Game of Thrones Season 4: Scheming and Murder and Dragons, Oh My!

 

No lunch time post today dear readers, because my normal 5 PM slot over at Lefty Pop posted early today!  Love Game of Thrones?  Excited about Season 4?  Go check out my post and let me know what you’re excited about this season!

Click here to read the post over at Lefty Pop!

 

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Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

 

Today:

Listening to: 

Eating:  Quinoa burger, asparagus, brussel sprouts, and white beans.

Random thought:  GRRM is not a small or young guy.  Is it wrong that I’m concerned that he may up and kick the bucket before finishing this series??

 

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Five for Friday: My Five Favorite Children’s Books

I’m fairly certain that I have been an avid book fan since the moment of my birth, because I honestly don’t remember a part of my life in which I wasn’t being read to or reading.  We always had a ton of books in the house and made weekly trips to the public library.  I looked forward to it like I was going to Disney World.  Having all of these books around was quite handy, because  I was quite possibly the world’s worst nap taker.   Every afternoon my Mom would be put me in my room for “nap time” and I would lie there reading for an hour.  As I got a bit older, I participated in every reading program and contest I could find.  I probably read more books than any other child in the history of Pizza Hut’s Book It! program (I just googled this and am so excited that it still exists!). We ate more free personal pan pizzas than you can imagine.   I crushed the Sunshine State Young Readers Program every year.  There was no way I was going to let some other kid win the free dictionary or lunch with the principal.

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Anyone else remember these?

So you get the point, I love books and I love reading.

After an 80s related Facebook post yesterday that mentioned the “Sweet Valley High” series, I started thinking about all of the books I loved as a kid.  Since there are so many of them, this is going to have to span multiple posts broken out by age bands.  Today I bring to you the books I obsessed over as a young child (up to say, 6 years old).

 

Number 5:  “The Story About Ping”  Marjorie Flack 1933

This was the only book at my Mema and Papa’s house.  I chose to read this 100+ times instead of looking at the TV Guide.

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The story is about a duck named Ping who’s owner takes him and his little duck family out to the lake to feed.  When it is time to return to his owner, he is late.  Fearing a spanking he hides and is captured by a boy on a boat who intends to serve him to his family for dinner.  Luckily, the boy decides to release Ping who ends up returning to his owner as the last duck and  receiving the spanking he was trying so hard to avoid.

Moral- Don’t be late.  When you mess up, face the consequences.

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Number 4:  “Mrs. Nelson is Missing” by Harry Allard and James Marshall 1977

I think my mom had this for her preschool class.  I thought Mrs. Nelson was so clever.

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After Mrs. Nelson’s class behaves especially poorly, she doesn’t show up to teach one day.  The class thinks they are in for a treat because now they can really act up.  But before they have the chance, the substitute, Miss Viola Swamp, shows up.  She is very strict and gives them a lot more work than Mrs. Nelson ever did.  The children are miserable .  After days of suffering, they go looking for Mrs. Nelson to find out why she hasn’t been in class.  The next day Mrs. Nelson returns and the children are happy.  It’s revealed to the reader that Viola Swamp was really Mrs. Nelson in disguise.

Moral- Don’t take advantage of those who treat you nicely, because one day you’ll wish you’d been more appreciative. 

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Number 3:  “The Old Man and the Afternoon Cat”  by Michaela Munteen  1982

My Mom subscribed to a series of books from Parents magazine.  Every month we received a new, exciting book.  This one was me and my brother’s favorite from the series.  We’d sing the songs all the time.

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The story is about a very grumpy old man who basically is miserable about everything in his life.  All he does all day is bitch and moan.  He even has grumpy songs he sings like this one:

I Hate Birthdays

I hate birthdays, I hate spring,

I hate almost everything.

I can be nasty, mean and grumpy.I like to sleep on a bed that’s lumpy.

I’m all alone, there’s no one but me.

No one that I think about, no one that I see.

No one to ask me, “How was your day?”

I’m all alone and I like it that way!

Then one afternoon in the park, an orange cat befriends him.  Everyday he visits the park to nap on the bench with his afternoon cat.  One day the cat doesn’t show up.  He creates posters and asks people around the town about his missing friend.  He learns that his cat is also friends with the school kids, the baker, the grocer, the policeman, and everyone else.  Finally he figures out that the cat has been taken to the pound.  He rushes to the pound to rescue him and places a tag on his collar so that everyone will know he’s not a stray.  He and the entire community are thrilled to have their cat back.  And everyday after, he and his cat go to visit all of the new friends the old man has made while looking for his cat.

Moral- Friends are everywhere if you’re open to making them.  Animals are awesome friends. 

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Number 2:  “Liza Lou and the Yeller Bellied Swamp”  by Mercer Mayer 1976

I checked this one out from the public library so many times that I’m surprised the librarian didn’t just give it to me.

