Tag Archives: creativity

something’s happening

In September, I got married. and it was the most incredible day ever. I have a lot to say about it but I’m waiting until I have one more piece… our wedding video.  As a blogger and someone interested in recording our lives in some digital form, a journal of sorts – this blog… {possibly a new domain / name some day as I transition into being on a team}… I’m basically bursting @ the seams to blog about all the details and share it in the webspace for friends & family to experience.  Some things just are worth the wait, you know? xx

In the meantime, i have a lot on my mind. And it basically has to do with what our time here on earth is made of.  Deep, I know, but get to it… and this is my blog.  A bit before we went to Hawaii (next post!), I’d been doing a lot of soul-searching.  Life is so incredibly short… what do I want to make up my time while I’m here?

My now husband (eek!), showed me this video when we were lounging on Maui and I think the world needs to watch it, if they haven’t already.  And if you have? Watch it again. And make your loved ones watch it.  Put your life into perspective and consider with what you’re spending your 24 hours each day doing.

http://youtu.be/BOksW_NabEk

Um, whoa.  I had a small internal panic attack when I watched that. Why didn’t someone show me that in high school?  Freshman year?… When we were worried about the most trivial of things, stressed-out and drama-filled with events like Prom (who let me spend so much money on those high school formals?!… easily $5K… cringe).

As an adult, I’m trying to spend a bit of time each day reading sites like Quora or watching TED videos.  To keep my brain fresh, keep it thinking.  A few days ago, I read a question posted on Quora titled, “How can I thoroughly screw up my life.” Now, that’s a pretty deep inquiry.  The answer, linked below, by Raqhav Upmanyu has many thoughts I align with.  Especially now, as I’m in this phase of contemplation; wanting to shape my life in a way that brings fulfillment / happiness / experiences.

https://www.quora.com/How-can-I-thoroughly-screw-up-my-life-1/answer/Raghav-Upmanyu?srid=hjz3&share=9f49236c

And I know this is entirely an opinion, so take everything he says with a grain of salt or whatever. But it’s a perspective I somewhat align with.  It makes me think hard about what I want to make of my time left.  He starts out saying the biggest mistake you can make is becoming a statistic and “settling for being a useless part of the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.”  Me? I can’t live like that. I can’t be put through the motions and do a 9 to 5 in a cubicle and come out on the other end tired, stressed, lacking sleep, motivation and drive.  That is exactly what I would turn into.  And it’s not just in the business realm.  I found myself watching the Oscars last night. At the end of it, I thought, ‘I just wasted 3 hours on something I don’t have any interest whatsoever in.  I hadn’t seen a single movie that was nominated!? Emily, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” I could have been designing cards for my etsy business, reading the book I can’t seem to get through, laughing & connecting with my beautiful mama, sorting through yet another bin of crap I’ve saved over the years with some thought of needing it in a future time (more on that purging process later).

All in all, I want to get down on paper that today is February 29, 2016, Leap Day, an extra day for free just cause.  I’m committing to making whatever mindset I’m chasing a reality.  I want to make this life fulfilling and get everything I can out of it.  I want to do things I enjoy doing, that bring me happiness and flex my creative muscles.  I want to travel as much as possible. I want to experience everything.  I want to take chances. I want to love crazily.  I don’t want to be stressed.  I don’t want to be burnt out.  I want to be fresh +  real + alive.  I want to laugh + be optimistic + positive for 95% of my life.  And yes, this a ridiculously lofty, insane goal but why can’t I try to shoot for it? It’s worth it to me to try.

Please don’t take this post as me pointing fingers.  This is my online space to speak what’s on my mind; this is what I want to capture.  And have my kids read someday.  Hopefully they’ll think their mother was the baddest woman that ever lived who strived to make the most of her existence.

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If I could pick something, anything, that describes how I’m feeling currently.  It would be this canvas bag from @sugarboodesigns

wooza / peace / love

em j

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etsy : emiliepaperie

Never have I ever enjoyed buying cards at a card store.  The words don’t come out right, they picture isn’t funny to me… I always preferred making my own cards and paper goods.  After creating a card to give the love of my life… it dawned on me that people might actually like what I create.

