Monday, December 31, 2007

2007--year in review

It seems like today warrants a post that sums it all up. Some of you (I know, I've received e-mails) would just like a post of any kind to know I'm still alive and postin'. I went over to Bubba's Sis' blog and she had a neat little entry that I tried to apply to my blog but mine didn't work out so well. It seems like the most important things in my life this year haven't happened near the beginning of each month.

Instead, I thought I'd elaborate on the insert I sent with my Christmas card this year.

0: Job changes This one is shocking. It seems like all I do is change jobs. I'm happy here and am not ready to start looking. It's a nice feeling.

1: Great new boyfriend Yea for this one! Yea for someone who has stuck around through my holiday crazies. Who am I kidding? Yea for someone who has stuck around through my everyday crazies.

1: Cruise Ah, relaxation and fun. A vacation where I really didn't do any work at all.

1: Engaged brother Also very exciting. Lots of change but it's not freaking me out as much as I thought it would.

1: Solo vacation Katielady recommended this some time ago. It really was a nice way to travel. I didn't feel like I needed to plan very much. That said, I still enjoy traveling with my friends and was glad to have the opportunity to do that so many times this year.

2: Weddings I’m in next Spring And boy am I going to look cute in those dresses.

4: Vacations How did this happen? I'm not sure but I'm glad it did. Hopefully 2008 will bring a few more.

5: New states to which I’ve traveled Four of these were from one trip. All were up north. All I'd like to go back to and spend a little more time...especially Washington. Loved Seattle and the surrounding area.

7: Rooms painted in the house Dare I say 4 to go? Can that be right? Wow. Yeah, this place has come a long way this year.

11: Astros games Why couldn't the writer's strike have happened during baseball season? Or when the weather is more conducive to outdoor activities? Love the 'stros. Also, 2: games I cried during due to Biggio retiring.

16.5: Books read Not too bad considering everything else that's on this list.

26: States I’ve now visited Over half! And I have the snowglobes to prove it.

129: Days traveling for work Good grief. When I counted this one up I became exhausted. January '08 will start me off at a freakishly high number as well.

140: Blog posts Not too shabby. I've definitely fallen down on the job lately. Still feeling good about blogging. Perhaps the new year will bring new excitement to share.

389: Days I’ve lived in my new home I realize this is more than 365 days and the title of this pertains to 2007. It just seemed like it needed to be in days for some reason.

It really was a good year. As opposed to some years when nothing terribly memorable comes to mind, 2007 will be a year that will mean something to me well into the future. As I sit here on New Year's Eve, that's a really great feeling to have.

Wishing you all a very prosperous New Year. In all the ways that count.

Monday, December 24, 2007

merry christmas

When we were little, we would open presents on Christmas Eve. I wonder how things would have worked out if I hadn't had a brother who was five years my senior. It was fairly easy to be distracted while Santa came when we were wide awake. I'm not sure why we did it then instead of Christmas proper. I think part of it was because Mom couldn't wait for us to open presents. We surely couldn't wait. In fact, we still could convince her to give us one early present even though technically all were early.

After Mom died, The Brother forced us to wait until Christmas morning. It's because he hates me. Actually, I have no idea why because he can't stand to wait to open presents. In the days leading up to Christmas he's all "What? We're waiting till Christmas. No, no early present." Then on Christmas morning I act like nothing special is happening that day. This really gets his goat, and he'll break down and ask when we can open them. We're in our 30s. Some Christmas feelings never change.

This year we have already had one Christmas celebration with some extended soon-to-be family. The Brother and our significant others are celebrating at lunch. Then I'm going to The Boyfriend's family celebration tonight. I'm abandoning The Brother. For the first time in 30 years we won't be together on Christmas. We've grown up. Some Christmas feelings are new and freak the crap out of me.

Merry Christmas, everybody.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

am i fancypants or what?

cash advance

but also only in shreveport

...will a mid-40s self-proclaimed backwoods country boy who works at a hotel get cast in not one but two movies.

Interesting life to observe...you gotta give this city that.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

only in shreveport

Will a person get called a pagan for buying these: (from http://www.usps.com/)

Monday, December 17, 2007

oh, oh, mexico

10 on Tuesday is about Resolutions. I'm just not up for that so I'm skipping it again this week. Things have been so busy lately, but I know all of you could say the same thing. I can't bear to think of a whole list of more things for me to do...

So with December came my first cruise. Yea! It was a much needed vacation that went too quickly and brought me back to a little too much reality. But, oh, the during. There was great food. All. The. Time. The first day we snacked so much that I couldn't even eat all three courses at dinner. And I felt a little barfy with the rocking. I apparently acclimated fairly quickly. We had pretty rough seas most of the time but I could eat three courses every time I was given the option after that. And then some.

We left from San Diego and had three days in port bookended by two days at sea. I thought it would be too much time with too little to do but it was very relaxing. It forced us to actually vacation a few days. When we weren't lounging, we ventured into Cabo, Mazatlan, and Puerto Villarta.

Cabo--did some shopping, a catamaran ride, unexpected whale watching, saw Los Arcos, went to Cabo Wabo, had some Waboritas, listened to some live music.

Mazatlan--another little boat ride over to a nearby island, ate a local lunch, went horseback riding, spent some time on the beach, watched kids hit a pinata, more shopping.

Puerto Villarta--even more shopping, lounged on the beach most of the day, had a drink out of a coconut, went to the markets, saw an old church, took lots of pictures.