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Liza Lou is a little girl who ends up out in the swamp delivering sweet potatoes to her grandmother.  She encounters and manages to outwit haunts, gobblygooks, witches, and devils.

Yeller belly cottonmouth,
Possum up a tree,
You can catch the swamp fever
But you can’t catch me.

Moral- Nothing in life is a match for a sharp mind and  a daring attitude.

LIZA LOU

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Number 1:  “The Secret Inside”  by Geoffrey Hayes 1980

My Mom still has this one.  It’s not very well known.  This book just seemed so magical to me when I was a kid.  From the antique cover which was devoid of the standard colorful illustrations to the bizarre story line, I adored everything about this book.

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Patrick the bear meets a mysterious innkeeper who shows him the secret of his innermost thoughts.  And that’s all I remember.  It was such an odd book and I can’t even find much about it online (aside from copies for sale, one of which is $60).  Hayes wrote many other books about Patrick the bear.  They all look like normal kids books and are widely available.    I can’t wait until I visit home so I can reread it.

Moral- We all have secrets?  I really don’t recall the exact message.

Honorable mentions:

“Go Dog Go” by P. D. Eastman 1961-  This is the first book I read on my own.

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Anything by Dr. Seuss- Obviously

“Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak 1963 –  I remember when the library got a copy of this.  It was big and had magical pictures.  I was so excited to check it out.

Your turn!  What was your favorite book as a kid?

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:  The Aggrolites – Enemy Dub

Eating:  Tomato, mozzarella, and spinach sandwich

Drinking:  Blue Monster

Random fact:  I was such a bad napper that when in kindergarten I would sometimes have to stay in from recess to take a “second” nap, because me and my friend April talked throughout the entire nap time.

 

 

 

Choose Happiness

While I was on the bus this morning, a guy just snapped.  He was screaming at the bus driver about not being able to bring his coffee on.  Apparently he saw another passenger sipping coffee and just went berserk.  Keep in mind that the driver was still attempting to navigate this behemoth of a bus through the tightly packed streets of morning rush hour Atlanta while she responded to the irate passenger as best she could.  “Sir, her coffee cup has a secure lid.”  He wasn’t hearing it.  According to him, his coffee had a lid too.  Now, I didn’t see his cup and maybe he was right, but I have a hard time believing that the level to which he freaked out was really necessary over a cup of coffee.  I love my caffeine as much as the next guy and I would surely be miffed should I be told I couldn’t bring it on the bus, but would I scream at the driver?

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“My coffee cup HAD a lid!”

Ironically while this was going down, I was posting this quote to Twitter:

“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be”  – Abraham Lincoln

I’m in the midst of reading “Happier:  Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment” by Tal Ben-Shahar, Ph.D and this quote is at the beginning of one of the chapters.  It is my corporate team’s book club selection for this quarter.  It was a bit of slow starter, but is a solid read none the less.  It has a ton of great aha moments that should resonate with anyone.

One of the overall themes is  finding the happy in your everyday existence.  You can’t just keep postponing your happiness by waiting on “the” moment.  The moment you finish school.  The moment you get a job/raise/position you want.  The moment you meet your perfect match.  Happiness exists in the journey.  And we should exist in a balance of currently enjoying happiness in the present and setting ourselves up for happiness in the future.  Sure, we’ll all have periods of our lives that suck, but there are moments to love.  We just have to open our eyes so that we may see them.

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And so, effectively this guy chose to have a rotten morning.  Sure the bus driver putting the kibash on his coffee majorly sucked.  But he chose to sit there and marinate in that moment the entire way into the city.  He chose to have a full blown freak out fest on the bus.  And likely, he chose to carry that rotten energy and feeling into work with him where he likely tried to infect his coworkers.  We may not be 100% in control of what happens to us, but we are in control of how we react.  And we should strive to manage how it affects us.

As I was getting off of the bus, my caffeine loving friend noticed my coffee cup and said, “Well I’ll be God damned.  That’s the same mother effin cofffee cup I had that you wouldn’t let me on the bus with!  What the hell is going on here?!”  He was still screaming when I got off of the bus and headed up the block toward my building.  The last thing I heard him yell at the driver was, “Fine ma’am, I hope you have a really nice day.”  Well, at least in the end he came around…..

*Side note- As I stated above, I do realize people go through stuff (have issues, deal with depression, etc.)  and I’m not taking away from that.  This is merely a commentary on the overwhelming amount of “chosen” negativity I observe everyday.

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Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:  Red Hot Chili Peppers – Hump de Bump

Eating:  Ravioli with homemade sauce and lion’s mane mushrooms (these things are deliciousness squared!)

Drinking:  Blue Monster

Random fact:  Happier is a course currently taught at Harvard.