My first design was a card called I Love You and Your Beard – it is a popular one!  I branched out to make ones stating love for the ‘Stache and the Banana as well… I made my etsy shop, EmiliePaperie and didn’t do much with it.  I had a few sales here and there but 2013 I was focused on Apple and other things.

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Recently, I came to the conclusion that I want to make this a small side business, a part-time hobby that actually makes money.  I learned SEO tools and the power of social media marketing.  I made an Instagram and a Twitter to link my shop together across platforms.  A few weeks ago, I applied for an assumed name so EmiliePaperie can be mine and mine alone.

I added new content and capitalized on the upcoming holiday, Valentine’s Day, and created some cards that a like-minded individual would appreciate.  Let’s be honest, this holiday is about chocolate and “romantically enjoying one another”.  I want someone to reach my etsy shop and find the perfect card for their soulmate.

Like this other best seller,

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Recently, blogs started to feature some of my cards on their Valentine’s roundup and I was over the moon!

A mommy blogger over at Another Day, Another Diaper

A beautiful wedding website at Emmaline Bride

A well-written blog designed by fantastic local Minnesota women at Flock of Broads

 

Aside from that… the fact that websites are featuring my cards… all it takes is a single order, especially an international one, to make my heart skip a beat.

 

The other day, I had an order from South Korea and New Zealand.   ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?

People across the globe like my creations enough to pay for them to be shipped to their doorstep?!

 

I’m feeling all sorts of giddy and filled up inside with glitter and happy thoughts.

I hope this is the start of something I can make sustainable and make work for me in all the right ways.

For those of you whom have supported and continue to support, my thanks travels to you on this snowy-Minnesota day,

 

xo,

em

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first kiss video

Have you seen it yet?  Of course you have.  All over every social media platform is this beautiful piece called, First Kiss.

After watching it three times once I had to do a little more research.  It got millions of views in just a day, right now it sits at 16,207,600 after being posted yesterday afternoon.  It’s a simple piece of strangers gathered together and their only task is to kiss the person in front of them.  Today, clothing line, wren, announced it was their video to showcase their Fall 2014 line.  Wren’s creative director, Melissa Coker is genius!  And the song playing in it?  It’s called “We Might Be Dead By Tomorrow” by Soko – guess how many copies were sold on iTunes today?…. apparently one million.  One million songs sold in one day.  Incredible!

I don’t know why, but I just love this video.

These are strangers, kissing, and it is so real to me.  It’s heart-warming.

xo,

a romantic

Sipping on.

Dreaming about.

Looking forward to.

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Scottsdale : Monday

We slept in as long as we could before we had to get rolling.  Carley was the first flight out and we wanted to catch breakfast at Arcadia Farms first.  This sweet cafe is right out of Little House on the Prairie.  Wood floor, red doors, cute art on the wall.  It felt like going to a grandma’s house who knew how to interior decorate properly.

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photo 1-1In typical best friend’s fashion, we each ordered a Kir Royal to toast our remarkably great weekend.  While we recapped and perused the menu, our waitress dropped off a small plate of mini scones to nibble on.

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This was one of those spots where anything you ordered off the menu would be amazing.  I debated between the Fresh Berry Crepes and the Breakfast Panini.  The panini won: scrambled egg with rosemary ham and smoked mozzarella on a baguette.

photo 3-3Next, we had to hustle to make Carley’s departure time… never a dull moment!  Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport is a city in itself, tons of terminals, north side, south side, ramps and overpasses.  Katie is a ninja navigating that space!

After dropping Carley off, we decided against our better judgment to a little hiking on Camelback Mountain in the 115 degree heat.  Plenty of water, working cell phones, crazy sports bra straps and sunglasses – we set off.  It got hotter and hotter as we climbed and pretty soon we made the executive decision that we were sweating faster than we could replenish with water, and that a descent was the best option.