My friend, Nora, and I went with a group of single alumni. We booked the trip before I met The Boyfriend (which is probably why I met The Boyfriend...would probably be single if I hadn't gone on a singles' cruise). I wasn't sure how that would work out but it was great. Such a fun group that we could hang out with when we wanted to but we could also spend time on our own. We met up with the group on and off the ship. We went dancing four of the seven nights and frequented the piano bar. It was nice to know that we'd know other people there.

We all had such a good time that we were talking about doing it again next year. It probably wouldn't be the same, like trying to recreate perfection. Ok, so perfection is a little strong a word. There were a few people we could have done without but we had our fun little clique. And just for a week, I could forget about work and the holidays and all sorts of obligations.

We also spent the day before and after the cruise in San Diego. We stayed at a very nice hotel (great deal!) and had a good time there as well. We checked out some of the area on foot, and we went to the zoo. It was amazing. Loved the pandas!

So that's the brief version of the trip. I'm back at work and had to do all my Christmas shopping (not done yet) and make Christmas cards and pay bills and juggle obligations and and and... But don't get me wrong. I missed everyone and would have wanted to come back eventually. Or maybe when I run away to Mexico you can all join me. Coconut drinks all around.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

mexican picture post

Words to come later... Things are still frantic over here but slightly better due to me making the executive decision to postpone today's trip. Too bad there's one tomorrow. And the day after that. And the day after that...







Monday, December 10, 2007

back to the grind

Could there be any more emails in my inboxes? Could I feel any more behind on Christmas-related activities?

Back from vacation (which was fantastic...more later). Leaving again tomorrow. Lots to do today.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

starting friday

ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

See you when I get back!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

a chicken tale

So I previously alluded to poultry. Sunday before last I convinced The Brother to help me with my never-ending yard work. We finished the first phase of the bed on the side of the driveway. Such a big accomplishment! We were hurriedly bagging up weeds before the sun went down (you know, at noon), and we looked up to see a chicken at the end of the bed flick, flick, flicking mulch out of the bed and onto my pristine driveway. Sigh... I asked it if it would at least turn around while hunting so that the mulch stayed off my driveway. It complied.

Seriously. A chicken.

I went inside and was sitting at my computer and saw it walking around my front yard. My FSIL came by a little later to bring me a little gift and we were standing outside chatting. The chicken apparently made its way to the narrow alley side of my garage and was trying to propel itself through the tiny slats in the picket fence. Hello, chicken, you don't fit. Didn't stop it from trying. About 30 times. We gave up watching it, bored. Later it realized it just needed to turn around and leave the way it came. I thought it was leaving leaving.

The next morning I had to get up early to go to the airport. I opened the front door to leave and the chicken was on the porch. We startled one another and it jumped off the porch into the plants.

Well, while I was out-of-town it must have stuck around. I didn't see it when I got back on Tuesday but it was there Wednesday. I went to the grocery store to pick up some Thanksgiving groceries and came back just as it started raining. I sat in my car a little bit and decided to make a break for it. The chicken was taking refuge on the porch. On the back of the wicker chair right next to the front door in fact. I didn't want to juggle two armfuls of groceries while unlocking my front door with a chicken staring at me. What if it freaked out when I got close to it?

Did I mention that I grew up in the country? Apparently I have acclimated to city life.

So I did what any self-respecting city girl would do. I yelled and flailed my arms. It didn't care. I threw pieces of mulch in its general direction. It didn't care. I sprayed it with the water hose. It jumped off the chair and onto another one around the corner, leaving me to freely enter my home.

I let The Boyfriend know that the chicken was still roosting on my porch. Didn't want him to be startled when he got there. He walked right by the chicken who hadn't left its place on the second chair. Didn't notice it. To his credit, the chicken was quite still and quiet.

So he did what any self-respecting boyfriend would do. He chased it. In his work clothes. With strep throat. He chased it. It hid in the brush that is my ungroomed flower bed. When it came out later, The Boyfriend ran outside barefoot and wrangled that chicken. You read that right. He grabbed that chicken and walked it down the street and promptly placed it in someone else's (fenced in) yard. It hasn't been back yet.

10 on tuesday (28)


10 Best Games

The prompt said we could pick any types of games. I'm being diverse. Sort of...
  1. Phase 10: Card game introduced to me by one of my adoptive families. I've bought it since then and have spread it around a bit myself. We played a rousing game on Sunday.
  2. Area 51: Video game. Shootin' up aliens. We played this A LOT in college. If I were a freaky millionaire you could probably find this game in one of the many rooms of my mansion.
  3. Boggle: Love Boggle. The Brother bought it for me after we watched an episode of "King of the Hill" where Peggy won the championship with "acquaintanceship."
  4. Dominoes: Good ol' bones. It's a Texas thang.
  5. Domain: I bet no one has heard of this game. I don't even know where it came from but I could always beat The Brother at it.
  6. Life: Too bad no one ever wanted to play it with me when I was growing up...
  7. Taboo: Why don't I own this?
  8. Scattergories: Or this?
  9. Wii: This is new to me. Normally I'm not a fan of video games but this is different. You can actually stand up and play. And move your arms. It seems less sedentary. A gaming system that can leave you sore the next day? I guess I can get behind that.
  10. Frisbee golf: Mentioned it before. The weather hasn't been good for it lately. I wonder if they have it for the Wii.

Friday, November 23, 2007

10 on tuesday (thanksgiving edition)

A day late... No time for blogging yesterday.

