Friday, January 28, 2011

We all have our demons

Mine just happen to be sleep related.

Okay, so I don't have an actual demon. At least I hope not...

The Nightmare by Henry Fuseli (stolen from Wikipedia)

It's sleep paralysis. It happens when your body is in REM sleep and paralyzed, but you are awake and aware. You can open your eyes, and sometimes have hallucinations. It really does feel like the picture above, you feel like someone is sitting on your chest and holding you down. It is really common, and most people have it happen at some point in their life. Unfortunately it seems to be a recurring thing for me. 

The first time it happened, I was alone in my apartment and napping on the couch. I heard someone whisper in my ear. I opened my eyes and no one was there. I tried to say "hello?" but I couldn't open my mouth or make a sound. I tried to get up and couldn't move. I knew for sure that my apartment was haunted. I decided that they were too new to have someone die/be murdered there, so they must have been built on an Indian burial ground. After it happened again, I just had to Google it. I found out that I wasn't feeling the wrath of some dead Indian chief, but a lot of other people come to the same conclusion. Here are some of my favorite folk lore explanations (also stolen from Wikipedia): 

*Various parts of North America--an "Old Hag" leaves her physical body at night and sits on your chest. You can summon her as a curse on others by reciting the Lord's Prayer backwards. 

*Fiji--it is called "kana tevoro" which is being 'eaten' or possessed by a demon. Often this is thought to be a dead relative on unfinished business, and your other relatives try to talk to it. 

*Nepal--caused by a 'Khyaak,' which is a ghost that lives under your staircase.

*Malta--an attack by "Haddiela," similar to a poltergeist. To prevent attacks, you must sleep with a piece of silverware or knife under your pillow. 

The most scary occurrence was when I had a dream about some creeper chasing me, then I woke up to find him hovering over my bed. Shane was in bed asleep next to me, but I couldn't call for help, couldn't fight off my attacker. I just knew I was about to be chopped into little bits. Obviously, it was just a hallucination, or I wouldn't be typing this right now. 

Now when it happens, I am a little more aware of what is going on, but it still freaks me out. And how could you not be? There are a few possible causes

*Sleeping on your back--can't control that one. I toss and turn like crazy. 
*Increased stress--considering I am at the least stressful point thus far in my life...maybe a lack of stress?
*Lack of sleep or irregular sleep patterns--I am getting the most sleep ever, and actually sort of have a bedtime now. 
*Sudden environmental/lifestyle changes--Check, and check

Let's hope that I might actually get settled in here and quit having these freaky instances. If not, Shane might get frustrated when he finds all the spoons missing out of the silverware drawer and hidden under my pillow...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

...and now I've run out of milk.

Guess I won't be getting any more hot chocolate :( 

I might have joked before about Snowpocalypse 2011, but this could be the real deal. The dogs and I went outside today to survey the damage.

Louie wondering if he's gotten in over his head. 

I kept trying to get Charlie to climb the snow pile, but no dice. 

I fell in this giant pile of snow just minutes later when I had to chase after Charlie. That's what I get for exploiting him for funny videos I guess. 

Why I'm glad we don't live on the first floor.

And if you want to see the reason why I'm not leaving the house today...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Now get me some hot chocolate!

Today we got a crazy amount of snow! Well, crazy compared to what I am used to in Tennessee :) Lucky for us, we got to go outside and play in it, right before the snow plow showed up (right now we're watching the plow out the window, we think it just hit a Mercedes...somebody's gonna be in trouble!)

This was right outside our door! Some places, the snow was so deep it was up past the tops of my boots. 

 With a little help from the piles of snow, we're almost the same height!

 Our condo

Poor little thing, looks cold :(

 Shane and John made snow angels! 

Then Shane got started on a snowman...

 ...I helped with the face...

...and voila!

Oh almost forgot the best part! 
It's a little dark, but still funny!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Spotted at CVS

A setup of ping pong balls, trail mix, non-alcholic beer, and a "sweet body shots" kit (that little pink box on the bottom shelf). 

Also did I mention that this CVS is located right down the road from Towson University? Pretty funny, although I can't imagine that being a big market for the non-alcholic beer.

