Friday, May 28, 2010

Are you there, shoes? It's me, Crystal.

While browsing through the blog Shoelust earlier, I found this picture:

I can't tell you how much I needed to see these up close! The only info on the blog was that they were John Galliano, so I did some good old fashioned!

During my search, I found these from Fall 2009 Ready To Wear (RTW):

I can't imagine how the model managed to walk in these! These have to win for hardest shoes to walk in, way more difficult than the Alexander McQueen armadillo shoes!

Apparently, I have McQueen on the brain today, because every shoe I saw on Shoelust reminded me of a McQueen outfit. First, these:

I immediately thought of the Spring 2010 line, and was going to post some dresses to go with these, but they all looked so perfect with the shoes they were already with!

These Versace shoes totally made me think of this McQueen dress:

But back to the original shoes. I looked through 9 seasons of fashion shows on, and 25 pages of Google Images before giving up. Do these shoes even exist? Are they a figment? HELP!

Dear American Apparel...

So there I was, browsing throught Texts From Last Night, when all of a sudden on the sidebar, KABOOM! Booty!

Dear American Apparel...

Hi there. I am your target demographic. Let's talk real quick, mmkay?

I am the person you are trying to sell this to. While I am sure it is great for some, chick ass is totally not my thing. Especially with spread legs.

The whole idea of advertising is selling an image, making that product look appealing, making you picture yourself in the life being depicted. I think Anthropologie is a great example:

When I see this one, I think "Ooh, rain boots, fun!", and then I think about how the knee-high men's type socks are actually very cute with them, and then I'm reminded that I really need a floaty summery dress. Then I think "Ooh, bamboo, I wonder where she is?" I have to rate all of these thoughts way higher than "Ack! Ass! Too early! Haven't even had coffee yet!"

Am I supposed to look at the American Apparel ad and think "You know, I don't take pictures of my ass often enough!", or "Maybe I should pursuit a career as a webcam girl?" I tried to find something positive about it, and all I could come up with was "Well, at least I can't see vajayjay..."
I'm missing Florida this morning, for a completely silly reason. The book that I'm reading starts off in New Orleans, and moves west, and as I'm reading about Louisiana, all I want is to hop in my car and drive over to Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter resort, and sit out under a tree reading. It's such a cute resort, with its wrought iron everywhere, fountains, muddy river, and streetnames like Rue d'Baga and Cafe Au Lait Way.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Holy bad photoshop, Batman!

Found on Jezebel:

I google imaged the model, Filippa Hamilton, and found proof that her head is not, in fact, larger than her pelvis:

The badly photoshopped image was originally posted on the awesome blog Photoshop Disasters, until the Ralph Lauren company threw a fit, and said something about sueing them for copyright infringement. Ummm, what??

The company later apologized for the image, but then this one turned up, too:

Does some photoshopper really not know the difference between a human body and a bobblehead?

Another photoshop disaster, via the blog of the same name, just because it amused me:

Well, I guess that's ONE way to lose ten pounds...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I was flipping through TV channels tonight, with nothing good on once again, and settled on Golden Girls. I thought about Blanche, and was somehow reminded of Samantha from Sex and the City, and the differences in how the two were portrayed. THAT led me to wondering... just how old were the "Girls" when the show started?

Surprisingly enough...

Rue McClanahan, 51 years old (season 1) --- Kim Cattrell, 54 years old (SATC 2 movie)

It's kind of fascinating how Rue's character already had grown children, and was living with her three friends in a little house in Florida, I'm guessing retired? (I don't recall any of the Girls ever working.) While Samantha is a major career woman, living alone, but has traded in cards on the lanai for Cosmopolitains with her three friends.

Is Hollywood starting to take a new view on aging?

Monday, May 24, 2010

This is me procrastinating

Right now, I am supposed to be finishing up my application to write a travel guidebook. This job is pretty much tailor-made for me- I have always wanted to be a travel writer, and it's a location I know tons about. And so, of course, with the application due tomorrow, I can't figure out what to write. Self-saboutage much?

Back to the drawing board, aka MS Word...

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Katie sent this to me, I find it exquisite. The best part is that it looks like the kind of thing we would write while drinking.

Thankfully, according to the list, I'm pretty cool!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Best Face has this new thing where you can upload several photos, and people vote to tell you which is your best profile photo. I couldn't resist trying it out.

