Epic Reads Strikes Again!

I am a lover of bookish things, quite obviously. I’m also a chronic subscriber and a lover of giveaways so it should come as no surprise that I get a lot of bookish emails each day. One of my absolute favorite daily emails is the Epic Reads First 5.

If you do not know what Epic Reads is, let’s educate you shall we. Epic Reads is a site that feels like a YA movement. It’s full of lists and entertaining videos, quizzes, and articles about upcoming Young Adult authors or books. Epic Reads is the YA part of Harper Collins and holy crap, do they publish some amazing books.

The First 5 newsletter is literally the first 5 chapters of a book in the Epic Reads/HC family. This was how I used to pass my time at my horribly boring hotel reservation gig. I’d just go through the Epic Reads site and pick out the “read a preview of insert-book-title-here” and read a chapter or five.

This resulted in me racing to my local Books-A-Million after work to grab Queen of Hearts because five chapters was not enough.

I signed up for the newsletter and have been adding books to my TBR rather steadily ever since. I enjoy this newsletter so much because you aren’t just going by a synopsis, you get to actually get into a story and then decide if you want to continue.

Well! I’m catching up on my emails today, as is a usual Sunday event as of late, and the first five is fannnnntastic! This time its Dividing Eden and I am hooked. This one is about twins in a kingdom where their Father is the King. Their brother is next in line for the throne but apparently something is going to happen to him. And there are secrets and intrigue. IIIIIII like it. So much so that at the top of Chapter 3, I went and searched for it on my library’s website and requested it.

Good on you, Epic Reads! You win again!

Sober

I absolutely love Buzzfeed. Most of the workouts that I do I find on You Tube. Both Tone It Up and Blogilates have You Tube pages, so when I finish up my routine, I’ll just pop through my subscriptions for a little break to bring my heart rate back down.

Today, I stumbled on My First 30 Days Sober and it was 100% relatable. Sometimes, Buzzfeed just hits the nail on the head, so to speak, and this was certainly one of those times.

Almost 3 years ago now, I did what this man did. I was stressed out and emotional and I was using alcohol to get me through it. I am also someone that due to stress, has vertigo and IBS. Both of these ailments increase with alcohol consumption (Note: if you get super dizzy and unbalanced when you drink–chances are you also have vertigo. Yay!).

I always enjoyed drinking. I rarely declined a drink when out with friends. It was my crutch to get through social situations. I spent most of my twenties drunk. Like really drunk. My tolerance was always pretty high (Mom says she was the same way) so I could drink 3 drinks and have a little bit of a buzz or I could have 6 and be what I deemed, “tipsy fantastic.”

First of all, at the time that I was drinking I made decent money but I have never been affluent. Drinking is friggin’ expensive if you actually know what you like. Me. I love top shelf tequila, whiskey, and Belvedere. And when I drank, if I was getting a refill, I tended to get the more expensive drinks after my first three were gone.

I am a dramatic drunk. I’m also a super funny drunk. That dramatic drunk. That one always bothered me.

Sober, I hate drama. I mean hate it. Have I caused it before? Of course I have. That doesn’t mean it’s enjoyable.

Drunk, I seemed to thrive on it. Especially if I was in a more emotional state than I cared to share before I started drinking.

Watching this video brought me right back. About three years ago, I went out to a restaurant with a friend to bitch about work. And about boys. And life in general. I drink 5 margaritas because the waitress loved us and just kept refilling. I got in my car and remember sitting there for more than 10 minutes because I suddenly remembered that I was an adult.

A living breathing adult who knows better than to drive right now.

So I sat until I felt less like I was tipsy. I rolled my windows down and took a deep breath. I dug out the Dramamine from my purse because my vertigo was kicking in. I felt my eyes well up when my stomach clenched. Just letting me know tomorrow was going to suck.

I drank half a bottle of water and then I drove the 10 minutes to my house from the restaurant. In that 10 minutes I decided that I needed to take a break.

Drinking wasn’t fun anymore. It made me feel worse and not better. I was trying to be healthier in general and hangovers impeded workouts. Not to mention, there is no nutritional value to hard liquor-my alcoholic beverage of choice.

The next day I was dizzy, cramping, and exhausted.

I spent my twenties drunk. Did I really need to spend my thirties that way too?

So I stopped. The next time I went out, I didn’t drink. The entire table stared. “WHAT?” That moment where his friends boo’d. I know what that feels like. When suddenly everyone stares at you like you’re insane because you don’t want a drink? Yup.

I went on vacation to see one of my best friends. When she went to the liquor store to pick up supplies for the party, I had to tell her that I wasn’t drinking anymore. It had been six weeks and I liked the clarity. That party was a testament to how incredibly awkward I am socially. But I did it. I was uncomfortable. I had no clue what to do with myself. And this was a group that knew me as someone that partied. But I did it.