I'm not a fan of beer myself, so I can't imagine wanting to drink one solely for the taste. There are those sorts of people out there though, and lucky for us, they have taken to the internet to share their experiences. Check out these reviews of Busch NA (non-alcholic). I love that these people are so professional and descriptive of something that I can imagine tastes worse than awful. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the reviews...

The good: 
"Feels light and clean, but dense enough to know it isn't water"
"Once poured, Busch NA looks like champain (their spelling, not mine) with light bubbles floating to the surface"
"Drinkability: It's Lent, I can't drink real beer..."
"Decided to give my liver a break, and this stuff is better than soda pop, so what the hell."

The bad: 
"The scent bring[s] pasta with tomato sauce to mind."
"Avoid this. Drink a Diet Coke..."
"Almost completely undrinkable."
"There is no reason to drink this, which is why it's going down the drain."

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Too much to ask?

After spending countless hours searching Craigslist, Monster, SnagAJob, TopJobs, and the other zillion job websites, I have hit a wall. I feel like I have filled out so many online job applications and so many of those confusing online personality profiles that my head is spinning. If you have ever done an online application, you know what I am talking about...they have these tests that usually take 30-45 minutes and they are supposed to make sure that you aren't crazy or going to steal everything from the store. One profile seriously asked me the same 10 questions about 10 times each. You don't know left from right, up from down once you finish one of those. 

At one point I was filling out 5 or 6 applications a day, signing up for places that I had absolutely no interest in working. I would stay up super late at night and fill them out, so I think I got a little delirious. I came *thisclose* to working at a Medieval Dinner Show and Jousting Tournament. The job included wearing a costume and carrying 30lbs. of roast chicken and ribs around. No, I don't know what I was thinking either. 

I have also applied to a few places that I am completely unqualified for. Bartender needed for high volume downtown tequila bar...can't be that hard, right? And the listing for a "Master Psychic needed immediately" to help a business executive make important decisions? Okay well I didn't actually apply for that one, I figured that when I showed up in a jeweled turban and inevitably dropped my crystal ball on my foot, they would realize I didn't have the 10+ years required experience. 

A couple of job listings have been scams, which is disappointing. There was one posting that I was particularly excited about, it was for a company looking for someone to help with customer service for their fashion retail website. When I got the email back from them, their link took me to a shady website for a condo rental management company. Can you say false advertising? 

I think I need to reevaluate my priorities. I want a job that I enjoy. I want a job that makes me feel like I went to college for a reason. I want to be useful to someone somewhere, for something other than doing laundry or cleaning up the kitchen. I want money so I don't feel bad asking Shane if it's okay for me to buy a cute pair of shoes. So I think I am giving up on online job listings entirely. Instead, I am going to print off about a thousand copies of my resume and drive around town until I find a place that catches my interest. Until then I still have my backup plan...

I don't exactly meet the qualifications for that job either...I am a natural born citizen, and I have lived in the US for at least 14 years, but I'm not 35 years old. Oh well, two out of three still counts right? 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Learning about other cultures through convoluted means...

...A.K.A. what we do in our spare time around here.

Shane and I were bored the other night so we decided to go drive around. We ended up at this store called Five Below where they have random toys and snacks and DVDs and everything is $5 or less. Turns out they have the most random selection of board games. I chose a particularly interesting one called "Little Italy." It's basically a game about being in the Mafia in the good ol' days, and the object is to get the most money without getting caught by the police. The best part is that it was only $5!

(Click on the pictures if you want to see them bigger)
The rules were super confusing, not to mention they
went against most conventional board game rules. 

I like to think of myself as a big earner (a whole $13!)

Showing off their cars. 

We don't just play potentially offensive board games, we also like to rock out to some sweet jams every now and again. So what better than a group of ex-Amish men? According to Shane, nothing. He has talked nonstop about the Amish Outlaws since he moved up here, so when they had a show in Bel Air, we just had to go. I must say it was very interesting. Their set list included everything from Neon Trees to Bon Jovi (with some Lady Gaga, Sir Mix-a-Lot, and Dropkick Murphys thrown in there).

Brother Hezekiah X

Brother Big Daddy Abel

Brother Easy Ezekiel

Brother Amos Def

Brothers Amos Def, Ishmael L Cool J, and Jakob the Pipe Layer

Blurry, but there were soooo many people there! You couldn't move around. 

