Monthly Archives: February 2011

February Taught Me

  1. Eating 19 Hershey’s kisses for lunch is not nearly as appealing as it may originally sound.
  2. I have determined the name of my future dog. I’m not sharing just yet, but take comfort in knowing that it’s swimming around in this brain of mine.
  3. There’s nothing better than reading a surprise heartfelt, hand-written letter from your boyfriend. And I mean nothing.
  4. The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act makes for a busy Mel.
  5. Hitting the gym early in the morning before work is always more fun with a buddy.
  6. There are 300 sextillion stars in the sky. That’s 300,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. That’s kind of a lot.
  7. I am running three half marathons in the next six weeks. And then I’m going to take a breather.
  8. Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet just might have the greatest love story in all of fictional literature.
  9. I haven’t had, owned, or purchased a television since high school. That’s how much I watch TV.
  10. My brother has the loudest clap in the history of human beings.

2011 Stock Market Holidays

And now, without further ado, I give you this year’s U.S. stock market holidays. These coveted days sprinkled across the calendar give us a legitimate reason to stay out of the office, something to celebrate, and are great for planning extended weekend vacations around. May you make the most of yours!


New Year’s Day – Nonexistent*

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – January 17, 2011

President’s Day – February 21, 2011**

Good Friday – April 22, 2011

Memorial Day – May 30, 2011

Independence Day – July 4, 2011

Labor Day – September 5, 2011

Thanksgiving – November 24, 2011

Christmas Day – December 26, 2011 (observed for December 25)


* We got jipped this year!

**Despite technically having the day off, I opted to work in exchange for a free day later in the year. The way I see it, I’d much rather spend a precious day off work traveling the globe than hanging around Memphis on a dreary Monday in February. But that’s just me.


Why I Love My Kindle

For Christmas, I received a Kindle, and I am smitten.

At first I was unsure how well the Kindle and I would get along, as I am a lover of books. Tangible books made of paper and ink, with that distinct book smell and pages that turn and invite you to highlight and make notes on them. A Kindle doesn’t allow you to dog ear your page to mark your spot, and you can’t scribble notes in the margin. These things worry me.

But now that I’ve had a chance to get acquainted with my dear Kindle, I’ve discovered some great features that hold a lot of merit. The benefits outweigh the negatives, and although my Kindle will never fully replace my affinity for books, it is certainly a welcome addition to my reading world.

Exercise. The Kindle is extra handy when it comes to treadmill and cycling activity. I’m one of those freaks of nature that is capable of reading and running at the same time, and the Kindle makes this easier than ever. In the past, I’ve had to contend with pages refusing to stay down, and even with those little plastic book holders, they still get ornery and insist on flipping at will. Not with a Kindle. With the Kindle, you just push a button, and voilà, the page turns at your command.

Accessibility. I am craaaaazy about bookstores. I adore spending carefree hours browsing the shelves of a bookstore, looking for nothing in particular, just being surrounded by books. But the problem with this is that you have to actually be at a bookstore to enjoy one, and that requires time. And extra time is something that I do not have in abundance. The Kindle lets me browse through thousands of e-books at my leisure, even when I don’t have time to carve out a bookstore visit. I can purchase a book and have access to it within seconds.

Consolidation. I am typically reading four or more books at one time, which makes for quite a lot of luggage to carry around on a typical day. Now, thanks to my Kindle, the majority of my reading material is stored in one place, and I can easily switch from book to book at the click of a button. Not only that, but the Kindle saves my place in each book. A virtual bookmark! This means I can easily read verses in the Bible, the next page of my 365-day devotional, a few chapters of Pride and Prejudice, work literature, and dozens of other books with the utmost convenience.

Inexpensive. Furthermore, all of the books I mentioned, plus many more, are free. There are ever-changing lists of free books for download on the Kindle. Good ones, too! Ones you would actually spend money to read. Except now you don’t have to! In the span of 8 minutes, and I promise this is true, I selected 17 free e-books to download. How cool is that?! And the books that aren’t free are almost always discounted.

And that’s only the beginning. The Kindle also has Internet access, the ability to read to you, and a screen that is easy on the eyes.

Yes, my Kindle and I have become good friends, indeed.


Love is a Mixed Tape

For Valentine’s Day this year, I decided to try my hand at compiling a mixed tape (er…CD) for my sweetheart. After much deliberation and downloading (legally, thankyouverymuch), I produced what some would consider the greatest love mix ever created. And by some, I mean the recipient, and that’s exactly what I was going for. And that, my friends, is the story of how “The Greatest Love Mix That Ever Was” was born. It’s not cheesy, it’s relevant, and it’s perfect for my mister.

The playlist goes something like this:

  1. Jesus, Etc. – Wilco
  2. Crazy Love – Van Morrison
  3. These Arms of Mine – Otis Redding
  4. Say Hey (I Love You) – Michael Franti & Spearhead
  5. Detlef Schrempf – Band of Horses
  6. This Year’s Love – David Gray
  7. Home – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
  8. Swept Away – The Avett Brothers
  9. Wagon Wheel – Old Crow Medicine Show
  10. In My Life – The Beatles
  11. We Have All the Time in the World – Louis Armstrong
  12. Anyone Else But You – Michael Cera & Ellen Page
  13. Angel – Dave Matthews Band
  14. Stand By Me – Ben E. King
  15. Hold You in My Arms – Ray LaMontagne
  16. If Love Was a Train – Amy LaVere

For those of you with equally good taste in music, copies available upon request.


Another Snow Day

So today, thanks to the inches of snow we received yesterday, I am cozied up under a blanket wearing pajama pants and drinking hot pumpkin spice tea out of an oversized Starbucks mug. Oversized mugs are the best. They just feel indulgent, and are so very versatile. They are compatible with hot beverages, soups, scoops of ice cream, and cereal.

When I woke up this morning, I decided to take advantage of my free time at home and clean out a neglected drawer, where I came across these two little gems:

As I sip tea and fondly flip through pictures from my childhood, I ponder my day’s activities.

I will spend time with the blog, obviously, as that’s what I’m currently doing. I’ll simultaneously don my compliance hat and do some research from home. As tedious as wading through regulatory minutia is, there are parts of it I legitimately enjoy. I’m currently preparing a new disclosure document for my firm, and the writer (and, let’s be honest, nerd) in me actually welcomes the challenge.

I’ll also do a load of whites, and maybe even brave the roads for a trip to the gym, as I could stand to get some mileage in before my race this weekend. I’ll catch up on some reading, although what does that really even mean? I have over 50 books in my Kindle queue, which pretty much makes the idea of “caught up” virtually unattainable. But read, I will. And I guess food needs to be somewhere on the agenda. Soon, now that I think about it.

As in, I’m going to make an omelet.

As in, goodbye! Have great days, everybody!


I get an email from the boyfriend today with the following message:

“Do you love this? Thought of you when I saw it.”

He knows me all too well.

Of course I love it. He knows that I’m a ridiculous bookworm, and that I have four books that I’m concurrently reading stacked beside his couch and another 48 that I regularly switch between on my Kindle. He knows that I’m a reading machine – that I read for my bible study, I read while I’m exercising, I read before bed, I read for fun, I read for knowledge, and I read for work. Basically, I read as often and as much as I can. How could lounging in an armchair library not be one of my greatest comforts?

He’s a keeper. And the chair’s not so bad, either.