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Category Archives: shenanigans

It’s Okay, Because It’s A Pie-in-a-Cake.

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So Sunday was Easter. And this is what I did to celebrate:

Okay, you can stop drooling now. Because I’m going to explain.

This lovely mess of a dessert is my own rendition of a Cherpumple. Like I’ve mentioned before, I promised it to myself as an end of Lent treat. And without realizing until much later, a three-tiered cake did seem ironically relevant to the day.

The original recipe calls for three cake mixes : yellow, white, and chocolate; and three pies: apple, cherry, and pumpkin. Hence, CherPumPle.

I decided to branch out and use lemon, chocolate and  strawberry for the cakes and coconut custard, pecan, and apple for the pies.

Bottom Layer:

Middle Layer:

Top Layer:

If you’re not like me and plan on doing this in a logistical, clean manner, you would have mixed the lemon batter, placed the pie upside down in the pan and baked the bottom layer first. The cake you would have ended up with would probably have been done in about 35-40 minutes. Then you would have done the same with the other cakes.

But because this was my first go, and I had only one large cake pan (okay, cheesecake pan) big enough to encompass the two parts together, and two medium sized pans, I severely underestimated the cooking time and the way the cakes would bake. So because I’m more of a trial-and-error kind of girl (emphasis on the error), I prepared all three layers to be baked in the oven at the same time. It should have worked. But…

That’s right. The cake batter started overflowing in my oven. When I checked to see why my kitchen started smelling oddly of smoke, I opened the door only to find that the strawberry layer was leaking on to the bottom of the oven and that the chocolate layer was dangerously close to doing the same. I switched off the oven, waited long enough to make sure I wouldn’t burn off my skin and tried to clean up the remnants. This is why it took about an hour and a half longer than necessary to cook all three cakes.

Spoiler Alert: They came out just fine. But back to the pictures:

Fill pan 1/3 of the way, place pie of choice upside down, and pour remaining batter over the top.

This is when you should probably invest in bigger pans, or at least find an easier way to bake a pie in a cake:

And this is how the bottom layer came out, before removing the top and adding a layer of frosting.

I cut off the top of the chocolate cake so that they would all be even, making it easier to place one top of the other. Then added more frosting as an adhesive.

I never kid about frosting.

Three cans worth. Three.

Two were to coat, one was for final touches. Then decorate accordingly.

And enjoy!

I still call it a Cherpumple, only because I can’t find a worthy replacement name. Chuslemple? Maybe.

Anyways, it was OH SO GOOD. I had some floormates and roommates test it out. And I found I couldn’t have a huge slice, because well, even a sliver was more than enough. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still have some for breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, luncheon, afternoon tea, dinner, supper…

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I Feel…Oh, So Pretty.

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Hello, and welcome to another lovely addition of Wait, Wait, It’ll Come to Me!

Let me fill you in on what you’ve missed, if you haven’t been paying attention. And let’s face it: there’s only so much you probably know about my life.

I probably tweet more often than I should, which is why I sometimes don’t feel like going into more nitty-gritty details on my blog these days. But I’ve been going through some stuff this weekend, and feel that it’s probably best to just be more open and say what I really mean more often. Even if I’m being brutally honest.

I did some more apartment hunting this weekend. I feel like I’m living up to a high level of expectations though, based off of the level of awesomeness I had with my win last summer. I wouldn’t mind living uptown again this summer, but here’s where my pickyness comes into play. I just want to live downtown, where people are my age and I don’t feel so cut off from everyone. I think I grow too independent when left in a part of town that’s more residential for this stage of my life. But I should count my lucky stars regardless, and hope for all the best. When I checked out another potential this weekend, I tried to weigh the bad with the good. But I really really need to find a job if I’m going to, from the mouth of Tim Gunn, “make it work.”

I cried during a movie I rented, bought the book it was based off of, and decided that I’ve been hit with some kind of emotional bug. Out of nowhere, it seems I’ve accumulated all of these feelings, and it’s confusing me. I’m a robot, didn’t you know? Okay, maybe not. But there are some issues that have snowballed to a breaking point, and that’s one of the reasons why I’m trying to be more open. Like telling the truth and stuff like that. I don’t want to be mechanical. So far, it hasn’t been that easy. I tend to hold things back more than I should. And sometimes I wonder if people can see this in me. But I hope the Tin Man will one day get his heart.

