Perfect “Date Days”

Your perfect “date day” doesn’t have to break the bank.

My boyfriend returned from field school on Friday, so Saturday we spent the entire day together. In other words, it was a date day.

Going out on dates can be expensive, and as a college student and a recent college grad, we tend not to want to splurge on dates every weekend, so we’re always looking for cute inexpensive (or no cost) date ideas.

We started off Saturday by doing our grocery shopping in our pajamas. While this might not sound like a date, it’s a nice way to spend time with your partner while also accomplishing a very necessary task.

We returned home for leftover pizza and a lovely afternoon nap before heading out to Holmes Lake Park. This city park holds a very large lake where people go to fish, boat, walk, or just relax. We walked around the entire lake (not a small feat in flip flops), fed some ducks and geese, and played with other people’s dogs.

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After leaving the park, we had another errand to run and ended up in the downtown area. We grabbed a bite to eat at a gyro place that refuses to be found through a google search. It’s right next to Ali Baba Gyros, and they have a delicious gyro burger. The majority of their meals are in the $8 range, but you get an incredible amount of food for your money.snapchat-1227030200

As we walked back to the car, we stopped at Freezing Thai Rolled Ice Cream. While it’s definitely not the best ice cream I’ve had in Lincoln, it is pretty good, and their sizes are what I call a “shareable” size. My boyfriend and I just got one to split (about $6.50), and it was the perfect amount.

We finished out the night by meeting up with some friends for a drink before attending a very lowkey house party. I love going out, but if you’re looking to save money, you’re way better off picking up some alcohol at a store and hanging out at home or at a friend’s. Lincoln’s Super Savers always seem to have good deals on alcohol. (This happens to be where we picked up Fireball and some margarita mix for a later day around midnight Saturday night).

Dates don’t always have to include $50 meals, expensive movies with even more expensive popcorn (Redbox is really great by the way), or pricey shows/concerts.

“Little Red Riding-Hood”

One of the fairy tales I have read the most variations of is “Little Red Riding-Hood.”

I think many people know the general story-line of this popular fairy tale. It’s a pretty basic plot. A young girl is sent to her ill grandma’s house with some sort of food (changes between variations), she meets a wolf (and tells him too much), and the wolf eats grandma and pretends to be her.

I think the most common ending I’ve seen to this story is where Red is gobbled up as well, but then a man with an ax travels through, cuts the wolf open to say Red and grandma, and they fill his belly with rocks.

However, the version I read today was much shorter and not nearly as “happy” as that.

The Blue Fairy Book, edited by Andrew Lang, has a version of “Little Red Riding-Hood” that you can read here. This publication is a republication (unabridged and unaltered) from a publication from the 1880’s, including the original images as well.

I think it’s really fascinating to read all of these variations, and it makes me think about where they started and why they started.

In some versions of this fairy tale, there’s a clearly stated moral at the end, and I do believe many fairy tales were created and/or used as cautionary tales for children. Charles Perrault’s version states at the very end:

“Moral: Children, especially attractive, well bred young ladies, should never talk to strangers, for if they should do so, they may well provide dinner for a wolf. I say “wolf,” but there are various kinds of wolves. There are also those who are charming, quiet, polite, unassuming, complacent, and sweet, who pursue young women at home and in the streets. And unfortunately, it is these gentle wolves who are the most dangerous ones of all.”

I’ve also read a few modern/remade versions of “Little Red Riding-Hood.” The most interesting (terrifying) of which is titled “Wolf Parts,” written by Matt Bell. I do have a copy, if you’re interested, but it may change the way you view “Little Red Riding-Hood.”

What fairy tale (popular or not so much) should we look at next?

 

Our “Baby Boy”

When I was a child, my family had a couple of Betta fish. We had Zipper first (he would “zip” around his bowl), and then we had Psycho. Psycho would jump above the water line for food, and he twice jumped out of his bowl, landed on the counter (or floor), and survived.

When my best friend moved in with me last August, we talked about getting one Snapchat-461999077[1856]together, and, in October, we did. We named him Iago. Here’s a low quality photo that is the only photo we could find. Iago liked to hang out in his plant and pretend he was dead. Unfortunately, the last night that my friend stayed in my house before moving, we woke up to find him dead. Together, we flushed him down the toilet (which is a horrifying experience by the way, would not recommend), and we moved on.