This one consistantly gets the highest rating, which isn't that surprising, since it is my Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider picture.

I found it amusing that it shows which groups of people voted positively for you...

(I had to break this in half since it was too wide)

Kinda funny that this pic rates low with both Christians and Liberals!

Why don't vegetarians like this???

You can also see who you were up against, who voted, and which one they picked. Warning: this is oddly addictive, and will result in at least one outcry of "WHAT? I am totally hotter than her!" and probably a few "Was he insane? I would have picked HER!"

WTF, I beat tan blonde bikini chick??

With this pic, too? Are these guys on crack??

I agree with this one, she is totally cuter than me. I was surprised that this was my LEAST popular pic, btw. It only gets 63/100 votes, vs the most popular one, which gest 76/100.

So, what have I learned? First, guy-hot is totally different from girl-hot. Second, I totally want to hang out with that chick in the last pic. Too bad it doesn't have links to the competition! Finally, getting opinions of total strangers is oddly fascinating.

Anyone else want to try this and share the results?

Awesome? Not awesome?

10 Awesome Things about Spending the Summer Back Home

1. I get to hang out with my cat! Um, and my mom and other family, but mostly, CAT!!! TALLULAH!

2. NO RENT! No electric bill! Squee!

3. There is furniture! And a washer/dryer! And internet! And a TV! (Living in FL has turned me into a Beverly Hillbilly!)

4. I get to miss the majority of the months that are NOT the most fun times of year to work at a major theme park in Florida. Latin Tour Group Season? Sorry, I won't be here!! Hurricane season? Missing almost all of it! All those months that children are out of school, and thus all up in my business? Sorry, half a country away! Days that it is so flipping hot outside that your face melts off the second you step out the door? BYE!

Not So Awesome Things about Not Spending the Summer in FL

1. There are certain people that I am going to miss, a LOT. This could pretty much be the only thing on the list, and be enough.

2. What do you mean I can't just pop over to Epcot on my day off??

3. The ocean is HOW FAR AWAY from Missouri???

4. Although I am trying to convince myself that all of my favorite local bands will just take like half the year off while I am not here, the sad truth is that I am going to miss a bunch of shows! You people better show up with cameras, and youtube every last second for me! Start with sound check, boys with audio equipment are sexy.

5. It has been flippin' COLD here!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Why I am marrying The Edge, Part 2

Remember last month when I posted about how much I love the documentary "It Might Get Loud"? Imagine my delight when I was scrolling through the on demand movies on my snazzy new cable, and found it listed! I can watch it all I want! Well, till tomorrow, that is, since it seems to end then. I've been watching it in bits and pieces whenever I am bored. So much great music! The Edge is still my very favorite, of course. I expect him to propose to me any day now, just pop right out of the TV, guitar and all.

There's a part of It Might Get Loud where Edge is playing "Sunday Bloody Sunday" where he reminds me immeasurably of a friend of mine. Love it! 3 min 30 sec into this video is the part:

Bono is kinda oddly sexy in this.

The above pic is from an awesome clip towards the beginning where Edge is doing yoga while reading his Blackberry. I knew it was shot by Bono, but after some internetting, I found that it's actually from "A Day in the Life of The Edge", a little doo-dad Bono shot for Current TV. You can watch the whole video here. It includes a bathrobe-clad Edge hiding under the pillows when Bono wakes him up way too early, grumbling "I don't want to be on TV, YOU want to be on TV." Awesome. The blackberry yoga is still the best part.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Crazy Cat Lady update

Yesterday sucked. I woke up to my cat, Tallulah, pooping and throwing up everywhere. Poor kitty! She seems to get like this a few times a year, and we've taken her to the vet several times for it. It usually lasts a few hours and then she is ok, but it sucks in the meantime!

