Music Monday – Halestorm: Here’s To Us

It’s the start of a New Year…

Here’s a toast to the old, with wishes for the new… And I will NOT apologize for the language the band uses…

Here’s to the clean slate and promise and possibility of 2017! And a big FUCK YOU to 2016!

~lissa

2016-2017 College Football Bowl Games, Day 12

Well…

AutoZone Liberty Bowl, Georgia vs TCU (A Win! Thank goodness ’cause for a while, it didn’t look so good for me, but definitely ended well!)

Hyundai Sun Bowl, North Carolina vs Stanford (Not a win. A total bust. And let me just say, a ref that causes the ball to come out of the player’s hand, however inadvertent? Really? Not cool!)

Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl, Air Force vs South Alabama (Win!)

Music City Bowl, Nebraska vs Tennessee (Not so much!)

Capitol One Orange Bowl, Michigan vs Florida State (This was the Granddaddy of them all for ME! We came out hot and strong and looked as though we were going to runaway with it… Then? Well, then we came out of halftime acting like we didn’t want to win it after all. WTH?!? Michigan made the adjustments, FSU just held on. And it came down to the very end. The. Very. End! We tried to lose it, but were able to pull it out and when it’s all said and done, that’s the only thing that matters.)

The playoffs start today… So, let’s go…

~lissa

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Last Day of 2016!

Are you ready? Are you looking forward to the new year? Are you hoping for more smiles and less frowns? Are you hoping for simply a lot more happy? Are you hoping for family and friends and positive vibes?

I. Am.

Have a wonderful New Year’s Eve, stay safe, and let’s send those good wishes for a brighter, happier, more sparkly tomorrow!

~lissa

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I Miss Bookstores

I know I’ve used this image before, but I love it. A stack of books reaching high into the sky and mixing into the scenery, weaving stories. I mean, really, for lovers of the written word, what isn’t there to love about it?

The loss of bookstores makes me sad. The lack of a variety of bookstores makes me sad when I used to spend hours and hours and hours combing the shelves, grabbing a stack, sitting in comfy chairs, and flipping through pages, then often taking most of my stack to the cashier, and walking with new worlds and ideas to explore, words to get lost in.

What’s brought on my sudden melancholy for bookstores, my pining for the good old days?

A trip to Barnes and Noble.

A couple of days after Christmas, I went out looking for a journal. I haven’t found ‘the one’ yet, but I will.

I walked in to the two story building and at once, fell madly in love again, and felt my heart break.

Books were my escape growing up. They were my journey into understanding life and ultimately pieces and parts of myself.

I loved browsing in bookstores, going to the book section in any store. My three favorite places to go as a teen were the book store, the music store, and the pizza place. One day I’m going to go on a lament about how much I miss music stores, too.

But in Barnes and Noble the other day, I looked and looked at the journals and notebooks. I picked them up. I touched them. I put them down. I wandered through the coloring books and the bargain books. Then, I wandered upstairs to the fiction section and the children’s books. I didn’t go through them. I simply walked along the perimeter. I know my face showed my longing. I know my eyes spoke of my sadness and my elation. The store was packed. It was busy and it was alive. People were buying books… a lot of books!

The Starbucks was busy, too, but more than that, people were looking and flipping through pages while sipping coffee or cocoa or noshing on a piece of cake.

My son doesn’t have an affinity for reading more than the sports pages.

My daughter doesn’t have an affinity for reading any more, either.

But me? I never grew out of it. It’s a temptation and a love affair I’ll never tire of…

There are 4 or 5 Barnes and Noble stores left in the greater Charlotte area.

There are a couple of Books-A-Million stores, but they never held for the wonder that Barnes and Noble always has. There was something about walking into one and just… Wanting to live there among the stories.

There are used bookstores and libraries. But there’s something about new books with spines never cracked or folded over, with new pages and freshly unpacked, new ink smells.

There are two local bookstores as well that sell new books (neither of which have a romance section at all). But they are loved. They are small, pigeon hole size shops. They serve their communities well. But when I lived in Florida, there was a local bookstore I used to visit all the time. They had a romance section to rival any larger bookstore. I would spend a lot of money and a lot of time sitting on their stools, reading.

I love a discount as much as anyone. I love a good deal on anything. But there’s something about paying full price in a bookstore for a book you’ve been longing for, that you’ve been waiting months, or longer for, that makes my heart ache.

I miss bookstores. I miss Barnes and Noble being everywhere. I miss Borders. I miss Waldenbooks. I miss walking in empty and walking out full of endless possibility.

Something profound has been lost with brick and mortar stores that you can’t replace with online ones. In this business of publishing, we try. And in this world, we love convenience and right now and 1-Click shopping. I love it just as much as the next guy.

Something is missing, though. For me, that something, is wonder.

One of my goals this coming year is to visit Barnes and Noble and the two local shops more often. Much more often. They’re all out of my way. I don’t venture into those parts of town very often. But I am going to make an effort to do so because I miss bookstores.

~lissa

 

2016-2017 College Football Bowl Games, Days 10 & 11

I can’t say the last two days have gone too much better in regards to my record. I can’t say the record is improving, but I have won some key match-ups in my household and that goes a long way to restoring my confidence. Here’s hoping it won’t be all that short lived…

Day 10:

New Era Pinstripe Bowl, Northwestern vs Pittsburgh (I didn’t start out the day well…at all. This was a loss. Sadly.)

Russell Athletic Bowl, Miami (FL) vs West Virginia (I got one!)

Foster Farms Bowl, Indiana vs Utah (And I got another one! Two game streak…)

AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl, Kansas State vs Texas A&M (I know better than to go against Desmond Howard and Bill Snyder…sighs. Lost this one.)

Day 11:

Birmingham Bowl, USF vs South Carolina (C’mon Man!)

Belk Bowl, Virginia Tech vs Arkansas (This one started out UGLY for V. Tech. but turned out awesome in the end for both of us! Yay! A win for me!)

Valero Alamo Bowl, Oklahoma State vs Colorado (Another two game streak for me! And let me just say, as ugly as the Virginia Tech game was in the first half, yet ended well… This game started out ugly for Colorado and just got uglier as the night went on. I felt awful for them… Blowouts are never fun when you have nothing against the team and you’re just looking for a good game.)

Day 12 is going to be either great or not. My Florida State Seminoles play tonight, so… There’s a slight possibility you won’t see a post from me tomorrow, depending on how the game goes. All I can say is…

And hope for a second half that kicks ass! Go! Noles!

~lissa

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