chop!

30 minutes to showtime

They sell drinks at the theatre too? How convenient. Now, should we start with gin and tonics, bacardi and cokes or one of each?

You’re right, silly question (one of each).

Also, let’s not forget to pre-order our intermission bevies too.

Showtime!

Cut to Act 2, Scene 1

Nothing like halftime refreshments to, well, refresh. The scenes are brighter, the singing is bolder and the action is soooo much livelier when your eyes are open.

Things I’ve learned from my life and time @ the musical Wicked:

  • I love getting dressed up to go to plays
  • 1 hour goes by very slowly when you desperately need to use the washroom
  • People take their play watching seriously ( I think someone poked me in the shoulder for moving my head around too much!)
  • My eyes will always perk up for good looking male actors (oh Fiyero!)
  • I’ll never get the song Defying Gravity out of me head (and yes, I’m even singing it now)

And most importantly:

  • If you’re gonna consume a whole lotta drinks….save it for after the play.

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Oh and if you still need some official reviews:

4 out of 4 stars – The Toronto Star

Wicked is steeped in talent -The New York Times

If [Wicked] doesn’t please you, you’re too tough to please – Wall Street Journal

Go see it already!

If you want my advice…

Do you know who in the world wants your advice? Not to worry. I bet even less people want mine. Not even my great advice (as it usually is). What if I tell you I have advice that will forever change your life for the better? Would you be interested in hearing it then?

A good friend recently lamented their (numerous) problems to me. Hearing their issues, I proceeded to give them some good, sound, quality advice.

I haven’t heard from them since.

C'mon, take my advice!


The problem is, we all know better. If I disagree with your advice it’s because I know you’re right.
The angrier you get when I suggest you do something, the more it means you know I’m right.

I hate excuses:

You don’t get it.

You just don’t understand.

It’s not that easy.

My 2010 motto (again, I don’t do resolutions) was “no excuses”. I then used that and “no sympathy” as my 2011 mantras (resolutions are for losers!).  Since then I’ve seen the world anew. People are whiners. Whiners full of excuses. Packed to the brim with reasons why they can’t do this and won’t do that and overall full of ‘poor me’ delusions.

Do you want to know the real truth? Here it is: You can do it. You should do it. And in most cases, you’re the only person holding you back. Yet people just don’t want to hear it.  Instead you want me to agree that the world is working against you, everyone has it in for you and there’s just no way out of your sorry situation.  But there’s no way I can agree to that.

However, the next time your fickle friend prattles on about their sad, cursed, black hole of a life and you know exactly what they should do to get out of it; if you want my advice on this one…

Just keep it to yourself.

Just give me 2 turntables…

And a microphone.

I’ve been hitting the night clubs for years and this ‘phase’ has yet to pass. Needing to take my love of clubs to another (read paid) level, I made the next and only logical decision.

Your guess: You bought a night club

Answer: I did not buy a nightclub. The next logical step is to become a DJ, silly!

Gettin’ in the mix

I bought the intro ‘Learn to be a DJ’ class, registered for the ‘Learn to be a DJ’ lesson, and packed a positive ‘Learn to be a DJ’ attitude to match. Check, check and check.


6 weeks drag by and then finally it’s here. Now, I’ve readied for this class by hitting as many bars/clubs and DJ hot spots as I could (I like to be prepared). But I almost forgot the most important prep work needed for the lesson. More important than counting beats, knowing popular music and being able to distinguish musical genres – I needed to get together the perfect ensemble:

  • Short skirt,
  • Knee high boots, & a
  • Deep V-neck tee (too cold for tank tops)

Check, check, check and check. I don’t know if we’ll be graded on our work in tonight’s class, but if I can’t get by on talent…

Getting by on love

Getting my ensemble , hair & makeup together took longer than I thought. Tonight’s class starts promptly @ 630pm.  Arriving @ 642pm, I rush into the studio and dive right into the lesson already in progress. Our professor – DJ Danny D, is already teaching the (pretty un-DJ looking, I might add) class about turntables, mics, headphones and area set-up. He continues by saying that techonolgy has advanced so far that its opened up the DJ world to just about anybody these days. (yay! I’m anybody!) What distinguishes people now as a good DJ is moreso their song selection and ability to market themselves than their actual DJ skills. He then goes on to explain something really important and one of the key things to learn in order to be a succesful DJ, blah, blah, blah. C’mon already. When do we get to play?!