I took some videos but they turned out terrible! (we were right next to the speakers at the very very front of the stage) If you want to see what they are like, just check out their website or look on youtube. The show was very entertaining, you can tell they have a lot of fun with it. And according to them, if you don't like it, they'll eat their hats! We all had a really great time, and I am sure that we will be seeing them again the next time they are in town. 

p.s. I really need to get some sort of slideshow feature on here...

Saturday, January 15, 2011


Last week was my birthday, so Shane wanted to take me to do something fun. I decided on going to the Baltimore Museum of Art for their Andy Warhol show. Well, the museum closes super early on weekdays. Then I decided on the Aquarium. Guess what else closes early on a Thursday? We ended up just going to dinner and a movie and left the others for that Saturday. 

Going down into the city, we took the Light Rail. There weren't any stops close to the museum, so we just picked the one that looked the closest, and said we could take the bus from there. When we got off the light rail, I got the bright idea that maybe we should just walk instead. I looked at the map and it didn't look too far, plus it was pretty much a straight shot from where we were. A good 30-45 minutes later (I didn't check the scale on the map, ok? not my fault) we finally made it to the museum. We were both frozen head to toe and so thankful to be inside. Honestly, sometimes I think I need a full snowsuit to walk around outside here. 

After the museum we headed down to the Aquarium. We went to the bus stop this time, we weren't going to walk all the way to the harbor. We waited...and waited...and waited. When the bus was 20 minutes late, we decided to just go ahead and start walking. Thank goodness the bus met up with us at the next stop! 

The harbor area was really nice, we went into a few of the shops they have down there. They are mostly for tourists, so if you ever need to buy one of these... you know where to go. We also saw the fudge shop where Sisqo was discovered (yes, the one who sang the Thong Song). I was most excited just to get something to eat, I was starving! 

Next we went to the Aquarium. It was really neat! A lot of it reminded me of the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga. I am glad that Debbie and Steve (a.k.a. Shane's parents) got us passes so we can go back a lot!

And just because...

Friday, January 14, 2011

Cribs: Baltimore...or Hoarders. I'll let you decide.

I am so thankful that we live in a nice condo in a safe part of town. However, Shane and I have enough stuff to fill up a whole house. That gets kind of tough when you are sharing a two bedroom condo with a roommate. I had never seen the condo before I moved up here, and Shane moved most all of our stuff up here without me. As you can imagine, it was pretty overwhelming when I came up and saw boxes and random stuff piled everywhere!

I made this video on the very first day that I moved into the condo, so pretty much nothing has been unpacked (except for some of Shane's stuff). Trying to unpack and organize it all has been a huge task, one that I am still working on. We have had to take a serious look at things and we have gotten rid of a lot of junk already. 

There are several major projects that I want to work on. The kitchen is seriously lacking in storage space, and we are looking into a few different solutions for that. Also our master bathroom is terrible! The paint color is horrible, and the light fixtures need help. As soon as I can actually decide what color I want, then we are going to get started on that one. 

So again, before you watch this video, keep in mind that Shane and I could probably be submitted to Hoarders. We know we have lots of stuff. We're working on that. If seeing piles and piles of stuff bothers you, then I would suggest you not watch the video. Just a warning.

...the gross wood toilet seat is already gone. That was first on my list. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fresh Lake Trout, anyone?

One day last week I got bored and I decided that I wanted Shane to take me to see "real Baltimore." We don't actually live in Baltimore City, so I hadn't seen it yet. We were driving around, getting ready to head to the city, Shane was trying to find a really cool shopping center he had been to, and then all of a sudden we end up in the bad part of the city. We didn't get murdered or anything, but honestly it was sort of scary. I took a video of some of the adventure, I wish I had got more!

A couple of things about Baltimore City (from my so far limited experience):
1. If you see the police, you are in a bad part of town. They don't usually monitor an area unless it is dangerous. 
2. The same goes for the blue lights. The blue lights are on the police surveillance cameras that are on street corners in certain parts of town. 
3. Fresh lake trout is a big hit. Not sure why, but every little store you pass has it. Not even sure where they get it from, or really how fresh it is. I guess if you are in the market for trout, that is just a gamble you have to take. 

See? Even at the Chicken Nook, which you would think would be reserved for delicacies like gizzard, they have lake trout. 