I spent from 9am until 2pm cleaning up after her, and trying to comfort her. Poor kitty and poor Crystal! After all those hours of scrubbing floors Cinderella-style, I came downstairs (to my apartment, where my other two cats are currently living until we get them introduced to the others), sat down at the computer to relax, and I kid you not, FIVE minutes later, my cat Cricket was throwing up. I freaked out, worried that she had whatever Tallulah had, but then I saw that she had thrown up a RIBBON. I'm in the process of cleaning up the apartment downstairs- I lived here for several years before I moved to Florida, and my mom has been using it as storage for the three years I've been gone. Thus, there is stuff EVERYWHERE. Want my research paper from high school? Here ya go! I've been trying to dig through it all, but it's a slow process. Amidst the mess, Cricket found a piece of ribbon about a foot long, and apparently ate it. I'm thankful it came back UP instead of getting stuck in her digestive system, but I couldn't help but crack up at the irony of TWO barfing kitties in one day. I am totally getting kicked out of the crazy cat lady club!

I decided to give Tallulah a bath last night, since she was pretty messy from her day-o-poop. She's never had a bath before, so I was worried about how it would go. I filled the tub with a few inches of hottish water (cats have warmer body temperatures than us, so you want it warm, just below being hot), and then just popped her into the tub. She stared at me wide-eyed for a second like "WHAT the flying fuck are you doing to me?" but then she kinda figured it out, and was more "Oh, ok, I get it. Just get it over with." She let me scrub her up, but apparentl lost patience after a few minutes, because she ended up just laying down in the tub. So cute! She laid around on a towel on the floor for a while after, looking fairly proud of herself.

Today has thankfully been cat bodily functionless, unless you count purring. However, I checked my bank account online, only to find that the loan payment that I had called up to postpone was charged to me anyway. So now I have to fax the loan company my bank statement, and wait for them to fix it, and hope the check I wrote the cable company for installation (YAY, I have internet and TV!) doesn't bounce in the meantime. I'm annoyed that I have to literally use my last dollar to send the fax, when it is the company's error. Weren't things supposed to get all easy if I moved home?

Coincidentally, today is also my two older cats' birthday! Technically it is just Tiger Lily's, but I don't know what day Tallulah was actually born, so we just celebrate them on the same day. So I will just close out this whiny, poorly-written post with cute kitten photos, and you will still like me anyway.

Tallulah Jane, the One Kitten to Rule Them All

Tallulah as a baby, 2002

Tiger Lily as a baby, 2003. I can't find a good adult pic of her, will have to take some!

Saturday, May 15, 2010



I rarely pimp other blogs, but hey, V deserves it! (And yes, she is also doing an awesome giveaway). V is a fellow 20-something blogger, and I read through all of her archives when I first found her blog. She has awesome style, and I totally want to steal her awesome leopard print chair:

Friday, May 14, 2010


Well, there goes THAT job possibility...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Arkansas ate my soul... and other tales Part 2

This is the tiny happy meal toy pony that my friend Chris (nickname Pony) gave me on my last night of working with him. I decided to make it my trip mascot by duct taping it to the dashboard. Yes, I have pink duct tape, don't you?

When we left off in the last post (Go read that first. Or not, it is kind of boring and wordy!), I was FINALLY getting in the car around noon to leave Florida and head towards Missouri. About time!!

Just getting out of Orlando felt like such an accomplishment! I remember at one point feeling so exhausted from the morning, but looking at the side of the road to notice a sign for a winery I like that's just outside of town. All of that crazyness and I'm barely out of the metro area!!

Driving through Florida actually went surprisingly quickly. I was really glad, because after the crazy morning, I was worried I'd be totally spent by the time I hit Georgia and just have to curl up in a hotel to recharge. Instead, I got that great road trip energy of go-go-go! and I was in Georgia before I knew it. I made it into Georgia a little before 3:30, which means it took me less than 3 hours to get through Florida. I think that is good time? I may have been speeding just a little bit??

I stopped for a gas refill once I hit Georgia, because it is one of the states I have never been to, and I was all excited to dance on new state soil! YAY, something to mark off my life lists! In fact, I'd be crossing off several states this trip!

I celebrated driving through Georgia by listening to "The Devil Went Down to Georgia", after my first audiobook (one of the Lemony Snicket books- I wanted audiobooks that didn't require toooo much thought) ran out. Then I sang a horrible country song rendition when I drove over the Chattahoochie river. Yee haw?

Georgia flew by, too (at about 90mph!), and I made it to Alabama around 5. WOOT!

Day One progress

I ended up spending the night in Jasper, Alabama, entirely because my cat is named Jasper.

My hotel wasn't great, but it was pretty okay. Had a fridge and microwave, and was RIGHT next to a Taco Bell- SCORE!