So besides it being National Poetry Month, I actually do enjoy posting poetry here for whoever wishes to read it. But I’m taking a break tonight, and instead will be posting some very embarrassing pictures of myself and my roommate Michael. I’ll understand if you never see me the same way ever again.

Okay, and the story behind them is that Michael thought it would be a really good idea to come up behind me as I’m sitting at my desk and to start combing his fingers through my hair. It’s nice, at first. Then he’s no longer massaging my scalp, but has somehow gotten it into his head to completely transform my hair into a ‘masterpiece.’ He leaves me wondering what the hell is going on, and returns from the bathroom with a bottle of hairspray and a devilish twinkle in his eye.

I could have stopped him. I didn’t. I was curious. Then – then, he asks innocently “Where’s your make-up?” Oh gad.

 

new tattoo

 

He started to draw the Triforce upon my neck. Kinda failed. As you can also see, he experimented with many a color and design, using eyeliner. I can assure you, when ingrained into my skin – I mean – drawn on, it becomes more difficult to remove.

I got my revenge.

 

Circle Circle, dot dot

 

And then he did, again.

Cliche photobooth pictures were next.

 

We're French.

I could have been angry, could have prevented this by shutting my door and locking him out. But I didn’t because I never really know what this kid will do. I kind of like that. Curiosity might kill me.

But don’t I look so pretty?

 

“I’m Glad You All Decided to Brave the Wintery Mix”

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I meant to leave off posting until today so that I could discuss and remark upon the two most rewarding days of my life: Monday and Wednesday. To most, they are just ordinary days of the week. And because we’ve finally returned for classes, it’s easier to grumble and nag about having to go back (not to mention all the work that comes with it). But not this week; not for me. And it’s all because of The Decemberists.

Monday night Run-down:
Now, I’ve only ever listened to their music, over and over again because I can’t get enough of them, so this was my first experience seeing them live. The backdrop resembled the cover work from The King Is Dead – a forest of trees, that would reflect and change colors according to the light scheme. They arrived on stage after being summoned by a recording that resembled something along the lines of the banter Colin Meloy did for “Bandit Queen” on his solo album: Now close your eyes, and imagine you are walking through the woods. A band of travelers are off in the distance. As you approach they pick up their instruments and begin to play. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you THE DECEMBERISTS. The crowd goes wild. I know, because I am one of them. They open with “Down By The Water” from King. Here’s the list, from night one:

Down By The Water
Rox in the Box
Calamity Song
We Both Go Down Together / Dracula’s Daughter – one verse
Engine Driver
Bagman’s Gambit
The Soldiering Life
Los Angeles, I’m Yours
Rise To Me
January Hymn
July, July!
Yankee Bayonett (I Will Be Home By Then)
The Rake’s Song
Oh, Valencia!
This Is Why We Fight
Encore:
The Island: Come & See/The Landlord’s Daughter/You’ll Not Feel the Drowning
June Hymn.

I went absolutely nuts when Colin got playful and added the opening verse of “Dracula’s Daughter” (the worst song he ever wrote) right before ending “We Both Go Down Together.” My friend Nick came along with me, and I can assure you that we both screamed out in glee like little girls. We weren’t sure if anyone else noticed, or got the reference, but we looked at each other and knew that this night was too good to be true. I mean, I had mentioned to him earlier, as we were talking about the songs we wanted to hear most and hoped he would play, and I joked saying: wouldn’t it be awesome if he played D’s D? I know he won’t, but you never know; so it looks like I got my wish. But then they went right into “Engine”, and everything just clicked. I’m not one to listen to “Los Angeles” on repeat, but hearing them perform it live gave me a better perspective – as Colin said, “we’ve now entered into the groovy part of our set.” I yelled out during one of the quieter moments, “YOU’RE THE BEST EVER!” which got a few laughs, and then some guy somewhere near me followed up saying, “WHAT SHE SAID!” and everyone rejoiced. From “July!” to “Valencia” was where the energy amped up; “Rake Song” was awesome live – especially because the rest of the band (Jenny Conlee, John Moen, Chris Funk, Nate Query, and Sara Watkins) were each playing on drums in unison – the dah dums increasing in rhythm – (listen to it, it makes more sense than me explaining) and everyone in the audience was standing, singing along “alright, alrightalright!”, and in high spirits. I know I was. “Valencia” was incredible. As was “The Island”, which was totally unexpected but completely welcomed. It was a fantastic concert.