10 Things for Which I'm Thankful
  1. My family. The one I was born into. The ones who have taken me in.
  2. All my friends. The ones near and far. The ones I see and talk to on a regular basis. The ones who linger in my background as I linger in theirs until we're needed.
  3. The Boyfriend. The one who has come to mean so much to me in so short a time.
  4. My health.
  5. My house (despite it being welcoming to all sorts of mammals and poultry--more on this later).
  6. My job.
  7. House shoes (hey, it's cold in here).
  8. My mind. Even though it seems like lately I misplace it a bunch.
  9. Having only a week until vacation.
  10. That my life is so full right now that my biggest complaint is how to juggle it all.

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

recipe for me

From Bubba's Sis' blog...

I figure it goes with all of the other cooking and baking we'll be doing over the next few days.




cjh

- a pound of cuteness
- a dash of friendliness
- 2 teaspoons of beauty

Season and serve.
'What is your personality recipe?' at QuizGalaxy.com

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

10 on tuesday (26)


10 Reasons Why It's Great to Be a Woman
  1. We get to wear make-up. When you have a bad skin day, you can hide it to some degree. Poor boys. So socially unacceptable.

  2. We have tons of clothing options. Have you ever noticed that men have maybe 4 shirt options? Go to a men's department--long-sleeved button downs, short-sleeved button downs, polos, t-shirts.

  3. It's acceptable (in many jobs) for us to wear open-toed shoes to work. One of my old co-workers (the only male) was very disturbed by this. Why couldn't he wear sandals?

  4. We have fantastic relationships with other women. We can have good relationships with men, too, but it's something special with girlfriends. Whatever we're going through, there's always someone there who understands. Or doesn't. But she's there anyway.

  5. We can have babies.

  6. When we have those babies, we can either choose to work or stay home (if we're lucky). Society frowns upon the SAHD much more than the SAHM.

  7. We can cry. Without worrying that the general public thinks we're sissies.

  8. We can enjoy hobbies that are traditionally associated with the opposite gender and people think we're worldly instead of weird.

  9. No matter how much progress, men are still expected to take the lead sometimes. I appreciate those times when I'm not having to bear the entire burden.

  10. If we don't shave, we can just wear pants.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

my job is great: reason #83

When you've been gone so much that you just realized yesterday that you can't work in the yard after you get off at 5:00 (since, duh, the time changed), you can mix up your schedule today. Work work can get done when it's dark outside. This stuff can't. It's called "progress" people. Just a tiny bit of it this morning... (Yes, that's a gate...where was it before?)



10 on tuesday (25)


10 Songs that Bring Back Memories

  1. Fall by Clay Walker--Does it matter that the memories are recent ones? This song makes me think of my brother and his fiance.

  2. Drops of Jupiter by Train--Ah, easier period of my life during grad school. I had responsibilities but, still, fewer than now. And an easier schedule. And a cute German. I also think of another college friend because it says the word "atmosphere."

  3. I Loved Her First by Heartland--Takes me to my cousin's wedding. Makes me freakishly emotional. That was the first time I had heard that song. My cousin's wife (who also lost her father at a young age) was standing across the dancefloor from me. I was tearing up anyway but when I looked across and saw her already really crying, I lost it as well.

  4. I'll Be There for You by Bon Jovi--Jr. High dances. The "super couple" from the grade ahead of me whom everyone wanted to be.

  5. Kokomo by The Beach Boys--The movie Cocktail. That my best friend from kindergarten thru early high school had the movie poster on her wall. That we listened to it endlessly while dreaming about pre-crazy Tom Cruise.

  6. Ice, Ice Baby by none other than Vanilla Ice--Same best friend. That we listened to music on tape. That we wanted to know all the words to the song. We were white but so was he. We could do it, right? Yes, but only if we started and stopped the tape about a million times.

  7. Any song from the late-at-night love song mix on our local cheesy radio station--When the mood is right (or wrong, as the case may be), I remember that first night after Mom died. I needed noise so I had that radio station on. I didn't sleep at all.

  8. Beautiful by James Blunt--Now makes me think of my friend's daughter's funeral. At least I can hear it without crying. At the time, I wasn't so sure I'd be able to...

  9. Long December by Counting Crows--Sheesh, this song takes me to a couple places. One was the time immediately before Mom died. I was oddly optimistic about a potential relationship that could start up when I got back to college (after the Christmas break in, you guessed it, December). "A long December and there's reason to believe maybe this year will be better than the last." After Mom died, I was a little pissed at the song. The other time I go back to is also tied to a relationship. Better than the other but still a little mixed. Love those Counting Crows but this song gets me a bit emotional sometimes.

  10. Hero by Enrique Iglesias--9-11. Our local radio station did a mix using this song where they inserted soundbites of people's reactions and the buildings falling, etc. The song hadn't really been released yet so this was my first taste of it. I don't think I'll ever be able to hear it without thinking of that day.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

around the house

I'm feeling a little puny today. I don't think it has anything to do with the fact that this is what my side-of-the-driveway bed looks like (and that it should totally be my project for today):

Do you think this looks good? Well, it doesn't. It looks crazy and overgrown and like a third of my driveway is missing. Oh, and like it's getting difficult to get into and out of cars. This picture is from maybe two weeks ago. Today? Because it's fall and all? Full of blooming hibiscus. At least that and the bees and butterflies may distract one from the horrible amount of work that needs to be done. Yeah, it doesn't distract me either.