If you read the first half of this saga, you may be wondering how the whole "I have panic attacks driving" thing went. Surprisingly, not bad! I can't say I was ever totally relaxed, but the only time it got bad was just before I stopped for the night. About 20 miles outside of Jasper, I got the whole "CAN NOT BREATHE!" thing, which was very, very not fun. I was so thankful that it came at the very end of the day, though!

And if you are wondering, yes, I brought the kitties into the hotel room for the night. They had a blast exploring, and finally being out of the car! I love that after over 5 years of working at hotels, I am now the one sneaking in pets! (Um, unless you happen to work at the particular hotel I stayed at, in which case I did no such thing!!)

Day 2

Weather was a bit of a concern this morning! When I talked to my mom before bed the night before, I learned about the crazy-crazy storms that were in the exact area of the country I was headed for. After some fancy-schmancy detective work, I figured out that if I could make it to Memphis before noon, I should miss most of the worst weather. It was kind of sprinkly when I went down to the lobby for the continental breakfast (two mini blueberry muffins and a bit of apple juice, yum!), so I threw the stuff in the car as quickly as possible! I asked the front desk lady how far it was to Memphis, and was happy when she said about an hour and a half, which was great since I would be on the road by 9am-ish.

Got in the car, and back on the highway, and then heard Cricket (my cat) unhappily clawing at the carrier door. And then heard her get out. CRAP!! I pulled over to the side of the road, stuck her back in, re-zipped the carrier, and got back on the road. Glad she didn't figure that out yesterday!!

About five miles down the road... Ziiiiiip! Now both kitties were crawling around the back seat, trying to lounge in the back window. SO not gonna happen! I pulled off at the next exit, climbed back there to stick them back in the carrier, and then pulled out some duct tape!! The carrier has two zippers, so I duct taped them together, making it impossible to open. HAH! Take that, small cat! Thankfully, this worked perfectly, and there were no more kitty escapings!

About an hour after getting on the road, I was in:


However, a little while later, THIS was my view:

It stormed like WHOA. I had to pull over at one point because I could NOT see the lines on the road. Growing up in Missouri, and since I used to be a courrier, I have more than my fair share of driving in storms. As long as I can see the lines on the road, I'm ok, even if I have to go really slow. I did text Katie at one point to ask her to check the weather for me, because I noticed that so many other cars were pulled over while I was still plugging along, and I was worried there was a local tornado warning or something I was missing. Katie played weathergirl for the next half an hour or so, and then I was thankfully out of the storm!

I have no photos of Tennessee because I was only in the state for 24 minutes. Awesome! In fact, TN is the only state I didn't stop in. I made a point of stopping in GA, AL, and MS since I'd never been to those states and wanted to actually set foot in them, but since I've been to TN plenty of times, I felt ok about zipping on through.

Can I tell you about the disturbing lack of Starbucks on this trip?? I am a coffee drinkin' kind of girl! Every time I passed an exit, I would pay attention to the signs, watching for yummy coffee goodness, and never find any. A couple of times when I stopped for gas, I asked if there was a Sbux nearby, only to have them mention a town about 30 miles away. YOU POOR PEOPLE! (Although I now live almost 30 miles from the closest one. Sadness.)

This is where things kinda started sucking.

Well, that's not true. The first hour or so of Arkansas was fine. I got there at 12:30, really happy to be almost home! My house is right near the MO/Ark border, so Arkansas means almost home! One last state!

The problem here was with the roads, and the choosing thereof. My original Mapquest directions had me going down to Little Rock, and then up from there, which looked like the blue route below. But after some map lookin' at, I decided to try going the pink way (artistically added to the picture in Paint by me, thank you) way instead:

Hint: That was reeeally dumb.

Apparently the reason that Mapquest sends you down to Little Rock and then up is that you get to zip along on the interstate. The fairly large looking highway from my map turned out to be this:

It went SO SLOWLY! I kept track of where I was on the map, and it seemed like I was making zero progress.

I tried to quit feeling bitchy and enjoy the change in scenery. We do not have giant rocks in FL, for example:

Eventually, I stopped for gas and coffee, because I was soooo worn out! According to my map, Harrison was about an inch (40 miles) away, so I was guessing I could get there in about half an hour, if things went ok.