Wednesday arrived and I was dying for 8pm by the time I got out from class. By a stroke of luck, and sheer coincidence, I noticed a tweet (I feel weird commenting about Twitter on a blog) from The Decemberists saying they were going to be downtown to kick off the opening of The Impossible Project, which showcased 50 original Polaroids hand selected by photographer Autumn De Wilde – depicting the band in their most ‘natural’ states. Frankly, I think she did a spot on job of capturing their ‘image.’ I’ve never been able to successfully explain what The Decemberists remind me of (in terms of what period in history) or how they sound without confusing both myself and my listener, but Autumn managed to get it right. It’s simple, once you look at these pictures.

I went with my friend Mike, who’s also a fan, and knew more about Autumn’s work than I did. We got to meet and greet with both Autumn and the band, while enjoying the photography and the refreshments provided. I was extremely nervous and excited, but seeing how down to earth they all are – we talked with Autumn, Jenny and John – made it so worthwhile. Unfortunately, Colin left rather quickly, didn’t come back, and I missed out on that opportunity. I also missed out on Nate. But I told Chris I liked his hat. He might have heard me – I might also have lost my voice. Here’s 5 out of 6. Someone’s missing.

 

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(Nate Query, Autumn De Wilde, Jenny Conlee, John Moen, Chris Funk)

Wednesday night Run-down (aka, the best show ever.)

Having seen Monday’s show and knowing they still had more to offer, I was giddy for last night. I knew Tuesday’s concert was probably the best in terms of set list – as it was their originally scheduled show, and that M & W were tacked on as side notes – but Wednesday meant the last show in NYC, which also meant there was a good chance that they’d go all out – and I wasn’t wrong. Here’s the list:

July, July!
Down By The Water
Rox in the Box
Calamity Song
Won’t Want For Love (Margaret in the Taiga)
The Engine Driver
The Soldering Life
All Arise!
This Is Why We Fight
The Wanting Comes in Waves/Repaid
Dracula’s Daughter (all)
Oh, Valencia!
The Chimbley Sweep
Encore 1:
A Cautionary Song (Battle of Trafalgar)
Sons & Daughters
Encore 2:
June Hymn

I knew there’d be a focus on King, and I was seriously hoping for “On the Bus Mall” or “California One/Youth and Beauty Brigade” or “Red Right Ankle,”; but after hearing that they had played the last two on Tuesday, I knew they wouldn’t repeat for Wednesday. So I was a tad surprised when most of the same songs from Monday came up. Not that it was a disappointment; it was actually much better, because they had SO much more energy, stage presence AND banter (“I’m going to keep saying Wintery mix because I like saying Wintery mix” (sounds like Wintry)) for the third night. Colin kept turning back to his band to chat, amusing the crowd, and even showed off his skills by jumping around and shredding. There was a ‘battle’ between Sara Watkins on fiddle and Colin on guitar sometime around “All Arise!” This was eventually followed by a ‘surprise’ – Sharon Warden, who was the lead female vocalist on Hazards, came on stage with a poof in her hair and a fantastic metallic silver shirt with big fluffy sleeves that matched her silver heels, and completely ROCKED out. She hit her notes like nobody’s business, and I couldn’t help but gush over how awesome her presence was. What a free spirit.