So the week before last when it actually was feeling like fall and I wasn't sitting here in the office in shorts and a tank, this was the view from my window.

Yeah, those are blooming pink flowers and a white picket fence and a freshly mown yard. This is pretty. I'm ok with you thinking that. It also contributed to my totally content feeling that was this post.

The room formerly known as the purple room that is now the yellow room has had a few updates. It now has a real bed with a headboard and footboard. This was my parents' bed. It was given to them by my dad's parents. And the second picture is of the empty space that was previously holding boxes. How about that? I've only lived here 11 months. No more boxes.



Last weekend I finally finished painting my bedroom. It wasn't as bad as I expected it to be in terms of difficulty and sucking up paint but it certainly wasn't the easiest room either. I'm a pretty clean painter. Not this time. Almost every surface had me working against gravity. Regardless, I'm very pleased with the results. A too-brown sage green to a cooler grayish blue. You'll just have to trust me that it looks good. Brighter. Airier. The pictures don't convey the change as well as I wish they did. In progress, before, after, before, after, etc. Oh, you can also see the difference in my gel-stained furniture. The new bed was a garage sale find from my neighbor that my brother and I got ahold of, the current bedspread is the summer-weight one, and the big blue chair is upstairs now.







Hey, I just realized I've never shown you my bedroom before. Go figure. Welcome.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

brush with fame (again)

It seems like I haven't shared any travel stories in awhile. I guess for the most part things have run smoothly. Lots of delayed flights over the summer but other than that...

Monday night's agenda held yet another trip to Shreveport. I boarded the plane with my book in hand. When the flight attendant turned off the lights, my little personal light wouldn't come on. I was forced to just rest. And, you know, eavesdrop.

The guy behind me was slightly obnoxious. He chatted with the guy next to him, and I found out that he was a cinematographer. He was on his way to Shreveport to do some pre-production work for a new movie called Comeback. It's apparently a feel-good, family film that oddly enough stars Ice Cube and is being directed by Fred Durst (of Limp Bizkit fame). I thought that was odd but apparently Fred's already directed one movie. Who knew?

When we landed and everyone was getting ready to deplane, I noticed that Fred himself was three rows in front of me (on one of those small jets). He turned around, we made eye contact, and then he said hi to one of his crew members. I would never have recognized him if I hadn't been primed. He's shorter than I expected and more trim than I'd last seen him (on tv or in magazines or whatever). And he was dressed very presentable but cool. And had no facial hair. That's the part the threw me. But cute. So yet another brush with fame in the Port of Shreve.

Then I headed to my hotel to check in. Not so much. The hotel was overbooked and two gentlemen who beat me there were also room-less. We all got bumped to the Clarion (which I think is Latin for noisy, old hotel) and got that night comped. One guy didn't have a car so I gave him a ride over. Don't worry; I obviously wasn't kidnapped or anything.

Yesterday after work I made it to my original hotel. The woman at the front desk gave me a hard time joking about the hotel being full. She then mentioned that I did have one of the rooms. I told her I'd just as soon sleep on the couch in the lobby. I'm easy. So she gives me the key and I head off around the corner to the elevator when I hear her calling my name. Apparently they were still cleaning my room. I went to grab some To Go food, came back, and still had a dirty room. I started eating in the main dining room until my room was ready. But, hey, I probably have the nicest room in the Holiday Inn Express. Yeehaw.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

10 on tuesday (24)

Back, by popular demand, 10 on Tuesday. Wait, maybe it's back because the person who directs us on these has finally overcome her computer woes. Yea for that.

10 Words that Describe Me
  1. Smart

  2. Sarcastic

  3. Loyal

  4. Busy

  5. Hard-working

  6. Goal-driven

  7. Quietly (sometimes) emotional

  8. Happy

  9. Fortunate

  10. Crafty

Thursday, November 01, 2007

princesses and pirates and ninjas--oh, my

Last night was my first Halloween in the house. I made it back in town in time to grab some candy for what I hoped would be many trick-or-treaters. There are lots of children in the neighborhood although my view may be skewed somewhat due to the after-school daycare that is down the street.

We grew up in the country. There was no walking out the front door to the neighbor's house. We were driven the few miles into town and mostly trick-or-treated at homes of people we (meaning our parents) knew. Dad would drive us wearing this burlap bag he turned into a crude, creepy mask. It really startled people. And we'd wear our old-school plastic costumes and plastic masks (that would surely be deemed unsafe these days due to the threat of suffocating or melting to skin if set ablaze). We did not take our candy to have it x-rayed. We did not stay out late. Instead, we went back home to revel in the glory of our loot.

In some ways, this Halloween was similar. I've grown accustomed to society being afraid of everything these days. I expected maybe a few kids whose parents took them around at dusk wearing much fancier costumes than the ones in my day. In fact, I had twenty kids (20!) ranging from the 4-year-old Snow White to the early teenage boys in street clothes and masks, just out to get a little free candy. No costume was super elaborate. None were handmade like I had in the slightly-less-old days. The thing that surprised me, though, was that no one came until it was honest-to-God after dark. The last few rolled in around 9:45. I turned off the light after that.

All-in-all, it was a good evening. It was fun to see the kids in costumes. They were all very polite. A few little girls even said they loved my house which totally scored them extra pieces of candy. My house has not been vandalized--from what I can see out the window anyway. And I'm only left with about half the candy with which I started. Not too shabby. I'm off to count it and organize it and revel in it...