Even now, when it comes up, people are still a little shocked that I don’t drink.

A lot ask me why and I simplify it by saying that is just wasn’t fun anymore.

That video. Those reasons he gave are 100% it.

Waking up doesn’t suck as much.

My face isn’t flush or puffy.

My body can show the definition of muscle when I’m working out.

I can work out longer (sometimes).

My vertigo is less constant.

I am less stressed.

I am able to process my emotions fully.

I feel better.

I’ll say that again.

I. Feel. Better.

I believe that I spent enough of my life drinking so I still don’t. I don’t intend to. It’s much like when I quit smoking. I’m just over it.

Good on Buzzfeed for capturing the clarity that making a decision to be sober, even just for 30 days, can give you.

Some actual genius needs to steal my ideas

I spend a lot of time in my car. I love her. Her name is Bea. She’s kind of a princess. She is a 2008 Mercury Milan.

If you don’t know, they no longer make the Milan. Actually, they stopped making Mercury’s all together the year I got her.

I call her a princess because her wiper blades are weird, her oil filter baffles Walmart mechanics, and her battery is the only one AAA doesn’t carry on their truck.

She is also a techie car. She has power windows and mirrors. Air bags every where. Folding seats. That awesome little I’m-locked-in-my-trunk pull latch. The side mirrors defrost. The rear mirror dims when it senses a bright light behind it. Oh, and I talk to her.

She’s Bluetooth enabled so you can control your phone, the stereo, and all that by talking to her. When she understands me its pretty fantastic. When she doesn’t, I get aggravated. The car also constantly checks on itself. Like right now, it’s determined my left headlight needs to be replaced.

Now, that is a car that is almost 10 years old.

More recent cars have those amazing back up cams, built in GPS systems, that really interesting park assist feature.

But! With alllllll these advancements someone tell me why no one has added the features I want most yet? I mean, they made a feature so a car can put on its own brakes. An alert for when you drift lanes! So cool and useful.

So why do I still have to turn on my own headlights when it rains? Why isn’t there a feature yet that when you turn on your wipers, the headlights automatically come on?

That is 100% serious. My car has those auto lights and sometimes when it’s raining, I don’t even think to be sure the lights are on. I happen to live in a state that requires by law for your headlights to be on if you are using your wipers.

So again I say, why hasn’t someone created lights that come on the moment you turn on your wipers? Get on that!

Another amazing idea I have but have no idea how to make it regards grocery shopping.

I do a lot of grocery shopping. I am the only driver in my home and my mom isn’t huge on going to the grocery store due to her anxiety. Thus, I go once for the grocery list and usually another time in the week to grab little things. Like creamer or if Mom is craving a treat, ice cream or something from the bakery.

So here’s my idea. A feature in the trunk to keep your groceries cold on the drive home. Right!? How great would that be!? My thought is you hit a little button and it activates an air conditioner type thing in the trunk and boom! Ice cream isn’t melting on your way home.

I think it would be especially helpful for people that don’t live a hop away from their store. Personally, I’m super close but! One of the stores I work in happens to be a grocery store and if I chose to do my shopping there it’s 30 minutes home and on a hot day, I worry about my ice cream, milk, yogurt, etc. Some kind of function to allow my groceries to remain cold would be amazing!

I have one more car related idea. I’ve had it for years. I love taking drives. You know, the aimless adventure kinds? I love those. I love the scenic route. I love road trips.

I live in New England and scenic routes are boundless. The other day, the sky was gorgeous. Big giant clouds on the left and then these layers and layers of stripey clouds on the right. There’s been a ton of rain so all of the trees are vibrant green and flowers are popping up everywhere.

I want someone to invent a camera that is built in to the car. A view camera. So that you can photograph what you are seeing when you drive. I want this to be an easy push button. For safety’s sake, you wouldn’t be able to look at the pictures taken until your car is in park and off. Perhaps, connected to an app or an easy jump drive.

It would be set up so it can see what you as the driver can see out of your windshield. The gorgeous skies I have seen when I’m driving up or down the coast at sunrise, OH how I would love to have a photo of them.

The last time I drove to South Carolina, I drove WITH a hurricane. She and I were steps apart from each other. The clouds, the rain, the fallen trees. All of it was crazy pants. BUT the sky the moment the hurricane passed was this gorgeous purple and the clouds were electric. That-that would have been a gorgeous photo.

Alas, I don’t find pulling over on the highway to be particularly safe. Or on mountain roads. Or really much of any road. So getting photos like this is damn near impossible unless you want to try while driving which is completely unsafe and in my state, considered distracted driving and therefore an offense that equals a hefty fine.

IIIIIII think these are fantastic ideas. I want a car with these functions so bad. So someone steal my ideas and get to making them a reality.

Go on, go be a genius.