When the song finished and Sharon left the stage, I was wondering how they might possibly top that performance. Colin voiced this by noting that the only way to follow that up would be by playing ‘the worst song I ever wrote.’ Holy Bejesus, they did it again! (I remembered that I definitely told John at the gallery opening that I really enjoyed hearing “Dracula’s Daughter” on Monday night, so was it possible that he told Colin and they decided to add it, last-minute? Maybe I’ll believe this, it’s a nice thought) So this time, they ran through the entire two verses of the song and then rushed right into “Valencia!” I didn’t think it could get any better until “Chimbley” came on and Colin switched places with John to play drums while John played harmonica. Then they played drums simultaneously, until Colin made his way back to the stage to thank everyone for an awesome show. The first encore – “A Cautionary Song” was met with cheers; they stopped halfway to invite members of the audience to help John, Sara, and Chris reenact a rendition of the Battle of Trafalgar. Our seats were too far up in the balcony to actually see this go down, but I can assure you, it was probably entertaining. Nick had told me about a previous concert he went to where they closed with ‘Sons & Daughters,’ so I was extremely pleased to be able to see it for myself. Everyone joined in to sing, including Sharon who came back on stage, along with his wife and son. It was too sweet. And “June Hymn” as the second encore – a reason to keep thinking towards the summer – nearly brought me to tears. I think the only reason I didn’t cry was because I was too happy to produce tears. (I don’t know if that’s possible, but I’m not going to worry about it)

I didn’t take pictures, because I didn’t want to be ‘that person who spends the night taking pictures instead of watching the show.” But I hope this play-by-play is enough. Maybe you’ll understand why I love this band so much. Here’s a link to the Impossible Project: Exhibition Opening. Check it out if you’re around SoHo.

And if anyone from The Decemberists ever reads this: You’ve made a fan very, very happy. Thank you.

 

The End’s Not Near, It’s Here.

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I’d like to start off by saying that I love my Haiti friends. I call them this because we are a group – nay, a fellowship – of people who have undergone tremendous bonding in the midst of our trip to Haiti two years ago. We had gone for the purpose of ‘immersing ourselves in the Haitian culture’, wanting to see what life was like for Haitians so that we could not only learn from them, but help them in any way we could. Small steps.

We visited a Haitian church, taking part in the ceremony even though nearly all of us were at a loss for what was being said (Shelby was the only one who had a good understanding of the language, as she had taken some classes to learn). But it was beautiful, and far more lively than any mass I’ve been to at home. We visited St. Damien Hospital, which was a breath-taking sight; it was grandiose in terms of structure, size and the compassion of it’s services. It provides services free of charge and is funded through donations from benefactors world-wide. We also visited an orphanage called L’Arc-En-Ciel, run for kids with HIV/AIDS who have been orphaned. But the place we went to that tore me apart was a run down hospital called Mother Teresa’s. Completely opposite to what we saw in St. Damien’s, it presented a ‘more accurate’ picture of the conditions common in Haiti. When we went, it was Parent’s day, so there were mothers who had come to see their children – to hold them and comfort them in any way possible – because they wanted better care for them that MT’s could give when they could not provide enough themselves. I found myself holding a little girl in a yellow dress for most of the time spent there, feeding her, singing to her and rocking her back and forth in my arms. I cried, truly cried, when I had to leave her, because I felt that I needed to be there for her; why should I be just another person to come in and out of her life?

I would go into more detail about this, but I feel the internet makes it, in a sense, less easy to grasp the realness of what had happened. I would be more than willing to share my experiences if anyone is at all interested. It’s just better to hear in person. We all changed from the trip to Haiti; I’m glad to have grown and grown closer to my friends thanks to it all. I’m not telling you that you have to go to a third world country if you want to see another side of yourself. You just have to open your eyes once in a while. But let me say this: I certainly don’t mean to preach, or to sound like an after school special. I just feel it’s necessary to explain why they are such a crucial part of my life.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So right now, I’m in reflection mood. Pretty obvious, right? The year is drawing to a close and I’m coming down off a serious high from seeing and being with my friends last night. We spent the night sitting around my kitchen counter, nomming on a feast prepared by my mother, listening to Erin tell the best, most hilarious stories, and then later, Shelby tried to teach Allie, Emma, Dan, and I ridiculous dance club moves (please don’t ever ask me to show you, it’s embarrassing). I still have the songs stuck in my head. I knew there was a reason I never listen to the radio…

I’m heading back to the city tonight to celebrate with Michael, or Lauren, or whomever. Mostly, I’m just happy to get away. Being home has its positives for about 3 days, tops. After that, I start going crazy because my family starts (or continues) going bonkers and nags about all the things I should do now that I’m back. I’m just trying to read, or watch some TV. I don’t get these luxuries while at school. So I’ll take ’em when I can get ’em.

