Thursday, February 26, 2009


"Anna Banana! Has anyone ever called you that!?" Someone actually asked me that when I was 19. I was tempted to punch them in the face but instead I answered, "Nope, I was raised by wolves and everyone knows that wolves can't rhyme."

You won't be surprised to hear that I've been called Anna Banana my whole life. When I was a kid I hated it so much that I wouldn't eat bananas. I was already peeved that grownups called me Anna Banana and I didn't want to add fuel to the fire by actually being seen eating one.

But there are certainly worse nicknames than Anna Banana. My brother Jack confided to me and Ben, my other brother, that people had called him Jack Ass in high school. We were sympathetic but secretly we were mad that we hadn't thought of it ourselves. My poor friend Kathryn wins for the worst nickname. Her siblings called her "Kathriena Vagina". So horrible (although pretty funny).

What nickname did you hate growing up?

I haven't heard Forever Young in a long time and I forgot how nice it was. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

2/25/09 - Good Advice 2

It has been one of those days. My alarm didn't go off this morning so I was about an hour late to work and when I got there it is was a total mad house. Needless to say, I didn't start the day off very Positively. So, as usual, I turned to my best pal Mandy for advice (more Mandy advice).

Mandy: What a morning you've had! I would probably go in the bathroom and start crying!

Me: I might go in the bathroom and punch someone.

Mandy: That'll work too. Make sure it's somebody you don't work with though. (Pause) Oh! Go to Starbucks. There's bound to be an annoying girl reading a book in there. Punch her!

Here's a good country song that always picks me up. Please enjoy Garth Brook's Callin' Baton Rouge.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

2/24/09 - Oscar Party!

Well I survived hosting my first Oscar party. As I've mentioned the Academy Awards are my favorite night of television. I've been planning this party for months, stressing over the guest list, menu, decorations, etc. My goal was to get enough done in advance so that I could actually enjoy the show instead of hopping up every 10 seconds. And I did pretty well.
The menu consisted of a few staples, like dill bread dip, hummus and sausage stew. As well a few themed dishes.

Benjamin's Buttons - Crackers with goat cheese and dried cranberries. One of my favorite flavor combos. Try it!

Slumdog Samosas - I don't think I'm ready to open my own Indian restaurant but I was happy with the way these came out.

Red Carpet Cocktails and Cupcakes

While I LOVE the Academy Awards, they can get a little long, especially on a Sunday night. We had an Oscar poll which is always a lot of fun. And to add even more fun we played Oscar bingo. Guests placed their chips on boxes when a winner would cry or thank their parents or get played off by the orchestra.

Academy Award for Excellence in Oscar Bingo

I had a great time at the party. I hope my Oscar party will turn into an annual event.

Today's song is this years winner for best song, Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire. Every time I hear Jai Ho I immediately start clapping and bouncing up and down. GREAT SONG!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

2/19/09 – Genius Journal

I'm pretty sure I'm a genius. And if I'm a genius, then you definitely are! YOU probably know the difference between jeans and genes. Anyway, the reason I think I'm a genius is that I have proof. I write all my great ideas down in what I like to call my Genius Journal. I carry my Genius Journal with me everywhere. It is always in my purse, goes with me to work and comes on every vacation. The only place my Genius Journal doesn't go is the gym, but I'm thinking of taking it to spinning. Although, I don't think the instructor will be impressed when I fall off the bike because I just had a great idea for a post.
I started using a Genius Journal when I was having trouble coming up with my Songs of the Day. It is hard thinking of upbeat songs, especially when I am not having an upbeat day (GASP! Yes, even Positively Anna has bad days). And I would get pissed because the night before I thought of 5 great songs or a friend would recommend a perfect one but when it came time to actually post a song, I couldn't remember a single one. Now whenever I think of a Song of the Day I immediately write it down. It also helps me keep track of what songs I've already used, which can be tricky when you have posted over 150 songs (please excuse me while I take a second to pat myself on the back).

