“Penmanship saves lives” – Grey’s Anatomy

“I pledge allegiance to the Flag…”    

Recognize this?

Of course you do. If you grew up in the United States you said everyday of your school age life. It’s ingrained in your brain, never to be forgotten.

And yet it’s often said, and written, incorrectly.

Which is correct?


“I pledge allegiance to the Flag
     of the United States of America,
and to the Republic for which it stands:

     one Nation under God, indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for all.”


“I pledge allegiance to the Flag
     of the United States of America,
and to the Republic for which it stands:

     one Nation, under God, indivisible,
With Liberty and Justice for all.”


If you said A, you would be right. The extra common doesn’t exist. Somewhere along the line someone transposed the thing and got it wrong. Which years later has led to adults standing in a room unable to recite the pledge in unison because of one punctuation mark.

And now you’re thinking, “Seriously Jessica. You’re going to do a blog post on the comma in the pledge?”

Consider it a public service announcement.


“Back then the cars had a trap door that we could pull open with a chain to check our tire wear.” – Tim Flock

Yesterday was a happy accident.

I was coming home from teaching my Sunday morning voice lesson, when the bus driver came to a rather abrupt stop. It seems driver was given the day’s detour map – that is every driver but him. As I sat there in the idling bus, stuck  in an incredibly narrow street with a very angry bus driver yelling at dispatch and very angry passengers yelling at the driver, I decided no air conditioning in the world was worth that amount of negativity. So I asked to get off the bus.

Who knew that the detour was the Henderson Super Run Car Show? I had a blast walking on Water Street in Downtown Henderson, looking at all the cars and exploring the random vendor booth. It reminded my a little of Hot August Nights. There were all these great cars, some in really amazing condition. I had fun doing something out of the ordinary.

The City of Henderson has special events throughout the year. Check out their events page for more information.

This weekend, I was once again reminded that Vegas isn’t just The Strip. Apparently we have car shows too.


“One reason we admire cats is for their proficiency in one-upmanship. They always seem to come out on top, no matter what they are doing, or pretend they do.” – Barbara Webster

Shadow came to live with me about two years ago when my dad decided retirement was going to be better in Florida. (Crazy, I know.) For the first year, Shadow was calm, cool, and collected. He never did anything sneaky or crazy, never did anything destructive or just plain weird. Then one day – when he thinks I’m not looking – I walk into my room to this…


Yes, I know this post officially makes me a crazy cat lady, but I couldn’t resist.

Everything is for sale at the right price.


This phrase was uttered by my Control Your Cash mother every time she sold our house. I learned to pack efficiently and move often. In thirty years, I have live in two states, eight cities, and fifteen homes (most of which were still considered part of the greater Las Vegas area). I own more plastic storage tubs than any one person should. It’s no wonder every two years I feel an itch to pack and move somewhere new. Good thing I’m a professional.

Packing/Unpacking is my favorite part. When I was a kid and had to clean my room (which I HATED), I would pretend I was packing. I would put all the toys, clothes, and what not into boxes and laundry baskets, move them out of my room (sometimes this even included the furniture), then turn around and move everything back in again. It made cleaning my room take all day, but it made it more fun. Almost like an adventure.

As a result, I think of packing and moving more of a way to ‘spring clean’. Usually I have months to pack. I start early, taking advantage of the fact that I have to touch everything I own to pack it away. If I don’t know what it is, no longer use it, or simply don’t want it anymore, it doesn’t get packed. Instead it gets thrown away, sold, or donated. By the time I’m ready to move, I have the mother of all garage sales (make a few hundred dollars) and move on to the next house a little bit lighter.

I bring this up because I started packing today. Yes, the itch has set in yet again.

‘I have never seen anyone read so intensely before in my entire life. I have to meet that girl’ – Gilmore Girls

A few of my friends have shared this note of Facebook. I love it. Every time someone shares it, I feel compelled to read it again and again. Now I’ve decided it’s my turn to share it with you. Enjoy.