Play on, playa

Finally! 40mins in we get a chance to put our hands on the turntables we could only stare at throughout our lesson. Our professor’s specialty is house music so our task for the remaining hour is to match up 2 songs – one playing on our left turntable to the second song playing on the right turntable.

I wanna touch you so badly..

Key things to remember:

  • Your audience can always hear something playing in the external speakers (either the left side or right side song on the turntable – depending on your selection)
  • You have an internal speaker (your headphones) and the power to control what the audience hears while at the same time cuing up the next song (the key to being a DJ)
  • As a beginner, you must get the next song to start playing on the down beat (the loudest beat I think)  or else it will sound like something that nobody wants to dance to (aka a bad DJ)
  • It may all sound simple but mastering the above can be immediate….or can take a person years to learn (what??)

Step up to the mic

It’s my turn at the main turntables and something weird happens. I get nervous. Like when your airplane suddenly dips in flight nervous.  I don’t want to fail at this. I’ve always loved music, admired DJs and wanted this chance for so, so long. With my love for numerous musical genres, I assume I should be a natural mix-master DJ.  With my classmates cheering me on, no matter what else happens, it’s very, very, VERY important that I don’t suck at this.

I totally suck at this

I can’t get song 2 to match up with song 1. Or even song 1 to match up with song 2. I worry that even if I tried to play them at the same time, I couldn’t match up song 1 with song 1. With everyone watching, I’m the worst wanna-be DJ in the class. The world even. No exaggeration.

On to the next

45 minutes later, I start to get it. I still can’t match song 2 to song 1 but I’m getting pretty damn close. Professor DJ Danny D is encouraging and reminds me that it took him a year to be able to intuitively match up the songs and now he does it on cue and with ease. With practice, he promises, I will get it in no time.

Ok, Ok. I’ll relax and breathe a little. I guess I can’t be perfect at everything…at first. If practice is what the pros recommend then practice is what it’ll take.  I’m hooked on DJ-ing and I must return. No matter the price (FYI the price starts at around $399 for 6-1hr sessions) I just wish I could be amazing now! I might have to take a class on patience…but who has the time for that?  Even worse, after all the anticipation of going to DJ class and the excitement of getting ready for DJ  class, I forgot about the most important part of becoming a DJ!

Picking a DJ name! 😮

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Any suggestions? Send them to Nelleytimes@gmail.com. See the top choices in a future post! 😉

photo source
DJ classes and more available @: School of Remix

All the truth you can handle

I love seeing my name in lights! Or better yet, online. As long as my name is in something or on something, I’m happy.

In most recent news, I’ve been published again, yay! This time in the online newszine WestCoastTruth.com.  I was asked to be controversial, push the envelope, break the seal and challenge your views. And after my kittens vs puppies debate was vetoed (not cute enough, they told me), it was my next submission that got the popular vote….

Compulsory voting; A really nice way to say ‘do it or else’

Or else what?

Well if you don’t have a good reason for not voting (illness, etc.) Then you could face a sentence of community service, fines, or even jail time if these terms are not met within the specified time lines. Fair or not, this is the reality in countries like Australia, Belgium, Greece and more. And with overall lower voter turnout worldwide, and the potential for an easy revenue grab with non-voter fines, what’s to stop it from coming to your country?

Wanna find out the truth?…click here

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Bonus:  Link to the CBC’s Voting Compass. On Monday, May 2 Canada, Don’t forget to vote!!