Last weekend, I brought Iago’s belongings back to my new apartment with me thinking that if I wanted to get another one, at least I’d have the stuff I needed. I didn’t really think I was going to, however.

After a long day of work on Monday and returning to my empty apartment (as the boyfriend has been out of town for school), I just decided I needed a companion of sorts. A fish is one of the lowest maintenance pets I could get, and I’ll have an easier time keeping it alive than the succulent plant my mom got me.

I first visited “Fish World” which is relatively close to my apartment, but they only had 5-6 Betta fish, and none of them caught my eye.

I then headed on over to PetCo, where I knew they’d have a larger selection, and boy did they. I called my boyfriend to discuss with him if he had a preference in the fish I selected (he didn’t really care), so I was left to stare at the shelves of fish and try to decide which one I wanted.

When I had first walked in, I had seen this tiny baby one that caught my eye, and I’d snapped my best friend to show him how adorable it was. Even though I looked at several others, I kept coming back to this baby, so I went with my gut and got him. All it said on his container was “baby boy,” which is his name until my boyfriend and I name him.

Baby boy is very energetic and enthusiastic about food. He is very curious about his reflection in the side of his bowl, and he seems very small in his one-gallon bowl. Since we don’t know what type of Betta he is, it’s hard to predict what he will look like, but my boyfriend and I are very excited to find out.

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Mailbox #8

I check my mailbox twice a day.

Once when I get home from work and the gym (anywhere between 2 and 5), and if it was empty, I check it again in a couple hours later just to make sure I didn’t check it too early.

I’ve already accepted this as part of my routine, but I just stopped to think about how weird it is. I’m not waiting on a package or anything of such dire importance that it couldn’t wait until the next day.

I just really like getting mail.

Whether it’s just another notice from the bank saying I opened a checking account (I know, thank you for the three notices), the Charter bill, or flyers for local sales, I get really excited about receiving mail.

The other day I received a thank you card from my Momma, along with information about car insurance and Windstream internet, all in the same day.

I love the convenience of texting, email, Snapchat, Facebook messenger, but none of those things compare to a handwritten letter. When I was in high school, my friends and I would write notes to each other when we had time in our classes. I can’t bring myself to throw away those notes from over four years ago from my school friends (some of which I don’t even speak to anymore), but I can easily delete text conversations and email threads.

There’s just something about a piece of physical paper that someone spent time to write on and send to you that means so much.

As for the other stuff I receive? Bills, junk mail, flyers?

They don’t hold a special place in my heart, but they do make me feel like I’m doing the whole adulting thing, so that’s pretty cool too.Outdoor-Apartment-Mailboxes-768x512

 

The (not so) beautiful world of fairy tales

For those of you that don’t know, I spent all of last semester studying (and writing) fairy tales. I’m not sure where my interest in them came from, because I didn’t read that many when I was younger, but I found myself wanting to read more and delve deeper into fairy tales: well-known and rarely heard of.

My class full of fairy tales revolved around three books: The Blue Fairy Book, The Yellow Fairy Book, and My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me: Forty New Fairy Tales.

The first two include traditional fairy tales, and they aren’t all from the Grimm brothers (some of the more popular, well-known fairy tales). The third book includes many re-written, corrupted, or otherwise remade fairy tales. They’re incredibly interesting to read, they spark great ideas in terms of formalism and structure, and they often contain more complex characters than their traditional counterparts.

What I love so much about reading traditional fairy tales is that they often just make me angry and frustrated. They bring out a passion that I only get from reading about women who are made into currency or mothers who are portrayed as villains or men who have tons of power but no real intelligence. My responses to these fairy tales were often filled with “how predictable” or “why are these women like this?” I also kept a man-turning-into-beasts tally because there were so many of them.

Stories with these common tropes make us look at our world and force us to face the injustices and stereotypes that are still in place. When someone uses the phrase “like a fairy tale” to describe something good, happy, or beautiful, I find myself wondering if they really know what fairy tales are (or at least used to be).