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The rest of my afternoon, I dipped in the pool and packed up all of my things.  We stopped off at Sprinkles to pick up some goodies for the folks at home and I found my way to my gate.

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More than one time this weekend – Carley and I promised we would be back again next year for another long weekend in the hot box.  There’s nothing like 4 days with your best friends to really refocus on what’s important in life.  Friendships, memories, laughter, and not taking ourselves too seriously.

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Until next time AZ,

xo

 

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Scottsdale: Friday

Carley got in Thursday late night – we spent the evening hours giggling and catching up.  On Friday morning, we woke super early to catch Katie’s favorite Orange Theory class at 6:45 with Jesse.  I can see the attraction, he was HILARIOUS.  Think Will & Grace + muscles + fabulous smile + high-energy fitness.  It was somewhere between the second circuit and the side planks when Carley leaned over and said something along the lines of, “You two are insane for liking this.”  Needless to say, we were extremely sweaty, spent and ready for some refueling.

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Breakfast took place at Daily Dose.  We settled on Micheladas.  Served as a iced glass of lime juice, a Mexican beer, and a small carafe of tomato juice.  Kind of like a beer-garita or sorts.  We weren’t entirely impressed.  Decisions couldn’t be made on what to order, as everything looked good in our deliriously hungry and sore state of mind, so we decided to share the Banana Bread French Toast, The Hangover Sandwich and the Breakfast Nachos.  All of which were delicious and most of which we brought home as leftovers.

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After our refuel session, we grabbed a few supplies at Costco.  A weekend with your girlfriends requires a few staples.  For example, large glass bottles of vodka.  The one on the right was purchased, we plan to empty it.

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As we walked around Carley began to feel the muscle burn that Orange Theory brings.  She spent a bit of time lounging in agony.  At Costco… and at home.

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We hightailed it home, changed into swimsuits, made a cocktail and beelined for the pool.  There wasn’t any laying in the sun, there was strictly underwater lounging… it was hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk.  Later into the evening, Scott treated us to Oregano’s.  We needed to get out of the apartment as the AC isn’t working properly and we were going slightly stir-crazy.  It worked out well because a trip to Arizona is.not.complete without dining at Oregano’s.  We shared the Vino Bambino salad (UNREAL) – and Uncle Ray’s Sausage & ‘Shrooms pizza.  Entire confection.  Totally satisfied.

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After dinner, it was time to doodle in Paper by FiftyThree and laugh at the good fortune of having close friends.

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Sleeplessly sweating,

xo

Dreaming of.

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weekly iPhone pic drop

weekly iphone pic drop

We have begun prepping two locations at our place to put on Airbnb – a home-sharing style website.  Charge them to rent out the boathouse or the whole lower level of the main house.  I walked down to start moving furniture around and post on Craigslist.  There was a slightly musty smell coming from behind the theater wall.  I knelt down to explore and my knees got wet.  It turns out the draining pipe from our siding overhaul last summer was not properly pieced together and all of that insane monsoon rain we had the past few weeks?  Yeah, it’s safely stationed in our basement.  Commence operation Rip Apart and Dry It Up.  Who coined that phrase when it rains it pours?… I’d like to force them to do a shot of bottom-shelf tequila (no lime).

Sometimes I see vehicles with modifications that cannot be explained.  Isn’t this one of those Muppet dolls?

In Uptown resides a hotspot called Republic.  It took over the top-level bar called Independent in Calhoun Square.  My favorite drink is called the Skinny Ginny and consists of Hendricks, St. Germain, tonic and thai basil.  I’m a standing testament that the maximum should be two.  Just enough, not too much, end the evening gracefully.

Did you know that laundromats still exist?  Just kidding, I’m not that naive.  We spent the better part of an entire evening doing no less than three loads of laundry at a local coin operated joint.  A family there seemed camped out for the long haul, each kid had a coloring book, there were snacks, it was like a picnic hotspot.  I didn’t understand the need for Distractors (Cheez-Its, drawing materials) until I saw they had what seemed to be the entire ship of Titanic’s worth of clothing in a half dozen machines and piled up on the folding table.  Either they change clothes 3x a day, they wait two months to wash everything, or there are nine more of them at home while the ladies do all the work.