A few other highlights from the trip: 

We passed the jail at one point. I have never seen so much barbed wire. Plus the jail was like right next to the road. It was *in* the city, I could have reached out and touched it as we drove by. Shouldn't they put up some "Caution: Escaped Prisoners Crossing" signs just in case? Although if they had to go through all that barbed wire, they would probably bleed out before they made it off the sidewalk. 

People just walk around in the middle of the road with complete disregard for oncoming traffic. I guess they need to put up some "Caution: Random People Wandering in Street" signs too. 

There is apparently a lot of money to be made in all these caution signs. 

Also, I felt like I was in an episode of "Hey, Arnold!" with everyone just outside chillin' on their stoops.

All in all, I enjoyed my trip to the city. I got to see some interesting parts of Baltimore, and I didn't get murdered or mugged, so I would call that a successful day. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ask and ye shall receive

I complained about not having any snow up here in Maryland, now it looks like a winter wonderland! I guess I did the right sort of snow dance or something. Now if i could just figure out how to work that same magic and get a job :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

This will be a long, long ride...

The day after Christmas, Shane and I packed up my car (2004 New Beetle) with as much stuff as we could cram in it and headed off to Baltimore! Let me just say, nine hours in the car is a long time. The weather forecast had said that driving would be impossible and to not even try to get out on the road because of snow and ice, but fortunately the weather lied. It was dangerous driving around Knoxville, but once we got onto the interstate we didn't have any problems.

My favorite part of the trip was stopping in Johnson City to see my best friend Beth and her new husband Lyle. I hadn't seen her in a few years and it was nice to get the chance to catch up for a while. I am glad that we got to stop in and see them. 

And don't worry, my laptop still works just fine :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow much fun

While I hate being cold, I love the snow. Maybe it is because I was born during a blizzard. Who knows. What I do know is that while Tennessee is currently in the middle of Snowpocalypse 2011 (which is probably like 3 inches of snow), I am up in Maryland with no snow on the ground. Sure, it feels like an Arctic tundra outside, but unfortunately no snow at the moment.

So while everyone in Tennessee is outside sledding and making snow angels, I decided to make a video about New Year's, when I actually did get to go play in the snow. We went up to Wisp Resort in western Maryland and had a great time. John, Peter, and Tad went snowboarding, while Liz, Sarah, Tony, Shane and I went snow tubing. That was a first for me, and it was a blast. Shane and I wanted to try snowboarding the next day but it rained :( Hopefully we can try soon! 

The New Year's Eve party at the resort was interesting. They had an oldies band play, which wasn't very popular. They actually had more people dance while the band was on break and they were playing the radio to fill time! We still had a fun time though, Shane and John even sang some of their fraternity songs for the whole bar. 

Well that's enough talk, why don't I just let you see for yourself? 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Christmas part 2

So I was just messing around on my new iMac trying to figure things out, and I made a movie! Well a trailer really, but I thought it turned out pretty good. So here's the Horner family Christmas from a different perspective...

Keep an eye out, now that I kinda know how this thing works, there are going to be a lot more videos on the way!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Christmas, a little late

First off let me apologize for not posting more often, I have been holding out for my lovely new 27" iMac to arrive so I can better edit my videos. Unfortunately for me, it is currently stuck in Reno. So until then we will just have to make do.

I realize that I never posted about Christmas :( well better late than never right? Here it goes...

 Mr. and Mrs. Shaney Claus

The Horner family got together and got their Nana and Pappy a  new TV for Christmas. They were so excited!

Shane dressed up as Santa, but we couldn't find the beard. We had to improvise and call him Shaney Claus instead. The kids still enjoyed it, so I call it a win.

Later at the Horner house, we played the Christmas game. This year it was a new game, instead of everyone having a gift to swap, everyone had an envelope and there was one prize envelope. It's kind of hard to explain, so just watch the video of the last minute. It gets pretty intense!
And you'll never believe it! I won!

I didn't take any videos at the Elliott family Christmas, mostly because I was the one handing out the presents and I'm not good at multitasking. So here are some pictures instead. 

How precious. 
Me, my parents, and my sister

Josh and Dad showing off the new snuggies

If you want to see any more pictures from Christmas, you can see them right here. 

And last but not least, one more video (if you aren't already sick of them) that shows why sometimes the best place to be is at the kids table.