Fairy tales are a huge part of our society. They are constantly being remade in the film business, children’s books often incorporate fairy tales, and their is always going to be princess-themed everything for children. However, how many of us have read the “original” of our favorite fairy tale stories?

(Spoilers below)

Did you know Rapunzel gets pregnant?

Did you know Ariel dies?

Did you know Belle isn’t even named Belle? She’s just called Beauty. (Oh, and there is no talking furniture).

Did you know Sleeping Beauty has another whole plot (after the story we all know) that involves an ogress?

I’ve got a whole lot of fairy tales to read, and I encourage some of you to follow me on this journey. You can find many online for free, so read your favorite fairy tale. Is it how you remembered?

 

The animal in my chimney

Saturday evening, during my weekend Netflix binge, a scratching started in my chimney. At first, I had no idea what was going on, and I was absolutely terrified.

My new apartment has a fireplace, which is incredible, but apparently some animals can find their way in there, and I have to deal with the continuous scratching.

I sat with my flashlight looking up the fireplace, staring at the closed chute, trying to figure out how to handle the situation. I had no idea what was in there, whether or not I could get it out, or if it would try to hurt me if I did try to rescue it.

After texting my mom and boyfriend, I decided this was something the landlord could handle. After I submitted a maintenance request, I sat back down and tried not to listen to the noises. They were pretty loud and continuous for that first night.

Sunday he was less energetic. I spent my time trying to decide what type of animal it was. A bird? A squirrel? Something a little more terrifying (as my best friend suggested)?

There was a lot of clawing sounds, so I originally I thought squirrel, but twice I’ve heard what sounds like the most awful, strangled bird call.

Monday afternoon, I got home from work and called maintenance. A nice lady told me a handyman would be on his way. I informed my new roommate that he’d be getting out, but no one ever showed up on Monday.

Monday night he got really quiet, and by Tuesday morning, I assumed that he had died. I’d gotten kinda invested, and I started to feel bad for the poor guy. However, when I got home from work on Tuesday, the first thing I heard when I got in was him scratching again in there. Immediately I called the office again just to realize I was calling too late in the day, receiving only an automated message.

Now, my friend has been in there for three whole days. He’s still going at it, and I’m really hoping that maintenance comes tomorrow. I just want some peace and quiet and to know who has been getting free rent the past three days. Wish me luck.

Also, I’ll update everyone on Twitter when I find out the species of my little friend.

My Favorite Pandora Stations

c80e3551112d84b5816aca3ba01d9001--britney-spears-albums-britney-spears-oopsI don’t listen to music that often: in the car, sometimes while in the shower, maybe while cleaning/cooking.

My Google Home Device makes listening to music a lot easier, and I’m just going to share some of my go to Pandora stations.

Britney Spears Radio – Britney is one of my all-time favorites, and everything Britney is a classic in my mind. I like what Pandora pairs with Britney as well. There is a lot of female singers: Rihanna, Lady Gaga, etc., and I’m really into it. No matter when I listen to this station, “Buttons” by the Pussycat Dolls always plays, and I’m not mad about it.

1200x630bbSummer Hits of the 2000s – This is a lot of the music I grew up listening to on the radio, and when I hear a lot of these songs, I remember every word, and it’s hard not to get into them. I started this radio just to see what the first couple songs were: “Yeah!” By Usher, “Stacey’s Mom” by Fountains of Wayne, and “Dirty Little Secret” by The All-American Rejects. They’re songs that most of us know, and probably, love.

90s Pop Radio – I haven’t listened to this one in a while, but as I went pack, I found myself jamming a little bit. Examples of songs that might be playing on this station: “She’s so High” by Tal Bachman, “All Star” by Smashmouth, and “Meet Virginia” by Train.

I also always have a classical music station (currently it’s a Beethoven one because I love Beethoven), which is ideal for relaxing, studying, or trying to focus on one specific thing.

If you don’t have a Pandora account, I would definitely recommend it. It’s a great way to hear new music (if you were to pick a more modern station than I’ve listed here), listen to things you’ve forgotten about, or find music in a specific genre.

Until next time… Here’s one of my all-time favorites.