Monday, October 29, 2007

for the love of fall

Could we be having better weather? And our 10-day forecast? Ten good days. How miraculous is that? Sigh... Are there places where the daily high is a sunny 77 and the low is a crisp 55 all year long? If so, could I live there?

Lately? You get to wear tall boots and sweaters. You can work in the yard without heatstroke. You can eat things like soup and chili without feeling ridiculous (or turning down the air). You can open the doors and windows and air out the house. You can be enveloped by the cool, dry breeze. It makes me happy.

In other news, I'm painting my bedroom. It's my biggest room and has lots of weird angles. Been a bit slow going. I've been a little torn about the color but when I walked in this morning I was pleased. It seems so fresh and airy. You'll just have to wait for the finished product.

I have pretty much made it through October. What a hellacious travel month. So now I'm also giddy that I'll be home a bit more through the end of the year. And it looks like I'm doing a good job at meeting work's big October 31 deadline. Can you believe I'm done with about 80% of my work in Shreveport? Yea! And I get three (3!) office days this week so I should be able to get caught up on some other things.

The weekend? Good. The Boyfriend? Good. Hanging out with my friends' dogs while dog sitting? Good. Life? Good.

Friday, October 26, 2007

a night in

Last night was one of the big, local singles events. I did not go. I had no need to go. This could not make me happier.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

giving back

There's this organization I've been wanting to volunteer with for years. I'm talking maybe 7 years. It's a non-profit that helps kids (and their parent(s)) who have lost a sibling or parent. They help them deal with grief and realize they're not alone in this. Obviously, this is something to which I have personal connection.

Many things have kept me from volunteering before--not knowing if I've dealt with my own stuff enough to help others' deal with theirs, working two jobs, transitioning into this whole travel lifestyle thing. But I guess since I was working with children and/or had many other goals I was working toward, I could keep putting it off. It's not like I've been sitting around reveling in all my free time.

Lately, though, I've felt a little goal-less. In the best possible way. Things are good in so many areas of my life. No balls are waiting to be thrown in the air; they just need a little maintenance to keep them there. My schedule is a bit more manageable; I'm used to traveling. And as I was telling The Boyfriend last night, I feel somewhat disconnected from why I majored in psychology in the first place. I miss working with kids and seeing how I'm helping people. I miss doing a little counseling. I even miss (gasp!) non-profits. So I thought I'd go ahead and check out the feasibility of volunteering. Turns out, between me rearranging my schedule and the organization being understanding about some things that can't be changed, I'll be able to complete the extensive training process. By the end of the year I'll be able to volunteer.

When we were talking about this last night, I realized how much I'm looking forward to it. It's such a fantastic organization with such a wonderful mission. I'm happy at the prospect of being part of it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

10 on tuesday (23)

10 Favorite Halloween Candies
  1. Candy corn!

That's it. Who needs anything else besides candy corn?! The sad thing is, I haven't had any yet this season. My other favorite Halloween/fall food items are popcorn balls and caramel apples. Oooh, there's a place here (on the road) that makes some fantastic caramel apples. Maybe I'll get me one this week. And, I don't know if you've noticed, but it's slightly cooler outside. Yea!

Friday, October 12, 2007

lol

Do you ever make jokes that people don't get? How about jokes that people don't even realize are jokes? How about you're doing a presentation and you make a joke and then move on and then later the audience giggles just realizing you're joking? Yeah, me neither.

We've had a gathering of sorts of our business unit. Over 1,000 people. Small, intimate little affair. The main presentations felt like those giant mega-churches. Lots of music and special effects lighting. It's been very surreal. Just need to make it through until noon tomorrow. Then it's a leisurely remainder of my time here, soaking up some sun. Oooh, ahhh...

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

joy

Is it me or is it actually not humid here today?! Could this be the beginning of fall?

I've realized that my summer is just coming later. Remember how all we had was rain during the weeks that we should have been able to play outside? Now we should be in sweaters but could instead play outside? Over the next two weekends I'll be in Orlando and South Padre. Yea for summer, delayed though it may be.

The Boy is now officially The Boyfriend. Did you squeal just a little right then? Me, too.

And? And! I just found out I passed my certification exam! Woohoo!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

10 on tuesday (22)

10 Things that Worry Me


I'm not really feeling it with these topics lately. Is it just me or do they seem a little on the negative side? I guess last week's TV topic was ok but this one is going to stress me out.

  1. I worry about hurricane season. Thankfully, this year has been pretty good so far. Lots of named storms but nothing that has impacted us. I knew that living so close to the coast in a house I actually own (as much as one owns a house with a 30-year mortgage...make that 29.5 year...) would cause me a little more concern. I know it's "just a house" but so much hard work has gone into it, both to get me here and to whip it into shape.
  2. Lately I've been worrying a bit about flying. You'd think that since I fly so much I wouldn't get freaked out by that at all. Not so. I'm usually fine and what thoughts I have to the contrary are generally fleeting. I think part of this is because I've had two delayed flights recently due to mechanical issues. And things are going really well in my life right now and so I'd have more to lose if something were to go wrong.
  3. I worry about my friends. My very imbalanced life lately has me spending too little time with them. Some of them are dealing with some fairly weighty issues/life events. They're all fabulous people who have strength beyond what they know. I know they'll be able to pull it out.
  4. I worry about my adequacy as a girlfriend. I worry that I won't be able to set aside crap from the past--which would be unfair to him. To us.
  5. I worry that I'll dislocate a knee again. Because this is such a painful event that has no way of being anticipated, it feels like falling into a dark hole that lacks oxygen if I think about it too much. I try not to think about it.
  6. I worry that I'll run out of time to have children. Biologically speaking, I'm no spring chicken. And with all the difficulties people around me have had in this area, it freaks me out.