The theme of the season for a bit of time was oranges.  Orange Theory fitness kicked my rear into gear while I used up a Groupon I had purchased awhile back.  The gym combines running, rowing and TRX/free weights for a rapid-fire 60-minute sweat session.  In other news, Costco sells some pretty juicy oranges in big cardboard boxes and I put my stamp of approval on them.

For a few weeks I couldn’t find gas for less than $4.65/gallon.  Now I’m stuck between deciding to sell my car that I adore, or take more public transportation.  I’m in favor of more transportation but judging by the fact that the bus leaves from a spot near my house, but does not ever come back puts me between a rock and a hard place.  Perhaps I need to start biking to work again.  I just cannot get used to biking on the road, and every direction I turn is under construction.  Time to sell the Lexus and shop for a more fuel-efficient car?  Perhaps.

Have you ever taken a gander at the shampoo/conditioner section at Target?  It’s like a Cheese Emporium in Europe.  There are more options than we should be allowed to choose from.  Let’s narrow this wall down to the top ten bestsellers and get rid of all the extras.  It’s crazy we are inundated with this amount of product.  It’s ridiculous, really.  People should be focusing on whether they’re going to run 3 miles or do a circuit today.  This nation needs to put emphasis on making decisions to stay in shape and eat healthy instead of which bottle o’goo is going to make your hair super shiny and long like Kim Kardashian.

Case in point, I shopped for a grill-out last weekend and noticed this marketing.  Basically: serve Coca-Cola and your family will eat dinner with you tonight.  HA!  This is good stuff.  Who made that up?  Now THAT guy deserves a swift kick in the arse.

The concrete hallway at work shares a back entrance to many other shops in our mall.  One recently relocated and this happened.  A dolly of upper torsos complete with side boobs.  Throw a filter on this and I would hang it in my laundry room as a 16×20 canvas.  Random self-proclaimed art.

A month long delay between posts does a girl good.  My life has gone from 6 to 10 and I’m a happy, blessed lady!

Another update in a few days… oh, and the link to my new blog will be released!

xo,

em.j

Sipping on.
Nightmares about.  (now does this not look the CREEPIEST movie ever?  Kudos to the director or whomever came up with the storyline – pretty creative.)
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Next Chapter Vineyard

photo 1-1 photo 1-2 photo 1 photo 2-2 photo 3-1 photo 3-2 photo 3 photo 4-1 photo 5-1 wine dog photo 4 wine photo 2 wine photo 5We have found an excellent little vineyard.  Next Chapter Vineyard in New Prague, MN ran a LivingSocial a few months back.  We choose a weekend for the Vine Pruning Experience.  This vineyard was a super small family operation out in the middle of nowhere.  We took a road trip and fell in love with every aspect.  The tool shed turned wine-tasting space.  The wall of mismatched odds and ends that Tim, the owner, uses for his wine creating.  The beautiful German Shepard puppy that followed us around everywhere, and of course, the delicious wine!

We spent a few hours in the early morning all bundled up with our pruning sheers.  Tim showed us how to properly prune the vines for optimal growth.  It was an almost therapeutic movement, row by row, moving so much that our freezing bodies were soon warm and comfortable.  We drank mulled wine as we worked and enjoyed the winter silence around us.

After we pruned for what seemed like hours, we had a lunch in the large tool shed.  There were about 6 large barrels, some of which used to be filled with Jack Daniels, filled with fermenting wine.  We drank red wine and white, straight from the barrel as well as from wine bottles.  Tim was charismatic and happily shared his thoughts on the wine industry and how Next Chapter Vineyard came to be.  He explained how vines don’t really show for the first four years.  There are four or five years of nothing but picking weeds – hearing that almost made my small dream of one day having my own vineyard, sour.  Instant gratification doesn’t work too well in this industry, eh?  The best comes to those who wait.