But yeah. The new year. 2011. There’s a sign hanging in my basement that says “2001” on it; we’ve officially had this thing for 10 years now. I guess we’re not big on the phrase : “Out with the old, in with the new.” As for resolutions, I don’t know what mine will be, other than what I usually aim for: losing weight, staying calm and collected, finding happiness, etc. Maybe this year I’ll try for being more bold or outgoing, or being more vocal. Trying out for an a cappella group – that’s more vocal right? Ha ha… Or maybe I’ll cut my hair really short, change my clothes and become someone else. If anything, it’ll only be for one year. By then, there’s other things to worry about. Maybe John Cusack would come to rescue us. I’d follow him to the ends of the earth, any day.

A Most Excellent Beginning to the Winter Vacation.

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I’M FINALLY DONE, NOW ON TO WINTER BREAK!!

(I wanted to just write this for today’s post, but there have been far too many good things going on not to keep writing.)

I woke up around 7 this morning – which is quite possibly the earliest I’ve gotten up in a long, long time. Why? To study for my last exam of the week/semester/year. I spent most of yesterday in the confines of Bobst, reading everything I didn’t during the semester.

As for today, I think that I kicked my Language and Society final exam’s butt to the curb. I’m pretty happy with the effort I put forward; I think this one was much better than the midterm – even though I basically left the readings to the last-minute. I guess you just have to go forward with a positive attitude, otherwise, it’s really easy to get thrown off. So I left the room with the weight of the semester finally off my shoulders. Phew. Done.

With the rest of the day ahead of me, and nothing else pressing to do except pack, I spent some time browsing the Union Square Holiday Market with my friend Dan, who was a little less pleased about the test. When I told him we had nothing left to worry about except Christmas, he brightened up. We searched for presents for our families while marveling at how cold and crowded it was. I’m just really glad I have gloves. I don’t know how he doesn’t wear any. That’s what I call brave.

After saying goodbye to Dan, I wound up treating myself to some really really delicious hot chocolate with a really cool kid named Emmett. If you’re looking for legitimate hot chocolate – like the kind where chocolate shavings are steamed with milk and topped with foam, served warm in cute mugs – you need to visit a place called L.A. Burdick on East 20th street. Not that I’m plugging it or anything. I mean, I used to work there ( I can’t get you free stuff, sorry), so I’m kind of going through a ‘withdrawal’ because I can’t have it all the time. So this was definitely worth it. Like I said, it’s legit. Any other hot chocolate just seems watered down. What could be better than indulging in chocolate goodness with pleasant company?

Well, watching a few episodes of Arrested Development afterwards, perhaps. I stuck around Coral until Emmett and Justin had to go their separate ways before leaving me behind in NYC. Not that I’m really complaining. I’ve got 1513 to myself for once. I can play my music as loud as I want. I can sing at the top of my lungs. I can watch movie after movie without disturbing anyone. I love it.

I finished packing early, so I did this:

I’ve been meaning to put up my collection of restaurant business cards since September, but I’ve gotten sidetracked. So tonight seemed like the best night to finish what I started. I had also bought a few postcards in Union Square today, so I thought they would be a nice addition as well.

I wanted them to resemble their locations within New York City. But it’s more difficult than expected as some of them overlap and there are huge gaps for places I haven’t been yet. But I don’t really give a frak. I like it. My side of the room feels more me. These are the things I do when I finally have free time…I’m motivated and productive. Break’s gonna be good.

Well it’s been swell chatting, listeners. But it’s time for me to sign off. Tune in tomorrow for another installment of Wait, Wait, It’ll Come to Me.

Good night, and Good luck.

Michael Spinelli Won’t Let Me Get My Beauty Sleep.

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You’re probably wondering why that is. Well, I’ll tell you.

I came home around 2 am after a night spent in Coral with good company. We began the night by watching A Charlie Brown Christmas with hazelnut hot chocolate and marshmallows. Mmm mm good. Better than Campbell’s.