I also write post ideas in my Genius Journal too. I'll make a quick note if I have a little idea that I think could have some legs or I will just write a whole post out. I wrote the post about my poor rat-tailed friend BJ (Rat-tail) while riding on the Chinatown Bus. But you don't need to be a blogger to use a Genius Journal.

My new favorite thing to use my journal for is for vacation packing lists. I'll start my packing list a few days before my trip. Too many times I've been riding on the subway and think that I need to remember my camera charger, or my neck pillow, or tweezers, and then I forget when I'm packing and I'm stuck on vacation with my camera being as useful as a paper weight, a sore neck and bushy eyebrows. Now as soon as I think of something I will need I immediately add it to my list in my Genius Journal, which I always have with me. SEE? I'm a genius! You may think I'm crazy, but writing out a packing list in your Genius Journal will ensure you never head off on vacation without packing any underwear again. (Oh come on! You know you have done it).

I promised Matt I would play Rock Band with him tonight. And this will be the song I'll choose to rock out to. Please enjoy the Dixie Chicks Let Er Rip.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

2/18/09 - Typos

A few of you pointed out a typo in yesterday's post. I used the word "jeans" instead of "genes". I obviously know the difference between the two. I was pre-med for my first 3 weeks of college.

I've never been a great proofreader, although I am trying to get better. It is important for my job and for this blog. I've even read blogs on proofreading. The best advice I've found so far is to read your work backwards. Start with the last sentence, reading that forward, of course, and then work backwards. It has been very helpful, although it clearly has not cured me completely.

And thank you to those who did mention the typo to me. Having a typo in your blog is like having a booger in your nose or your dress tucked into your underwear. You want someone to tell you!

We heard this song last night at spinning. Pretty 80's and pretty fun. Please enjoy Aretha Franklin's Deeper Love.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

2/17/09 - My Body Muse

I know lots of people cut out pictures of models, athletes or celebrities and stick them to the wall as a diet and exercise motivator. Oprah has a picture Madonna’s Vanity Fair cover in her gym to keep her motivated. I was never one of those people until I saw Malory Snyder in JCrew.

For you 20-somethings, you may remember Malory from The Real World: Paris, which aired in 2003. My friends and I immediately liked Malory because she played soccer at Iowa State. Well like most Real Worlders, Malory disappeared from my thoughts and the rest of the country’s when the show was over. But a while back I was thumbing through a JCrew, which, if we are being honest, is like my Vogue, and I recognized Malory as one of the models. I took a second look at the picture and thought “YES! My body muse!”

Malory Snyder

I’m a naturally thin person. I’m lucky, I have good genes. But I’ve never liked my thighs. I realized in the grand scheme of thighs mine are not that big but, hey, I don’t give you crap about your bad body image, so let me have mine. I played soccer for almost 15 years of my life. That kind of exercise has left me with muscular thighs. But you know how bathing suit models look… Their thighs are about the size of a normal person’s forearm. And some how their inner thighs are so skinner that they are actually concave. I don’t know about you, but my inner thighs are the exact opposite of concave. So, I deemed Malory my body muse because her inner thighs weren’t concave either. They were trim and tone but she didn’t look like the other models. As I mentioned, Malory was a collegiate soccer player. Soccer thighs on a swimsuit model!? Who ever heard of such a thing.

I think Malory is a great body muse because her body is actually attainable for me. And by attainable, I mean if I work out 7 times a week and go back on my sweet fast, but it is nice to have a goal. So when picking a body muse, be reasonable. To be clear, you should pick someone whose body you greatly admire but pick somebody whose body is attainable. If you are in your 50s, pick someone near your age. If you are on the shorter side, pick a celebrity that is petite. Gisele could be everyone’s body muse, but then we all might end up looking like Gisele and what would be the fun in that ;)

Today's song is Mika's Love Today, which I first heard on the short lived MTV show, Dance Life. Who else loved that show?