It was refreshing to hear Tim talk about the crazy world of wine and how there is such a snobbery, pretentious air around it.  He spoke about the wine spectator and the judging of different wines, where sometimes a glass of two buck chuck wins over a glass of $200 wine.  I agree with him that it’s very much so a scam.  It was such a fun experience to bullshit with him in this giant shed where the wine he has created over the years sits fermenting.  We’re all drinking wine.  He’s opening new bottles.  He’s explaining the process, the bottling process, his thoughts on wine in general.  He’s wearing a one-piece winter getup as his baby German Shepard is curled up as his feet.

Many glasses of wine later, after length conversation and laughter, a lot of the other LivingSocial voucher-holders parted.  They had other things they wanted to get done.  The four of us stayed back and soaked (literally) the experience in.  At one point, Timothy thanked us for coming and that was the end of our LivingSocial adventure.  He went back out to the vines to keep pruning.  We decided to clean up the lunch mess the dozen or so left behind and then we filled up our cups with some more of that delicious wine and headed out to the vineyard to find him.  He helped us trim some vine pieces to bring home and plant on our own land.  What a great experience – and we all got to take 2 bottles home with us!

In September they have what’s called a harvest, where the grapes are picked and the great stomp happens.  We hope to be a part of it and to stomp grapes classier than this lady does.

Wine does the heart good,

weekly iPhone pic drop

weekly iphone pic drop

I enjoy advertising and graphic design in magazines where the product is set on a solid surface, sometimes a wood floor, and shot from above.  Here are some of my favorite things.  Candles (self-proclaimed pyro), the book I just finished “Girls in White Dresses“, brilliant brunette satin shine, eos lip chap, and Trader Joe’s Vanilla Almond Milk.

After the cleanse, I wanted to treat myself. Kinda like when people reach certain weight loss goals, they’ll buy a new pair of shoes, a nice bottle of wine, or something rewarding to them. This wasn’t a weight loss goal but a 5-day cleanse was trying and at times, frustrating. So… I decided to splurge on a few pieces of Lulu.  Ladies beware, it’s dangerous in there!  The colors of the season are bangin’ hot.

In February, my doll face lady from Scottsdale came home for a week.  Met this chick in 3rd grade and we’ve been best friends ever since.  The majority of the week was spent gossiping, hitting the gym, and drinking. Who are we kidding?  I can make a mean St Germain Cocktail and she can spot the perfect bottle of Riesling from a mile away.  #greatminds

This lion cub-looking puppy melts my heart. He makes me want to find a way to keep puppies small. Forever and always. I like big dogs, too, but there’s something about little puppies that can instantly change your mood. The next breed I’d like to own is either a Corgi or a Great Bernese Mountain Dog. A little and a big.

I don’t consider myself a brand whore. In fact, I prefer the term brand loyal. There are a few with which I happily associate myself and highly recommend.  This snapshot showcases four of them (artistic, no?).  The car I drive right now is a Lexus. I’m thisclose to having it paid off.  This model is one I saw on the freeway and secretly told myself I’d tote around my four kids in it one day… got the car, time to work on step two.  The thumb holes on my Lululemon tops are reason alone to fall in love with the Vancouver-based retailer. No more sleeves rolling up into your jacket! Bazinga! Gorgeous, comfy clothing, totally unaffordable, but that’s what wish lists are for, right?  I prefer regular water, by the gallon, I’m a water girl at heart. As long as it doesn’t taste like plastic, and doesn’t carry a strain of motezumas revenge (worst Mexico trip ever!)… I’ll guzzle it. After a good workout, I prefer Zico coconut water. After weightlifting, when my arms are like jelly worms, I pretend I spent all morning on a deserted island, hacking away at a palm tree to reach some of this glory.  Last, but not least, a year ago we discovered a new shop called Superdry. I figured it was a high end, boutique fabric softener store – boy was I wrong. Behold some of the best jackets known to man. Superdry is a company based in Japan that knows the value of a zipper (or ten).  This jacket (also with thumb holes I might add) retails for $140, it’s called the polar windcheater and worth every penny.