Yeah, that's pretty much it. Sure, there are some random things that come up during the course of the day some days but I really try not to worry. I feel very fortunate that many of the things I used to worry about are no longer concerns--like money and health and school and work (for the most part). But looking at my list is kind of scary. I guess I only sweat the really, really big stuff.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

sliding back, moving forward

Instead of sleeping in for the cure (which you can do by just donating money), my friend and I woke up dark and early this morning to walk the Susan G. Komen 5k. The Boy ran it because, let's face it, he's good like that. It was really amazing to see so many people out for the cause. To see so many survivors. Bubba's Fam, totally thinking of you all.

The rest of the day has been spent getting a little R&R including catching up on Grey's and crossing some things off lists. I have been in desperate need of this time...

I also jotted down a few things in my old-fashioned, bound, paper journal. I re-read the last entry (or two) whenever I write in there since it's so infrequently. It is amazing to see how far you can come.

I've also been thinking today about how easily one can fall back into one's old habits. I wish it were the good ones but it seems the bad ones are easier to fall into. Can people change? Sure. How could my answer be otherwise having majored in psychology? It just takes sooo much work. And you can put effort into something for years, have one bad experience, and it's all seemingly for naught. Rinse, repeat. You just hope that the relearning happens more quickly. So that's where I am. Trying to relearn. Trying to keep my own issues from initiating the ol' vicious cycle. Getting some much needed time in my head without a million obligations pressing themselves in. It's been a good day. Seriously.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

ideas, questions

I've been thinking about the blog lately. Things have been really busy around here with work and traveling (a bit more than normal) and adjusting to having a man friend all without neglecting the other people in my life. Sort of. Yeah, still not feeling balanced. Feeling happy just not balanced.

So with all this, the blog gets neglected. I've been doing well to keep up with Tuesdays and maybe one post in between. Perhaps you've noticed? It's not like I don't have things going on in my head. It's often very loud in here. It's just that I'm not sure what I want to share. I know I've mentioned before that I've kept journals for most of my life. Since I started blogging, I've made maybe one or two entries in a private journal. I either feel comfortable enough to share with everyone or I don't write it down at all. Seems like I'm missing things there...

How about y'all? Do any of you (bloggers or no) keep a private journal?

-----

And speaking of Tuesdays and having lots to do, my list from two weeks ago is still lingering. I haven't worked in the yard or bought stamps. The Boy hasn't met anyone new but there are some plans for that. I have bought tickets for the December trip, booked my annual check-up, and re-stained my dresser. All the rest remain on my list.

In other news, there seems to be an end in site for Shreveport. It's somewhere around Valentine's Day. Hey, at least it's an end. And from November on, I'll probably be coming less. Yea for that!

And, finally, one sort of exciting thing is that I've been working out more. The Boy is providing motivation and support without making me feel pressured (I do that part myself). It's nice because everyone always talks about getting fit but we never really do anything about it, even provide support. This needs to change, people. Does anyone else feel like they need this? Should we have a weekly check-in where we're all held accountable? I think we're a pretty good little community here and maybe we could help each other out. And I'm not just saying that so I'll have something to post about.

10 on tuesday (21)


10 Television Shows I'd Like to Have on DVD

The topic could also include DVDs I already own. I don't own any TV DVDs. Gift ideas, anybody?
  1. Sex and the City--Because who wouldn't want it?
  2. Friends--Like I need to quote it any more often.
  3. Grey's Anatomy--Still going but I really enjoyed the first few seasons.
  4. The X Files--For old (college) time's sake.
  5. Dawson's Creek--I know; I'm sorry. Please don't stop reading my blog.
  6. My So-Called Life--Because I loved it and was very sad when it was over.
  7. Gilmore Girls--Since it's over now. How sad...
  8. Northern Exposure--Again, reminds me of college.
  9. Six Feet Under--I never saw any of this series but wanted to...
  10. Twin Peaks--I'd like to see it again as an adult.
I'm sure I'm missing something. What would you pick?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

introductions

Last Sunday, The Brother and my future sister-in-law (FSIL...could there be a worse acronym?) met The Boy. Since The Brother is like a sibling (duh) but also two parents rolled into one, this made me slightly nervous. And, you know, I'm thinking the FSIL will be around for awhile so that's kind of important, too. For the most part, I think everything went well. I guess now I just feel relieved. Mark that "first" off the list. That just leaves all the friends...

On Friday, I'm meeting his parents. This makes me simultaneously excited and nauseous. Do I think I'm the kind of girl someone would feel comfortable taking home? Yes. Still, it feels like a big deal. I can't see how they could be anything short of amazing given the kind of son they've raised. Hopefully the microscope I'll be under will be very forgiving.