Monday, February 16, 2009

2/16/09 - Sweet Fast 2009: Complete

We have successfully completed 6 weeks of no sweets! Well done Mom and anyone else who joined us in Sweet Fast 2009. To break the fast I baked chocolate chip cookies right before midnight on Friday night so I could eat my first sweet in the first minutes of Valentine's Day.

Tasting my first cookie of 2009

Remembering how freakin' fantastic cookies are

Eating the cookie dough and if it wasn't for that whole salmonella thing, my cookies would never make it past dough form

Having a mini Snickers bar followed by a frozen mini Snickers bar. Great suggestion BZ!

Not even giving some M&Ms the chance to melt in my hand.

Today's song is We Are the Champions for all the Sweet Fast 2009 champions.

Friday, February 13, 2009

2/13/09 - Killing for a Nap

Did you guys catch The Office last night? I would kill to be able to take a nap at work. I’m sure I would be 100% more productive if I could use my lunch break to catch a few z’s. I would scarf down my lunch in 5 minutes and then I would use the remaining 55 minutes to nap under my desk.

I’m all for vacation days but when I run my own company I’m going to get a little more creative. Women will be able to take off the first day of their period each month. And because I would be an equal opportunity employer, men could have one day a month to nurse a bad hang over or just bad indigestion.

Sweet Fast 2009: Day 43
7 hours, 36 minutes and counting until the greatest sugar rush of all time!

Here is a good Friday tune. Please enjoy Jason Mraz's Make It Mine. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

2/12/09 - Surprises on the East Side of the Danube

Today my butt hurts from spinning which reminded me of this story…

Last spring my mom and I went to visit my youngest brother in Austria. If you have never been you really should go. It is a very beautiful country. We had spent most of the trip in Vienna so we were itching to get out of the city. We rented bikes and rode along the Danube River. Evidently you can bike from Passau, Germany all the way to Vienna, which is 230 miles. This is something I would love to try someday, although I don’t think I’m ready now seeing how my butt hurts for 3 days after a 45 minute spin class.

My mom and brother enjoying a great day in Austria.

So we were enjoying the fresh air and the beautiful scenery. It was one of the first warm days of the year in Vienna so there were lots of other people enjoying the bike path and the banks of the river. There were families picnicking and father’s teaching their sons how to fish.

We had been riding for a while when we noticed that the other side of the river looked a little more interesting. There were more people and a few ice cream stands. We found a bridge and crossed the river. Well let me tell you, this was one of those “the grass isn’t always greener” situations. You know who those people were on the other side of the river? NUDISTS! And these were old, wrinkly, German nudists. I don’t mean to sound cruel about the aging body. I think it is great to be proud of your body, just don’t show that pride by lying naked, spread eagle in the middle of the bike path. My brother and I are pretty prudish so we were in a state of shock. Even my mom, who is a bit of a free spirit, was dismayed. And the most surprising part (well the nudists were the MOST surprising part) was that no one had mentioned this to us. The guide books, which will tell you how to order schnitzel in German and seamlessly navigate the Vienna subways, never mentioned the hoards of nudists that flock to the eastern bank of the Danube on warm days.

Needless to say the rest of the bike trip didn’t go as smoothly because, unless you are Lance Armstrong, it is near impossible to ride a bike while averting your eyes from loads of nudists and trying to stifles your laughter. So you should definitely go to Austria, and if you like wrinkly old butts, you should hit the east side of the Danube on a warm day. And if you REALLY like wrinkly old butts you should enjoy the picture below.

Nudist taking a leisurely walk down the Danube.

I certainly couldn't find a song to match this post but I've been meaning to play the Rolling Stone's You Can't Always Get What You Want for a while. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

2/11/09 – The Key To My Relationship

Sometimes I joke with Matt saying “I used to like watching sports until I started dating you”. Growing up I enjoyed watching the various Boston/New England teams with my dad and brothers. And in college I finally realized how awesome baseball is and how awesomer the Red Sox are. Matt’s from Minnesota and now the Twins are my second favorite baseball team. I was pumped that Matt didn’t break up with me when Kevin Garnet went to the Celtics, although things were a little tense between us for a few days. I think it very American to have your baseball, basketball, football and even hockey teams that you support…I’m all for it! BUT, Matt likes to watch ALL teams playing ALL games ALL the time. Sometimes he will be watching a game and I’ll ask who are you rooting for and he will say he doesn’t care who wins. Then why the heck are we watching it!

