25 Days of Movie Cheer

Brent and I decided to do a little 25 Days of Christmas movie marathon this year, to celebrate the season but also seeing each other every gosh darn day.

They do these marathons on TV all the time, but we don’t have cable and it’s also far more fun to choose your own schedule.

Here’s our line-up of films:

Dec. 1: Elf

Dec. 2: I’ll Be Home for Christmas

Dec. 3: Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Dec. 4: Love Actually

Dec. 5: Olive, the Other Reindeer

Dec. 6: Year Without a Santa Claus

Dec. 7: While You Were Sleeping

Dec. 8: A Christmas Story

Dec. 9: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Dec. 10: Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town

Dec. 11: Jack Frost

Dec. 12: Christmas in Connecticut

Dec. 13: Home Alone

Dec. 14: The Santa Clause

Dec. 15: How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Dec. 16: White Christmas

Dec. 17: Holiday Inn

Dec. 18: How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Dec. 19: Scrooged

Dec. 20: The Muppet Christmas Carol

Dec. 21: Trading Places

Dec. 22: It’s a Wonderful Life

Dec. 23: A Charlie Brown Christmas

Dec. 24: The Holiday

Dec. 25: Die Hard

A little update

Yes, I’ve fallen behind on blogging again. I don’t want to promise I’ll pick it up again. I love it, it helps me outlet some of my feelings and somehow I still can’t quite get into doing it every day. Instead, I just lay in bed and hope that I can actually sleep that night. Been having some problems in that department lately.

Anyways, life is going on. I’m not as sad as I used to be, definite plus. Rough days, of course, but for the most part, I’m doing A-OK. This may be because of my favorite things coming up. Halloween is in a little more than a week. Which sucks for us totally flat-broke ladies but we’ll see what costume I come up with. Then, it’s election day, which I am embarrassingly obsessed with. Then National Novel Writing Month, which will involved me pouring my heart and soul into a 50,000 thousand word novel over the course of 30 measly days. Did I mention I’m hosting Thanksgiving in there? At my mom’s, but my family (including g-rents) and Brent’s family will all be there. Excited to cook up a storm (I’ve actually been cooking lately and I freaking love it) and have everybody meet each other. Then on to December and somehow making it to all the distant corners of the state to see all the different family members for the holidays.

I’m already exhausted.

On the life front, I’ve been hiking more and more lately and it’s my new favorite thing. I love being outside, I love seeing new things and getting a little physical activity. I don’t love the dead animals we’ve encountered, but what are you gonna do? We’ve seen some truly remarkable places. It is insane to me how much I love Washington. I always thought I’d move somewhere else, probably to return. But the more I see of this state, the more I think it will just be my home forever. There is so much to explore.

And exploration is kinda my thing.

A look at the past

I’ve been on a quest to clean out the things I own. To organize. To clean. To essentially move things from one place to another but get rid of some things I don’t need. A lot of things I don’t need.

Shoved in the back corner of a box, I found a crumpled, ripped and old piece of paper. Written when I was in high school (or middle school, to be real) was probably the most angsty poem I ever wrote. I don’t know who it was about, although I have some hunches, because all of my crushes were my “one true love.” It seems laughable now that I am actually, honest-to-goodness in love with the person I plan to spend the rest of my life with.

Knowing myself, and knowing I didn’t really date in my youth, there’s a good chance this is about a movie character or (even more likely) a literary character who touched my heart in a profound way.

But what’s the point of finding this hidden gems if you don’t share? Plus, I’m throwing away this paper but don’t want to forget the true genius I had as a young writer.


It’s over

By Briana Alzola


It’s over.It’s done.
We have said goodbye
And walked away.
My feelings for you
Should have walked away, too.
So why am I tormented by your name?
Why does your smile send shivers up
And down my spine?
How come our conversations always end
With me overjoyed to just have talked to you?
You were my first love
That leaves a lasting mark on my heart.
I can’t rub it out with the strongest eraser.
Or wipe it away with a thousand cloths.
I may be able to paint over it
With the name of another.
But over time, even the strongest paint
Will chip away.
Showing the truest colors underneath.
Maybe the someday someone will come and leave
A mark so deep that yours will no
Longer matter.
But for now, I will just say I don’t love you
When in my heart I know that it is a lie.
I try to see how you can act like nothing
Between us even mattered.
But I can’t figure you out.
Maybe on the inside you are as
Uneasy and confused as I am.
If you are, I would never know.
I will try to take after you,
And put on a mask for the rest of
The world, to lie and say
I am over you.

It’s fair, it’s fair, it’s fair

Fair and rodeo week is my favorite week (even thought it is mega busy and a bit stressful to be at everything.

Here’s my column about it from the good ole Outlook.


I can almost smell the elephant ears now. It’s time for the Adams County Fair.
I look forward to fair week all year. I remember waiting to go to the fair when I was a kid, but growing up in a city and driving quite a distance to go to the fair isn’t quite the same as fair week in Othello. In fact, the longer I live here, the more convinced I am nothing is the same as fair week in Othello. 
A friend attended the fair with me last year and couldn’t believe I knew somebody at every turn. I’ve never been part of a small-town community before, but it sure feels nice the one week of the year when you see just about everyone in town all in one place. Some are behind counters, serving the fair food that you know so well. Others are walking around with the kids or grandkids. Or just enjoying the fair atmosphere. There are local kids with their animals walking around all week. 
I love wandering through the animal barns and looking at the cows, sheep and goats. Of course, I have to walk around and look at the horses, too.
Even the traveling entertainment provides a nice community feel, bringing people together. Kids, their parents, people wandering through the fair, they all stop for a look.
As fair week gets closer, I have to put together my action plan. What food booths to stop in, what things I must see. With so much to do, see and photograph, fair week definitely keeps this reporter hopping. Exhibits, carnivals and special events, oh my.
I can’t decide which entertainer I’m most excited for. Is it ranch-grown country singer Chase? Fun clown Penelope, dressed all in purple? The trip through the wild provided by Predators of the Heart? Lucky for me, a reporter is essentially required to attend all shows at least once. I mean, darn, I guess I’ll have to check out them all!
And if that wasn’t enough, there’s the rodeo next door. I adore rodeo. My first year at the paper, I cowered in the corner of the stands, absolutely sure that this time, the fallen cowboy wouldn’t stand back up. I gasped every time someone was thrown from a horse and waited on bated breath to see if the young man would recover. It turns out, they do, almost always. So maybe I got laughed at a little for my concern, but it started in me an excitement of rodeo that I still embrace today. I love getting right up to the edge of the arena and taking pictures of cowboys putting everything they’ve got to stay atop a horse or bull. I cheer for the people roping, for those riding and more. Not to mention Miss Rodeo Othello. Before moving here, I didn’t understand what it took to be a rodeo queen, besides wearing a pretty outfit and riding around on a horse. I am truly impressed by the amount of poise and horsemanship that goes into representing the Othello Rodeo. They keep their cool far more than I do and I’m just the one sitting in the stands hiding my eyes when somebody falls.