I know I haven't talked very much about any of the recent developments in this area. It just seems too private to share in such a public forum. Basically, things are going well. I'm happy and pleased and am in disbelief. So strange how things have changed so quickly. And for the better, no less. Life is crazy. You know, in a good way.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

10 on tuesday (20)

10 Things I've Been Putting Off


  1. Weeding. It's a jungle out there even though I've gotten a little bit done the last two weekends.

  2. Buying stamps. I may try to do this while on the road. They're small; they pack easily.

  3. Ordering airline tickets for our December trip. Why would I possibly put this off? I have no idea.

  4. Introducing The Boy to my friends. I haven't been ready to share just yet.

  5. My regular ol' annual check-up. I did make it to the dentist, though.

  6. Re-staining my dresser.

  7. Painting my bedroom.

  8. Tiling the sunroom. Basically anything that has to do with the house it seems.

  9. Transfering the remainder of my CDs to my iPod.

  10. Apparently the big things like marriage and children.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

smitten indeed

I am. I'm smitten. I like The Boy.

So of the million and one things swirling around in my head, one of them is this: I think at some point a girl goes from being attracted to someone who would be a good fling to wanting someone who would be good for a real relationship. The bad boy vs. good guy thing.

If you think celebrities (or perhaps pseudo-celebrities), one of my Fling picks is Ty Pennington. Sexy, a little crazy, high energy, and knows he's all those things...

Conversely, (also from Trading Spaces carpenter world) my Keeper guy would be Carter Oosterhouse. Still super attractive but seems very Midwest, humble, the super hot guy next door (that no one ever has in real life).

Who are your celebrity Flings and Keepers?

Photo of Ty courtesy of: http://www.flickr.com/photos/recklessbeauty/11267790/
Photo of Carter courtesy of: http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A9G_Rq_gTvFGucIAT0WjzbkF/SIG=123euqsql/EXP=1190305888/**http://www.classictvhits.com/cast.php?id=4857

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

10 on tuesday (19)

After a brief hiatus, I'm back.

10 Things I Do When I Have Nothing Else to Do


  1. Read (fiction or trashy celebrity magazines)

  2. Shop or browse

  3. Veg out in front of the television

  4. Hang out with friends

  5. Blog

  6. Get around to those tasks that are way down at the bottom of the list

  7. Nap

  8. Play frisbee golf (although we're in desperate need for some time for this)

  9. Plan various house projects

  10. Daydream

But I don't want to mislead you. I also do these things when I have about a million and one other things I should be doing. Sometimes a girl needs a break.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

10 things--northeast

Today there is time to breathe...

My oldest friend and I went on vacation over Labor Day. We hit 4 states in 6 days. Here are the highlights.

1. Day 1: Travel. This is what happens when you fly anywhere using Southwest. I heart Southwest, I really do, but if you're traveling across the country you can be hard-pressed to get a direct flight. And then? When you land? You're often not at the major airport. In my everyday life, this is a huge positive. On vacation in a new place full of strangers (Yankees, no less) and where one is using one's own money, this poses a bit of a challenge. Our flights were smooth but slightly delayed. We had decided to take the Amtrak from Providence to Boston. The problem was we needed to get from the airport to the train station. There was a cheap, on-the-hour bus service that we hoped to take. We arrived at approximately 5 minutes after the hour. We took a cab. The cabbie (surprise, surprise) was a crazy driver. We did get to take the scenic route so we saw a bit of the city but I wanted to kiss the filthy ground when we got to the station. Turns out he was Hungarian. Once I told him about my Hungarian pseudo-family, we was all smiles and politeness. Train ride? Ours was the only one that was delayed. And it wasn't what we expected but something we can cross that off the life list. When we got to the South Station, we took a brief cab ride to our hotel. Safe at last.


2. Day 2: Freedom Trail. What better way to start out our exploration of the city than with the Freedom Trail... The city has such a small footprint, you can pretty much wander your way throughout. I loved the history and the architecture. The weather was fantastic, too. It was fall! So many nifty places--cemeteries, churches, Paul Revere's house, the Bull & Finch (aka Cheers). As expected, I was entertained by the accent. It was especially appealing coming out of the Italians on the North End. My favorite parts of that day were probably the State House and the Public Gardens. Beauty, beauty everywhere. At the end of Day 2, we were excited because we had planned a guided tour to New Hampshire and Maine. When we pulled out our info to see what time we needed to be where, we realized that we were supposed to have called the day before to confirm. Crap. After much investigation, several bad phone numbers, and multiple long waits on hold, we were told that our tour had been cancelled.


3. Day 3: Hyannisport/Cape Cod. The other day tour that cost the same as our cancelled one (and the other one we had been trying to decide between when planning the trip), was the one to Cape Cod. On the way there we saw cranberry bogs and some quaint, sleepy little towns. We visited the JFK memorial, saw the Kennedy Compound by boat, and wandered around the little shops in Hyannisport. At the end of the day we checked out the waterfront and ate at The Black Rose.

4. Day 4: Whale watching. This was my favorite part of the trip. Hands. Down. We had been having a good time but had hit a few little snags along the way. If we hadn't seen whales, I don't think either of us would have been surprised. But we did! It was amazing. We stayed with a mother and her baby for probably about 40 minutes. We got so close to them; it was just so exciting to see. I highly, highly recommend it.

5. Day 4: Cambridge/Harvard. After whale watching, we grabbed a bite to eat in Quincy Market and went back to the hotel for a brief nap. Then we were off to get the rental car. I had heard only horror stories about driving in Boston. Frankly, it didn't seem any worse than any major city. I'm proud to say I never got honked at...I did get yelled at by a pedestrian but I yelled right back. We decided to drive to Cambridge. Harvard was beautiful. It was so Norman Rockwell. The kids didn't go back to school until after Labor Day. The air was crisp. The leaves were just starting to change to their vibrant shades of yellow and orange and red.