This tall, beautiful brunette is a breath of fresh air. I consider her one of my best friends and had to visit her while vacationing in her zip code. I made a reservation under a fake name (Debra Morgan, holla Dexter freaks!) and surprised her at the swanky salon where she works.  It only took me 2 hours of public transportation bus riding and a mile walk to get there, but well worth the effort!  Those annual girls trips I take?  She’s one of the six ladies, and I would not be as far along in my life as I am without her straight talk, cuddles and infectious laugh.  Mwah Carla!

Made a visit to Universal Studios. The best part? The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The cobblestone, Butterbeer [a nonalcoholic butterscotch and root beer flavored frothy drink that tastes spectacular with smuggled in whiskey], everything! There’s even a wand shop where you can buy a phoenix-feather wand. Whoever thru this place together paid unbelievable attention to detail – I swear the air even smelled like freakin Hogwarts!

There’s a franchise in Florida that must make its way to the Midwest.  Lime Fresh Mexican Grill has this magical salsa bar that is entirely glorious. Whoever thought to offer serve yourself pineapple salsa deserves a raise. Or an orgasm.  I literally ate three cups of pineapple salsa in record time.  Inhaled it.

Life is beautiful, I’ve got the pictures to prove it,
xo
Adding the ‘mellow yellow‘ to my wish list.
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a recap of semi-awesome proportions

I wasn’t prepared for the random week that I’ve had.  But I’m healthy and happy and I won’t complain.

A friend of mine told me about this company she has a subscription with, called IPSY.  Ten bucks a month gets you a little makeup bag of different products and brands to try.  Now, if you know me, you’ll know I’m not a very high maintenance girl.  Give me a hair binder, a lip chap (or six), some Herbal Essences Long Term Relationship Shampoo, and I can conquer the world.  But, I decided to expand my horizons and try some different products on the market.  Maybe I’ll find some I like.  Yesterday I got my January bag.  Inside was, Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange Body Butter (so luxuriously smooth!), bigsexyhair spray & play volumizing hairspray (va-voom!), nailtini nail polish in bloody mary (holy red!), Josie Maran 100% Pure Argan Oil (makes my hair shiny like diamonds!) and a SOHO eyeliner brush.

I’m about to broaden my horizons in the realm of cosmetics.  And if I don’t like something, well… that’s what best friends are for right?

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After many long months of waiting… one of my Kickstarter rewards has arrived!  Jake Parker is a phenomenal artist.  His goal was to design and publish a book with the help of crowd funding.  Behold, the hard cover that I’m so excited to flip through.  He did a great job and it’s super exiting to see a project that you’ve backed, sitting right in front of you!  Check out more of his work on his website.  I heard his original intent was to his stories bound in a book for his kids to read…  adorable.

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The crazier part of the last few days is that I had jury duty this week.  For real.  It was very, VERY anticlimactic.  I sat in one room for 8 hours at a time – and read a seriously funny book that I highly recommend.  So wait, I got paid to read a book?  Well, yes, work pays me to go to jury duty… and there is compensation from the county for my “duty”, to the tune of about $10 each day… hardly covers parking downtown.

Isn’t there a better system for this?  Instead of 80 people sitting, waiting, in silence, to be called (and only about 15 did), couldn’t we be on-call?  And if you need someone, then I will leave what I’m doing and go to the courthouse?  It seemed like a lot of man hours gone to waste.  Let’s hope I never have to do that again.  And if I do get summoned, I’m crossing my fingers I get chosen for a super high-profile murder trial and then sequestered.  I would love a series of free nights stay at a swanky hotel downtown and fresh grilled salmon each night. A queen sized bed all to myself with sheets of egyptian cotton? Room service? Hot showers that can last for twenty minutes? Sign me up! k thanks bye!

go live your life,
xo

Adding to my wishlist
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