Date a Girl Who Reads

by: Rosemarie Urquico

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since …she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Don’t fear you might fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that know all things will come to end-& you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilight series.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Love is…

Image from Google.com

“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous;

love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly;

it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,

does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;

bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails…But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

1 Corinthians 13:4-7,13

“Today I become a grown up.” – Grey’s Anatomy

I was watching Grey’s Anatomy the other night and this fantastic graduation speech was read and it wasn’t until recently that this speech began to resonate.

“Today’s the day my life begins. Today I become a citizen of the world. Today I become a grown up. Today I become accountable to someone other than myself and my parents. Accountable for more than my grades. Today, I become accountable to the world. To the future. To all the possibilities that life has to offer. Starting today, my job is to show up wide eyed and willing and ready. For what, I don’t know. For anything. For everything. To take on life. To take on love. To take on the responsibility and possibility. Today, my friends, our lives begin. And, I for one can’t wait.”

As we enter into the final month of the year and the focus shifts to goal setting, planning, and New Year’s resolutions, I can’t help but think. What would the year be like if every morning I said to myself, “my job is to show up wide eyed and willing and ready”?  Wide eyed: to stay in childlike wonder, to be positive. Willing: eager to help, to be of service, to say yes. Ready: open to opportunity. These twelve ordinary words when put together create one whammy of a daily affirmation. Imagine what could be accomplished?

What if I lived by the thought that it was my job “To take on life. To take on love. To take on the responsibility and possibility.”? I find I have closed myself off from all four of these things for so long thinking that I don’t have time or energy for any of them. The reality is quite the opposite. Taking on life, love, responsibility, and possibility fuels my goals and dreams. It makes them stronger and, in a way, easier to accomplish.

I started shifting my thinking since my birthday when I had the realization that this is the last year of my twenties. A friend recently told me of a  challenge where they created a list of the 30 things to do before 30 and then did everything to cross every item off said list. So instead of a New Year’s resolution, I’ve created my list. Now I get to make it happen.

“She surrounded herself with books at work and at home. Her living space was a testament to her first and abiding love with shelves jammed with books tables crowded with them. She saw them not only as knowledge entertainment comfort even sanity but as a kind of artful decoration. ” – Key of Knowledge

I love to read.

I could sit for hours upon hours, days upon days, simply reading. More then that I simply love books. I love the way they look, feel and smell. They are everywhere in my house; my kitchen and closets, in bookshelves and drawers. I am running out of room. Yet I still feel compelled to find more because there are always new stories to explore. Recently one of my friends asked how I afforded my habit, after all there are literally thousands of them. The answer is easy, I know where to shop.  Below you will find all my favorite places to find good quality, popular, and cheap books in Vegas.

Salvation Army on Tropicana and Durango. Yes, it’s specific to this location. They have the largest selection of mass market paperbacks of any of the thrift stores in town and they are always getting new inventory. I have picked up some amazing finds here; rare first editions, new authors, out of print publishers. The best part is each paperback is only fifty cents. You can’t go wrong with that price tag.

Goodwill on Flamingo and Pecos. Again, specific to this location. Like the Salvation Army had the largest thrift store collection of mass markets, this store beats everyone in the Hardback section. For $2 a book, you can find the newest and greatest or the best of the 80s. I always recommend going in with an open mind and not looking for something specific. Their inventory is constantly changing and you never know what you’re going to find.

Plaza Books on Eastern and Warm Springs. Owned and operated by a mother/daughter team, they are the best local used books store in town. They have a great selection in all genres and affordable prices. They will even set you up with a trading account. Bring in your books that you don’t read anymore and they will credit their “worth” to your account. This then gets applied to 50% of your book buying total making their prices even cheaper.

Paperback Exchange on Flaming and Mountain Vista. If you are looking for a specific book, this is the place to go. Their prices are a little higher (not as bad as buying new), but they have an amazing selection. Especially if you are looking to find an authors back list or books in a series. My favorite part is they will bundle the books according to series. So if you need to, you can buy them all at once, usually at an even greater discount.

Of course, if you want them used there’s always Borders and Barnes and Noble. While you’re there, don’t forget to pick up your copy of Control Your Cash.