I made the mistake of asking the gas station guys how far Harrison was, and one told me TWO AND A HALF HOURS.

I kind of laughed at his funny, funny joke, until the guy in line remarked that he thought you could maybe make it in two hours.

They were serious. I almost cried.

I drove along, trying to decide which of two ways to take the rest of the way home. I wanted home NOW. I finally stopped in Mountain Home, at a Wal-Mart and collect called my mom. Did I mention that my cell phone had not worked for the past 3 hours at this point? It was fine for about the first half hour to an hour of Arkansas, and then nada.

So nearly crying, I called up my mom and of course, she didn't answer, because the number on the caller ID probably said "Hell, Middle of nowhere." After three tries, she picked up. I asked her to please, please mapquest from Wal-Mart in Mountain Home Arkansas to home, so I would know the fastest route. My mom is not the fastest Internetter, so I said I would call her back in about five minutes. I wandered around for a few minutes, enjoying being out of the car, and borrowed a pen and paper from the bank there, and then called back. She told me that her computer had frozen, but she called my aunt who lived nearby, and she was personally coming over to give me directions. But by "nearby", she meant she lived over 20 miles away. ARRGH!

All I wanted in the whole world was to get home, and now I was stuck sitting around waiting. And it was about to rain. I sat in my car and grumbled. (And drank coffee. I was literally falling asleep at this point. I would have napped, but I needed to keep an eye out for my aunt).

After nearly an HOUR, I went back in to call my mom again, and she said that my aunt had been eating dinner when she called, so it might be more like 45 min till she got there. ARRGH! I never would have agreed to wait that long, I would have just picked a way and went. At least I'd be almost an hour farther down the road by now!

Finally, she showed up, and told me that the way I had been planning to go was indeed right. To try to shorten this really long story, I was home in an hour and a half. We brought the cats into the house and hid them away in an extra bedroom, so that the other cats that live here wouldn't freak out, and then I fell asleep for about five hours. WHEE!

This ended up much less interesting than I had hoped, but now that I have been home for a week, I feel like I need to just post it already so I can move on. Back to actual interesting posts soon, I hope!

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Arkansas ate my soul... and other tales: Part 1

So, hey, what did you do this weekend? I drove from Florida to Missouri with a car full of stuff and cats.

If you remember back a while, I had decided to move back home for about 6 months to help dig myself out of my financial situation. (See no electricity for 2 weeks, thus no blogging lately!)

Here's the thing, though: A few years ago, a roadtrip would have sounded pretty fun. Make some great road cds, eat crappy gas station food, see new sights. All good, and an adventure, right? Except that I've had panic attacks driving for the past 3 years. For the first year or so, I couldn't even drive a few blocks without totally not being able to breathe. When I moved to Florida, I was totally alone, and had to kind of get over it out of necessity. Eventually I could drive around town just fine, but any kind of 30+ minute trip would be seriously not fun. Pretty much none of my friends knew about it because it's kind of embarassing. I know it shouldn't be, but that's life, we all have egos.

Let me tell you, I searched for every possible way to get back without having to drive. I tried to find someone, anyone that I could pay to drive my car + cats back for me, or a way to fly with the cats and have someone drive just the car. ZERO luck. A "friend" of the family that we thought might be able to do it wanted $250 + his flight to FL + a hotel night paid for + all his food and snacks. Um, hi, remember the part where I am moving because I am BROKE? So that was out. I looked at every. single. airline that flew from Orlando to anywhere convenient in Missouri, and only ONE lets you take more than one cat in the carry-on. You have to have a recent vet certificate, though, which was another financial hurdle. (A side note- way too late when the fare had jumped from $19.99 to $179.99, I found a vet in Orlando who is REALLY FREAKING CHEAP. If you live in the Orlando area, check out Mayfair near The Loop. I haven't been personally, but their exams are only $33, travel certificate is $10, and rabies shots are FIVE dollars. I could have had both cats totally covered for $100!)

I finally realized that there was pretty much no other way, so I started looking at it as a challenge. I was off traveling by myself at 19, so it sucked that 28 year old me couldn't handle a road trip. However, I figured that if I could find a way to make it through 1000 miles of driving home, I'd be pretty freaking proud, and maybe my body would even adapt to driving to the point that overexposure to it for two days would get rid of the panic attacks.