I stuck around long enough to sing some Beatles tunes with the boys while Eric got his butt kicked in Mario Kart. I shouldn’t have laughed, though, because I ended up eating my words when he gave the controller to me. Well, I placed 5th. Him, not so much. Still better than him. So, win on my part.

After some midnight pizza and conversation, I headed back home to Grams, really tired but happy that it wasn’t blisteringly cold outside. Oh wait, just kidding. It was raining. I felt like a wet dog when I got to my room. So what does Michael suggest? Bar hopping. Oh boy. This boy. All I wanted to do was climb into bed and let my dreams run wild, like they usually do. If you don’t meet anyone by three, he says, we can just go to a gay bar. Right. Because that’s really all I want out of life. Random hook-ups or watching men pick up other men. What lovely choices.

Me: Can I choose neither?
MS: Nope, you’re coming with me. I’m not going to a gay bar alone.
Me: I’ll go any other night. Tonight’s no good. I’m not feeling so hot.
MS: You’re fine, let’s go.

First stop of the night: failure. Drunks already making their way out because it’s about 2:30 by this point. We stick around dancing awkwardly (well me, Michael pretending he’s wasted) in a corner. Michael’s friend eventually joins us, and we leave soon after. So we end up in a classy little joint about three blocks up and an avenue over. It’s gorgeous inside. Smoke fills the air, a girl dances on a ‘catwalk,’ and then the main act goes on. “She” parades around singing this tune with such intensity, glam, and charisma that I can’t help but be amazed. It was fierce. Then I found myself sitting next to a man wearing a mask. I realize he’s surrounded by them – he’s there because he makes and sells them for curious people in the bar/club. Of course I put one on. Why wouldn’t I? I’m too far by this point.

Can you blame me? It was gorgeous.

Anyways, I basically chatted my head off with him until last call, discussing his masks, boys and Facebook. Apparently, I made an impression, because he gave me an ornament that he made from recycled plastic. Like something straight out of the 50s. Pretty awesome. So despite my raging fatigue and negative attitude going into the morning’s events, I actually got something special out of it.

My desire to work today, however, is extremely non-existent. I’d rather watch movies, seeing as the weather is still awful. I’m not really used to staying out so late, either. My, how I’ve changed.

Kangaroos Can’t Jump Backwards

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I love New York at Halloween. There are so many people dressed up now and I can’t help but smile or laugh as I pass another Mario or Luigi, Zombie, hippie, Waldo, and so on. I’ve even seen guys dressed up as the rescued miners which I thought was pretty funny, a Wolverine, and a man and woman dressed in dick costumes – pure class. Friday night there was a huge group of people biking in their costumes on the corner of 14th and 3rd, creating a traffic jam as well as a spectacle.

I went to a party on Friday, and forgot to dress up. Silly me, I should have assumed. But I ended up being Carmen Sandiego using my cropped bomber jacket as an excuse for looking worldly. At least I’ve got two more chances. People have dressed up since Thursday night, no joke, and I’ve just felt out of the loop so far. For last night’s costume party, I wore a skirt that I made from the costume my other roommate, Patrick, bought for his shenanigans. Took me less time than I expected, and I’m actually very proud. I made a skirt and a cropped top out of a dress I bought for $5 over the summer and I’m using it for my Lizzie Borden costume tonight. I definitely feel like all the effort I put into both ensembles are worth it – I don’t even have a sewing machine! I bought my axe (finally) and covered it in fake blood for a better effect. I also bought lace gloves and sprayed blood on them. Frankly, I’m impressed, and really happy about this costume.

Patrick and Michael started early on their preparations, and it’s been really amusing to see them in their costumes. Michael was a Sexy Starbucks Boy – wearing underwear, a Starbucks apron, and nothing else. Patrick was in an ‘updated’ sailor’s suit with the arms and legs cut short – my advantage being I got a skirt for free out of it! I wonder how their nights turned out.

Went to see Daniel Tosh last night. Pure awesomeness. If you’ve ever seen his show on Comedy Central, Tosh.O, you know what he’s like but  I definitely suggest listening to his stand-up. I think he does a better job. I couldn’t stop laughing for the entire show.

Happy Halloween!!!!

and p.s. Countdown to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 pt. 1 starts NOW

19 days