Luckily we have found a common ground, a saving grace, a happy place. UNC basketball! Two years ago Matt introduced me to college basketball. I didn’t go to a big school so I never paid much attention to it. Matt went to the College of Charleston and because of the proximity, had become a fan of UNC. So he was watching a game a few years ago and I was busying myself with a magazine but my interest was piqued by how involved he was in the game. He decided to take advantage of my slight interest and run with it, explaining who all the players were and telling me how he had met the coach, Roy Williams. The more I watched the more drawn in I became by the speed and the energy of the game, things that are missing from the NBA.

Well since then I’ve been hooked. I check the ESPN schedule and make dates with Matt for when they are going to be broadcasting a UNC game. The past few televised games have been on Wednesday nights and since Matt’s roommate is a huge Lost fan, we are quarantined to his bedroom, where we sit at the edge of his bed, drinking beer, and shouting/cheering at his little television. Tonight UNC plays Duke, their archrival. We have had this date marked down for weeks! I’m very excited for the game and to have something to share with my favorite guy.

It is about 60 degrees out! It is days like this that make me empathize with the cavemen who panicked when the sun went down, fearing that it will never come back up. You would think I never heard of spring OR summer the way I freak out about days like this ending. So to remind us all that summer will eventually get here, today’s song is Will Smith’s Summertime.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

2/10/09 - Dorky or Delightful?

I got new glasses today. It was time. My old ones made me look like a librarian who had fallen down the stairs, and that was before I stepped on them!

So what do you think, dorky or delightful? I still haven't decided. Whenever I try on new glasses I always think of Jerry Seinfeld saying "I see a lot of women who would be more attractive if they weren't wearing glasses". But I don't think I look like a total poindexter or Sarah Palin so I did alright.

And since I'm in a bespectacled kind of mood I chose Buddy Holly's Everyday for today's song. Enjoy!

Monday, February 9, 2009

2/9/09 - Grumpy Bites

I don’t have any kids, but from being around them a lot I think one of the toughest things about small children is that you don’t always know what they want. You can ask a toddler why they are crying until you are blue in the face but they most likely won’t be able to tell you that they are pitching a fit because they are hungry. I would like to think as we get older and wiser we are better able to articulate why we are upset. We certainly don’t throw giant fits in the grocery store and I for one don’t bang my head on the floor anymore when my mom says there are no more cookies. But how many times have you wondered why your friend, your boss or a cashier has bit your head off? It maybe because you just insulted their outfit, their intelligence, or their mother but if you haven’t committed any of these offenses it is very possible that that person is just hungry.

That is why I’m going to invent Grumpy Bites! I’m still working out the details but here is what I have so far...They must be something soft and sweet, like a cookie or brownie. Something that will raise your blood sugar quickly. They must be bite size, and not bite size like those Bite Size Muffins, which unless you are Steven Tyler really take two bites. Now the reason that the size of Grumpy Bites is so important is that they are not intended for you to feed yourself. They are for your friend or boyfriend or whomever you are lashing out at to throw into your mouth when you are being a grouch just because you are hungry. For example, let’s say I’m grumbling at Matt about something really silly, like breathing too loud, he could just throw a Grumpy Bite in my mouth. I would taste the sweet morsel, my blood sugar would rise back up and we would go skipping off into the sunset. How great would that be!? How often have you looked back on an argument you had and in hindsight realized you were just grumpy because you were hungry? Grumpy Bites to the rescue! You could leave a pack with your friends, assistant or girlfriend and say "Only use in case of emergency, i.e. when I'm being a total crap head for no reason".

Now sometimes people really do offend you. If someone insults your mother and then throws a Grumpy Bite in your mouth, you have my permission to slap them.