I wish I could say that worked- the brain is pretty stubborn once it decides to have a weird response to something, I guess, but I DID survive. It took a lot of Xanax and a few books on tape, but I made it through. The only time I got majorly panic attacky was the very end of the first day. I don't know if it was total exhaustion or my medicine wearing off or what, but I was hyperventilating trying to find a hotel. Otherwise, though, the trip wasn't so bad. I never felt *relaxed*, but it wasn't a constant struggle just to breathe like I had worried.

So now with all the background out of the way, I can tell you the actual story!

Tuesday was my last night of work, which was emotionally draining, because saying goodbye to people who have been your second family for the past 2+ years sucks. Lots of tears. Wednesday I tried my best to get a good chunk of packing done, but ended up mostly doing last minute errands, and taking one good nap. Thursday I had my final Girly Day Out with Katie (I shall post about that later!), after a morning spent running around town for like 3 hours with Ashlee looking for a cat carrier.

Let me digress about THAT for a minute, too!

I originally wanted something like this:

I knew I didn't want the traditional hard-sided pet carrier, because it somehow seemed like it would get REALLY hot on a two day road trip. However, all the cage-type ones I found in the size I wanted were way too expensive. My cats are both pretty small, but since it was a long trip, I wanted room to put in a small litter box, and still give them plenty of room to move around, lie down, etc. At one pet shop, I foudn these Canine Campers:

Um, hello, perfect! Nice and airy, light, awesome. But the only ones the pet store had were GINORMOUS, and thus like $70. Thankfully, I then checked Target, and they had a somewhat smaller, thinner one on sale for $24! SCORE!

The only (major) negative is that it takes up almost ALL of my back seat. My back seat is small, and I guess that I didn't realize just how much a carrier of the size I wanted would use! It made stuffing the car even more of a challenge!

Speaking of which, since my Friday was pretty crazy (stories I would love to share, but can't!), I ended up literally falling over asleep on Friday night, unable to totally finish packing everything into the car. I was mostly done, and guessed I had maybe an hour or so's worth of work left to do in the morning before I left. I needed to turn in the key by 10am when the office opened, so I planned to get up at 8 so I could be out and on the road by 10, but preferably earlier.

Thanks to my internal clock being smarter than me, I woke up at 7:30 and got to work. By 9:45 I was thinking that maybe I should call the office and let them know that it might be like 10:30 before I was out. At 10:15 the office people were knocking on my door asking when I would be out. I told them I had about half an hour's left, and they said it looked like more, but I was pretty sure. Well, as you can probably guess, they came back about 11:30 and said the manager was sending maintenance up NOW to change the locks. ACK.

Luckily after they had come by earlier, I frantically texted Ashlee to wake up and HELP ME!!!! It was already in the 80s, I had no air conditioning, I was still exhausted from the night before, and I was FREAKING OUT. So she spent about an hour with me systematically trying to clear out rooms. Finally after the office people came again, we just grabbed most of what was left and stuck it in her apartment (five whole feet across the hall.)

I have to tell you, I have NEVER left an apartment that messy! I mean, I left my BED. (Well, it actually belongs to Ash, but she didn't want it back, so I just left it.) The closet was full of hangers, I left the (dirty) cat litterbox, a box of magazines, various trash, a pillow... I would NEVER leave an apartment like that, but when they basically tell you "Grab what you can now", I didn't feel like I had a choice.

I was in pretty major freak out mode by the time we finished, and Ashlee being the smart girl she is convinced me to go shower before we took the cats and the rest of the stuff down to my car. I had been fighting the shower, not wanting to waste time getting on the road, but dude, I needed it. Not just because I had been sweating running up and down 3 flights of stairs for over 4 hours, but just to get me to CALM the hell down!

I took the fastest shower ever (Less than 5 min), and then we finished stuffing what we could plus the cats in the car. I ended up having to leave something like EIGHT boxes of stuff at Ashlee's to be shipped later. I had a feeling that not quite everything would fit in the car, but never would have guessed it would be that much!!

Ash tried to convince me to just spend the day in town, but I was so ready to get on the road now! And after this incredibly long introduction, I bet you are ready to get to that part, too!

This was only going to be a short one part post, but I have babbled on so much I am going to split it here. I promise to get to the good stuff in the next half!