Hey Lou Writes

The Grey Matters



les mis, writer, new writer, poetry, short stories, author

Jean Valjean… swoon

I have a few “all the time” obsessions.

They include: HONEY, KOMBUCHA, and KALE

They’re all food, which I just can’t help. But every once in a while, my obsessions shift gears. This obsession began on Christmas day when I went with my mom and two of my sisters to see Les Miserables. I had always known the “pretty songs” from the musical. I kind of, sort of, knew the story.

BUT OH MY GOSH. I wasn’t prepared for the absolute emotion and epic drama that this movie held. I have a new found love for Anne Hathaway and Hugh Jackman… both actors I had never really paid much attention to. I think every single person (even Amanda Seyfried, who isn’t my favorite) in the movie did an excellent job.

I used to think that Tom Joad was the manliest character EVER written. He is second place now. THE manliest character ever written? Of course, the award goes to Jean Valjean. What he overcame in life… how much he changed… how TRUE he was to himself and God… all equals pretty much the perfect man. And talk about cute college boys. Get them singing together about “red” and “black” with nice clothes and curly hair, and I’m pretty much a goner. Fantine (Anne Hathaway) is one of the most tragic characters ever written. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen something so touching, desperate, and depressing as the way she was depicted in this film. Little Cosette was so cute. Eponine, so strong and sad all at the same time. I’m telling you- it’s a MUST SEE FILM.

I cried. My stomach ached from how distraught I was almost the entire time. I couldn’t sleep that night… woke up thinking about it…

Even my husband Greg wants to watch it!  I told him I’d have NO issue seeing it twice. In fact… I’m CRAVING it!!

Thank God I have the soundtrack on my iPod.


Things I {Hate To} Love Part II

Haters gonna hate.

My first {Hate To} love post was my most read blog yet. Why? I think it’s because we all have secret loves and sometimes they are embarrassing. I’m taking a stand! Be proud!! :) Here is Part II to my unashamed list. <3

1. Hilary Duff

She gets hated on all the time, but I love her. Lizzy McGuire was a great show, back in the day. She has grown into a very beautiful woman and I fancy that she and I even look alike… Looks like she is an awesome mom, too. She is never really in the news for doing anything slutty or gross. She has remained classy in my eyes. She has obviously struggled with weight, which we can all relate to, and has come out a very healthy looking gal!

2. Kristen Stewart

I can’t even believe I am typing these words. I really do HATE to love her. For a very long time I was convinced that I just plain hated her. Now… I have done a lot of soul searching and rethinking on this topic. For one thing, she has become a better actress as the Twilight movies progressed. Yes: She is a little bit emotionless, we all know this. But something in her disappointment and utter sadness in New Moon is very believable. I was nervous to see her acting “motherly” and she did a good job in Breaking Dawn Part I. I was pleasantly surprised. I think she was believable and sweet! The whole “emotionless” thing she has going on is just who she is, obviously. Maybe we should all give her a break and accept it. It works!

Oh, and then there’s the cheating scandal. I really hated her good and dirty for a few days. But then I really started thinking… WE DON’T KNOW A SINGLE THING!! We don’t!! Who knows!!! Not that it would be a valid excuse, but maybe Robert Pattinson is a d-bag! Maybe she needed some relief, and unfortunately, that relief came in the form of a married father… but a little teensy tiny part of me understands, or at least is giving her some slack. She and Robert might not even be a real couple. They’re famous, after all. It’s not as if we can pretend like anything we read about celebrities (even if it’s from People Magazine… One of the more reliable sources…) contains actual facts. I don’t think it’s a good thing that the scandal happened, don’t get me wrong, but as I thought about it more and more I kept thinking who are we to judge her? Or him? Or the entire situation? When we are in private and talking with someone, there are emotions that rise and sometimes they’re only for those two people to understand. I can give her that.

Also: for a long time I wanted to think she wasn’t that pretty. I wanted to think that her skinny boy body wasn’t attractive and someone else should have played the role of Bella. But I’ve changed my mind. I realized that all this hate I had was really some weird form of jealousy….because I actually think she’s gorgeous!! THERE. I said it. Finally. Whew. I think she is beautiful and I even kind of like her “f*** you” attitude. She has guts. I love her. I feel like some weight has lifted, now that I’ve gone and said it. Again…WHEW.

3. Having Plants Inside.

Writer, new writer, short stories, poetry

Our Tree

This feels like it should be on the “stuff white people like” list, but I don’t think it is. I was hesitant to get plants… it is a commitment. Not as big of a commitment as getting a dog or something, but at the end of the day it’s still something that puts effort into keeping alive. I am not very confident in my ability to keep these new plants of ours alive, but I really like them. I am almost looking forward to getting a sunburn so I can use the aloe.