I had an awesome time this weekend with my two oldest and closest friends. Tim McGraw's My Old Friend is for them.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

2/5/09 - No words for this

We were experimenting with my roommate's Photobooth program on her Mac.  What you are about to see is not very flattering but hilarious. 
Me after too much to drink 
Matt and Meg laughing about a particularly amusing fart joke

Jill smelling Matt and Meg's fart joke
My very cute boyfriend, whom I've promised to post a very cute picture of  next time as this one and the Fezzik pic have not done him justice

Meg doing a Jay Leno impressions
A great looking couple

Today's song is Twisted Sister's I Want To Rock, which I LOVE.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

2/4/08 –SNUGGIES!

I, like you, used to turn my nose up at Snuggies. I thought they were ridiculous, useless, and, let’s be honest, a little trashy. But my life changed when I actually received a Snuggie as a gift.

It was originally intended as a gag gift. Matt had told me that his roommate’s girlfriend, Liz, whom I adore, had bought me a gift. I immediately panicked trying to figure out why she got me a gift and what the heck I should get her. Matt told me to relax and that it wasn’t that kind of a gift. Well, I almost choked on my tongue and fell over laughing when I got to Matt’s and Liz jumped out wearing her new Snuggie and handed me mine. But all laughing ceased when we realized how awesome Snuggies are! They are wicked warm and as, long as you stay away from open flames, super comfortable.

Liz and I spent the rest of the weekend doing everything in our Snuggies…watching TV, napping, reading, cooking and playing Rock Band. Liz was excited to report that when she got home the other night both of our boyfriends were wrapped in our Snuggies. They claimed the heat wasn’t working but we think they were jealous of all our Snuggie delights.

Me giving Liz a Snuggie thank you
Me demonstrating that there is no back in the Snuggie
Matt pretending to be Fezzik from The Princess Bride, while drinking Pellegrino

Well I'm sure you are dying to get your own Snuggie. They are available at Bed, Bath and Beyond for $14.99.

Today's song is Xavier Rudd's Messages. I'm surprised I've never used this song before because it is one of my favorite songs AND it is perfect for snuggling in a Snuggie!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

2/3/08 – Thank you TLC

I have a friend who has been lucky enough to fall in love with a guy who likes the same TV as she does. Recently she explained to me all the things that they are now qualified to do because they have been trained so well by TLC:

  1. Buying a new home
  2. Selling wedding dresses
  3. Raising 8 children
  4. Flipping houses
  5. Dressing complete strangers
  6. Living with little people

This got me thinking of all the things that I am clearly capable of doing because of the TV I watch.

  1. Helping overweight people change their diets and their lives
  2. Buying a house in Texas, Paris, Tokyo, Memphis or Vegas
  3. Becoming America’s next top model

Some people say that TV turns your brain to mush. I think it turns you into a highly trained professional.

OMG! I can’t believe I found this. Today’s song is the theme of Biggest Loser, which, as my roommates will tell you, makes me bounce on the couch and dance around like an idiot every Tuesday night.

2/2/09 - Pulling My Foot Back On the Wagon

Sweet Fast 2009: Day 33
While I haven't fallen off the wagon, I did dangle my foot off this weekend. I had the best french toast ever and it was served with real maple syrup. They don't let you grow up in New Hampshire unless you promise to never pass up real maple syrup, so technically I had no choice. And when I pledged not to eat any sweets I said no cookies, cake or candy. There was no mention of sugary, delicious condiments.
We only have 12 days left! Yaaa HOOO! How do you think I should break the sweet fast? I was thinking of homemade chocolate chip cookie dough or maybe yellow cake with chocolate frosting which is my kryptonite. But maybe you know of some wonderful dessert that they invented during my 6 weeks of sugary exile. I'm depending on you to be my eyes and ears in the sweet world while I'm fasting.
I'm going to have to go with another sweet-related song. Please enjoy Jackson 5's Candy Girl.
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