6. Day 4: Fenway. We didn't have time to squeeze in a game. That, and we procrastinated on buying tickets. It's a whole different baseball world there. I would have loved to have grown up in it. We did do a Fenway drive-by on our way back into the city that night. I'd still love to go inside.


7. Day 5: Salem. Ahh, Salem. Another quiet, little town. This time, though, it was one with a moral what with the whole witch trial thing. We wandered around town, saw the House of 7 Gables, and went to the Salem Witch Museum. Glad to have spent some time there as well. I have wanted to go there since high school.


8. Day 5: New Hampshire. After Salem, we drove ourselves to New Hampshire and Maine. I think it worked out well. We hadn't done any research beforehand (since our tour was supposed to be guided), but we just took the main road closest to the coast and let the wind take us where it may. We ended up at Hampton Beach. The private areas were quite pretty; the public areas were quite crowded and surprising. So many Yankees flocking to the water, their last chance before being humbled by back-to-school rituals. It felt very different, like these people don't have 700+ miles of coastline upon which to spread themselves.

9. Day 5: Maine. On up the coast to Maine. It was just like you expect Maine to be...rocky coastline, light houses, lobster. I would love to go back and spend more time there.

10. Day 6: Plymouth. We headed down to Plymouth on our way back to Providence. Plymouth was also a small, quiet town. We saw the Mayflower II, Plymouth Rock, a beautiful park. And we had breakfast at a great little cafe. Not a whole lot to see there but we thought that since we were that close, we should see the rock. The drive to Providence went smoothly. It really was a nice place to drive once you got out of the city. So much nature. I would love to go back in a few weeks when the fall color is sure to heat up.

Fantastic trip. Would definitely not mind going back.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

ho hum

I'm just plugging away over here. Nothing new, which is good considering the new things as of late haven't made me want to get up a do a jig. The good news is that I'm going home tomorrow. The not-so-good news is that there's a tropical storm coming in over there. Wanna take bets on whether or not my flight is delayed tomorrow?

Monday, September 10, 2007

the endless tunnel

I have no idea where the last 3 or so weeks have gone. Things have been nuts. I know things in my life are often nuts but this has reached a whole new level.

Since vacation was coming up, there were lots of things to plan and lots of last-minute things to figure out. I thought that once last Thursday came I'd be able to just enjoy it and feel relieved that the planning part was over. I did, thank goodness...for a bit anyway. Vacation was good and I'll have to wait until maybe Friday to post pictures (currently on the road and traveling with two laptops is ridiculous even for me).

The thing is, while I was on vacation, my friend's daughter went into the hospital, then ICU, then was gone. I don't even know what to say. She was only 26 and is leaving a 4-year-old son behind. It's so terrible and so sudden. I felt so bad for not being in town and couldn't wait to get back. It's just all so surreal. I'm having a hard time grasping it. So the services are going to be on Sunday and helping with the planning is my top priority right now.

Then add in my certification exam that I took on Saturday. On Friday night I decided that since the universe hadn't given me much opportunity to study, maybe it was also telling me that I didn't need to study. I just crammed and won't know how I did for 6 weeks. It was similar to the last exam in that I have no strong gut feeling regarding my performance.

And there's this nice boy I've been seeing. I really do enjoy getting together but have had a bit of an adjustment trying to keep any kind of balance in all the various areas of my life. So far I've done terribly. It's been awhile since I've had so much to juggle.

Not to mention how busy work has been and will continue to be at least through Halloween...

Now, I'm not complaining about all of this even though it sounds like it. I love my friends, new and old. I couldn't be happier that they are in my life. When they need something, I want nothing more than to be there for them. And all the piddly things are just that when compared to others. It's just been tough lately. So many things to mark off the list while trying to start some sort of relationship and mourn the loss of a friend. I just feel the need to run away right now.

UPDATE: Now I really want to run away. That boy? Doesn't want to see me anymore.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

i'm back

And I can't even begin to write a real post. My vacation itself was great. Now that I'm back there's a lot to deal with so there's no time for blogging. Hopefully after my exam on Saturday I'll be able to fill y'all in...and show you some pictures, too.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

the latest

Yesterday? Crappy work day (as I laugh to myself at having just typed "crappy" in regards to the poo study). But it was followed by an opposite of crappy evening. Things with The Boy appear to be going well. That's all I have to say about that.

So, woohoo! Tomorrow I leave for vacation. (Obligatory note to criminals: Don't bother, Bubba's Sis will have already taken the good stuff.) Things have been so crazy busy lately that I haven't had time to anticipate it. This morning, though, I woke up excited that I'm leaving tomorrow. Here's to a fun time in Beantown. (Photo courtesy of Boston Online.)

Friday, August 24, 2007

purple, nay, guest room

Do you remember the purple room? From way back when? From way back when I was actually posting about the progress going on around here?

Well, a little over a month ago I finally tackled it (for the most part). Here it is:





A lot of the things in it are things from my childhood bedroom (either from my actual childhood or later when I was trying to make it The Brother's guest bedroom). It is oddly comforting in that way. I still need to finish that nightstand on the right. And the one on the left is getting painted brown, too. And I need new blinds or something. I also have one other little project I'm in the middle of right now. I'll show you that later (perhaps in September). I'm still excited that it's like a real room now. People can sleep in it and everything. With only 2 lingering boxes. Oh, yeah. And it's not purple.