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Aloe Plants!

4. The TED Conference

I watched a few of these videos back in the day when I was an Education student at UNM. Some of these talks were so amazing. A few were boring, but for the most part I enjoyed them. I need to watch more. Any good suggestions?

5. Girls With Bangs

I have too many girl crushes, and yes, most of them have bangs. Perhaps I’ll never get my own bangs (but in elementary school my bangs were awesome) but I’ll always admire those who do.

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This was a not-so-fluffy day. Notice the Paula Abdul shirt….

6. Apples to Apples

I LOVE GAMES. All games, actually. I love a good card game. I love FARKLE (again, thanks Cindy!) and Apples to Apples and Bananagrams… I’d even play twister if the moment presented itself (which it hasn’t since I was little.) I get really into games. I get loud and yell and stand up from my chair. However, the cool thing is, I am not actually competitive. It drives Greg crazy. If we’re on the same team, and someone else does really well, I’ll get so excited. I’ll shout, “Oh my gosh! GOOD JOB!!!” And possibly high-five them! I just love the fun involved, yet I have no competitive bone in my body.  The only game I probably wouldn’t play (again) is that Ouija Board. That’s too freaky.

7. Never Wearing Nail Polish

I wish I could look cute and wear it all the time. Just like tattoos, it’s another thing I try to compliment other girls on. I love the grey nail polish that’s been so IN this year. It looks so put together, so cute, so grown-up. Yet I have only worn it twice in the last three years, and one of those times was my own wedding. I can’t do my own… it always gets messed up. I also never do the upkeep necessary. I hate chipped nails so much, it’s not even worth it to me to paint them. Also, if my nails get long enough to see any white, it grosses me out. I keep them really short! Yes, I wish it wasn’t this way.

8. Family Guy

I LOVE THIS SHOW. I laugh out loud all the time. It’s one of my guilty pleasures. I think it’s hilarious and I don’t even care when it’s totally rude and politically incorrect. I know some of you will agree and some of you will gasp in horror.

9. Googling Celebrity Pictures

This one makes me sound like a real creeper. I just like seeing who wore their hair a certain way, or just how cute so and so looked in her latest tabloid picture. My top searches? (all girls, haha) Melanie Laurent, Ashley Greene, Jennifer Lawrence, Kristen Stewart, and Hilary Duff. <3

10. Facebook

Really. Our generation is so obsessed, right? But I like my author Facebook page. My regular page has been a huge tool for me to keep in touch with my grandparents and other family members. It’s uplifting when people comment on a blog that I mention, or a photo from an epic night. It’s fun. I don’t want to love it. I’d love to NOT have a FB page. However, I won’t do that. I have too many great pictures on there… with friends and family. I think it’s been a mostly positive thing. I am only worried about the kids who really are obsessed. I am way more worried about smartphones, though… I will never have one!! Don’t even get me started on how creepy the whole thing is… like we’re all just being tracked and watched through the phones, and even simple internet use. I try to keep all of this to a minimum. It honestly puts goosebumps on my arm when Greg looks up some drumming equipment, and then all of a sudden every single ad that shows up is related to music. HOW DOES IT KNOW? Smart computer people have told me there are ways to clear memory and avoid this, but still. The info is out there. Forever. I’ll keep my flip phone and be happy with it, thank you very much. The saddest thing about this is no instagram. That would be convenient to have! But it’s a price I’m willing to pay. (This is the most conspiracy theory-ish I get. haha I swear!)  

If you missed Part I, here it is. Take a look. See if you and I have anything in common! Tell me what you hate to love… or just love.



Things I {Hate To} Love

Things I {Hate To} Love

I don’t know if it’s just because so many things I love fall under that famous “stuff white people like” list, or because some of these things are just embarrassing, but I felt the need to add the “I hate” to this. We all feel that way sometimes, right? We hate to love the pop song that won’t stop being played everywhere we go -because what’s more unoriginal than liking something that the whole world apparently does, too? People like to be their own person. I totally get that. They like to be “the first person to love that band/song/product and now everyone does and it’s so annoying.”

But here is my unashamed list:

1. Twilight

This is a blog about writing and fiction, so here you go. I’ll admit it: I have been to more than one Twilight party, okay? The first time I read the series was my sophomore year of college. Greg and I were doing long distance (he was living in Nashville going to Belmont University) and all you have when you’re doing L.D. is phone conversations. Though I still missed him terribly, I pretty much ignored him for two weeks while I read through the entire series non-stop. I’d be half way listening at night… and he’d say, “Okay, just finish the book. Goodnight. I love you.” Which was great. I’m glad he was so understanding! I love a good love story. And Edward… the Edward in my mind, not the one on screen, is the best looking person in the world. (besides Greg ;)..)

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My first Twilight party… notice how we’re doing the book cover pose!

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My first premier! We were so tired!

HOWEVER: I couldn’t read the series a second time. I tried… but I got too bored during New Moon. It is actually pretty cheesy.

2. Gotye: Somebody That I Used To Know

I know, I know! Somebody please get the radio stations to stop playing that song! I have a special love of this one for many reasons. Not only does it evoke so much emotion in me that I almost WISH I could relate to the song (almost…), but it’s one of the few things I can say I really did like before it got huge… I mean, I first watched the you tube video when maybe only 1 million had watched it. Ha Ha. I got to it before it was on the radio, at least. I love it! It’s emotional! He’s shouting at her! His teeth are huge! I love it! He looks good with paint on his face! She is like a better version of Katy Perry! I loooove it.

PLUS: His other stuff is great. Check out Save Me and Heart’s A Mess… amazing songs!

3. Miley Cyrus: Party In The USA

I can really sing along to this one. Plus, I have been to numerous weddings where this was the song that made the dance floor come to life. It’s awesome! Also: Miley looks great after cutting out wheat and getting engaged.

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My friend Jeremy and me… actually dancing to this song at our friend’s wedding!! It was awesome we got a picture!

4. T. Swift

Don’t we all? Mean is my theme song (I wish it had come out when I was in high school!). Ours is another (don’t even get me started on the music video!! tears!!). And the songs about horrible relationships? Well, I can’t exactly relate, but they get to me! {As long as the word “princess” isn’t in her song, I’ll probably really <3 it. (that theme was something I found way too cheesy and overdone and didn’t like at all!)} She’s great. I don’t necessarily want to love Taylor, but I do. She’s cute and always looks like a Pinterest picture. PLUS: She met my older sister at a spa in Minnesota and told her she was beautiful, which Jessica most certainly is :)

5. Jane Austen

I’m not exactly sure why it struck me to add her to my list, but when I took my Jane Austen class in college there were a lot of haters. Some people prefer the zombie versions of all of her books, but not moi. Her books make me cry and laugh. I get so swept up in the suspense of the love she evokes… Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility are my two favorite Jane Austen books! I understand that some people hate the cliched love. Some people think her stories are filled with swooning women who are forced to stay at home and men who take advantage of the situation. But man… sometimes that whole way of life just doesn’t seem all that bad. Why not have a man ride up on horseback and ask permission to speak with you? Why not curl your hair, wear beautiful dresses, and speak properly? I like that romantic way of life. It’s not perfect… but neither is the way of life now.

6. Whiskey

I actually don’t hate to love this at all. I just love it. I was recently introduced to a fine rye whiskey and I sipped on a tiny amount for about an hour (thanks, Will!!) … and YUM!!! The aftertaste was like HONEY!!! Which just so happens to be my favorite food of all time. No getting drunk for me- I don’t have to get past “warm and tingly” to enjoy some of this alcoholy. {I just might be sipping on some right now. Don’t judge me… my house is freezing.}

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My first spirit purchase

7. Tattoos

Don’t hate this one at all, either, actually. I love them. I live vicariously through anyone who has them. They’re beautiful and daring and stylish…. I just haven’t had the nerve to get some ink. {If I ever do, it will say “two and two are four.” Read 1984, people!} All who have- you are my hero. Don’t be surprised if I approach you and ask you about your tattoo. I do it all the time.

7. The Wire

I already cuss a little bit too much, but this show put me over the edge. And Bodie…and Omar… don’t even get me started on how much I love them both. I had never even heard of this show before a friend let us borrow the DVD of all five seasons. Apparently it’s something that “everyone loves and is overrated…” but I just don’t see it.

8. Organic Food

Really, it’s pretty much all I buy. It’s always shocking, but some people love to give me a hard time about this one. Why? Why is it so crazy that I want clean and healthy food, which preferably didn’t use up millions of gallons of oil to get to my kitchen table? It’s important! I don’t want to be preachy or anything, but after I read Michael Pollan’s Ominvore’s Dilemma I was like okay. I get it. If you want something a little lighter… Food Rules by M.P. will do just fine, too. These books changed my life. Literally, I could hardly function in society for almost a month after reading them. I eventually settled down a bit, but I still feel very strongly about the food industry. Did you know? …Other countries (think France…) spend up to 20% of their income on food. That’s compared to our very low average… some as low as 6%. Greg and I made a very conscious decision to spend more of our income on GOOD food, and less on other things. For instance, I’m not a TV hater (shout out Cindy! haha), but we do not own a TV at the moment. We are saving money by not paying for cable or the actual TV! We dress like onions (layers and layers!) in order to keep our heating bill down. We don’t make meat the biggest portion of any meal, but get our protein in there, as well as our veggies. The outcome? We feel great and we have fun buying the ingredients for every meal we make. :)

9. Tea

It’s just funny, because right when we started saying “I am just really into tea right now!”, someone showed me that dang “stuff white people like list,” and that quote is basically on there. I love it. Green and white are the best!!

10. My Husband’s Beard

I guess this made the list because it does make us a little more hipster-y than we already are. (Greg’s brother gives us a hard time… but I’ll always deny the fact that Greg and I are hipsters. I don’t have quite that much energy to wear that type of clothing every day! But my older sister did give me a birthday card that said “Hippy Birthday”… hmmm. Oh yeah, and Greg works at Whole Foods, plays in a folksy americana band and wears Clarks. Haha) Anyway, back to the beard. It’s kind of messy and food gets trapped in it… but it’s cute! I encourage it. Bonus: I have this weird obsession with Abe Lincoln, so there’s also that appeal! However, Greg just trimmed it this week, so we have a while to go again before it’s quite up to Abe standards.

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I heart his beard! <3

11. Single-Origin Coffee

See 9. Tea

12. Being A Good Wifey

I’m old fashioned in this way. I’m not quite a feminist, at least in terms of what that usually means in this day and age. (don’t pretend like you don’t know what I mean!) I like the idea of being the best wife I can be, having kids (eventually), and cooking meals, but just as long as Greg does all of those things too! (minus having the kids part, of course!) I know some women who really loathe the idea. I say, as long as I’m happy and laugh at least 20 times a day, life is good. Also, if I get my share of stuff done, Greg will, too. A good marriage means being a team, and I like playing my role there. I don’t really care if that’s buying into some trick that our society has ingrained in me. I like it anyway!

13. Natural, or “Eastern” Medicine

Now, let me start this one by saying that I do love Western medicine, too. I wouldn’t be alive (a few times over) if it weren’t for modern Western medicine, in fact. (I was born blue. I had my appendix taken out my Sophomore year of college. Thank you, very much!) However, I am totally against over medication and over dependence on over-the-counter drugs. I am terrified to O.D. on Tylenol. Seriously. I grew up with a mom who only really gave us Bayer Aspirin (“…because it’s been around the longest!”) and only when we really needed it. In my (very non-medically educated) opinion, there’s hardly anything that a good night’s sleep, kale, and some hot tea with honey and lemon can’t cure. The last time I thought I was getting sick, Greg made me our “Be Well” soup, and voila! I was better right away. We pretty much throw anything healthy we can think of, and mostly kale, into a mostly water broth and eat it for a few days. It’s absolutely amazing. I like the idea of herbs and healthy eating… I love the idea of prevention through what we eat, rather than using drugs to cover up the damage done. Being dependent on a massive amount of pills makes me so sad for people. I think there are other options in some cases (but definitely not all!! remember… I know it took more than kale to get my almost ruptured appendix out of me!!). Food dye, pesticides, and over usage of drugs is more of a medical problem than most people would like to admit.

Okay, I think I’m done. There are lots of other things I love, but I’ll probably make a “part 2” for this topic. I wanted to write this post for a few reasons. One is that I have had some great people in my life who were unashamed to love what they loved. Take my older sisters, for instance. Emily loves Hanson, from the moment they first struck it big, all through people hating them, and even now. They ARE great. If you think otherwise, take a listen to some recent Hanson stuff. I saw them in concert and it was one of the best shows I’ve been to!! Also, Emily likes the band One Direction. Sure, they’re very poppy, hardly real musicians, and their songs all have the same sort of ring to them. But they’re cute, their songs are fun to listen to and they’re British! She likes them! She isn’t afraid of it! AND she won a trip to New York to see them in concert!! So cool!!!

Then there’s my sweet older sister Jessica. She loves faeries (spelled that way!) and glitter and anything girly and beautiful. She has always been herself. Growing up, there were times when I thought, “Wow, that’s odd…” but now I always think, “Wow, that’s so cool!! She’s doing what she loves! She doesn’t care what other people think!!”

Meredith and I have looked up to them all our lives and found inspiration and bravery because of their fearless love for whatever they, well, loved.

It’s fun to sing along to songs on the radio, no matter how overplayed or popular the song is. It’s fun to read a book, even when there are people who want to say it’s stupid and only for silly girls. I love getting lost in something. And hey… there’s a reason those things get super popular! For the most part, they’re great!