Sunday, August 27, 2006

Busy weekend leading into a busy week

Sometimes I feel like I don't have enough hours in the day to do everything I need to do. I haven't posted in a few days, mainly because I haven't had time.

Thursday night Bev and I went to a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. It was a singles auction, and was really a lot of fun. Everyone keeps asking me if I "bought a date" and the truth is, I probably would have if I'd had some extra money. I mean, it was for charity after all, and it's not like I'm meeting guys every day.

Friday after work, Rhea, Bev and I went to Stix, a fabulous Asian restaurant. the food was great! They were too busy, though. It's really better on week nights rather than weekends.

Saturday morning I participated in another fundraiser, standing on a street corner asking people to donate money to a local homeless shelter and soup kitchen. It was fun. The day went downhill from there, though. My dad was bitten by some kind of spider and had to go to the emergency room. His arm was swollen (almost to the size of a tennis ball) within a few hours. The ER doc didn't know what kind of spider, but said to watch it for 48 hours in case it was a brown recluse. My dad says it looks okay today, so I think there's nothing to worry about. I did get to spend several hours with my sister's kids Saturday, so that was good. They are getting so big, so grown up! It's amazing to watch them grow.

Today, I tried to relax but it didn't quite work out that way. I ended up having to go shopping for some work-related stuff. I went to a craft store and bought 60 feet of red ribbon for our ribbon-cutting ceremonies, and a fairly large pair of scissors. Not as large as I really wanted, but oh well.

Managed to get the 45 minutes of cardio I'm required to get every day. My first week on this diet, I lost 5 pounds. My second week I only lost 1 pound, but did manage to lose 2 inches in my waist and 1 inch in my hips, which I'd say is pretty good progress. Losing weight is extremely hard work! And you really have to plan ahead. So to further my efforts in that area, I packed tomorrow's lunch tonight. Well, everything except the sandwich, which I want to make fresh in the morning. I included such treats as strawberries, cucumbers, baby carrots and an apple. I think that, along with a sandwich should be enough for lunch. And so much better than french fries! Tuesday and Wednesday I won't have to pack a lunch, because I'll be at lunch events, so there will be food there.

Speaking of Tuesday, it's going to be a loooong day. We have an event in the morning, one at noon, and one at 6 p.m. I know I'll be exhausted by the end of that day. I think I'll plan to skip the exercise on Tuesday and make it up throughout the week. I can do a lot on Thursday, since I'll be off that day, thank God!

Anyway, this post is getting very long and it's almost 9:30, so I'm going to go and start getting ready for bed. I'll post again tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Well, it's Day 4 of my 13 week challenge. Did I post about that yet? I'm part of a challenge to lose 13 pounds in 13 weeks. It's slow weight loss, but it's a good goal. I'm actually trying to lose 2 pounds a week instead of 1, but I'm not going to announce that. Oh, I guess I just did, lol.

Anyway, part of the challenge is to do 45 minutes of cardio every day this week, and I've actually managed to do it! I feel great about that! But I'm sooo tired after the workout tonight. And sore... very sore...

Nothing much to report other than that. Nothing new... yet.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Curiouser and curiouser

Something happened today that I don't want to go into detail about yet, but it makes me wonder what's going on in my life. It's a potentially good something! I'll post about it when I can.

These days, I've been looking at my life and wondering if it's a dream, or maybe it's a life I'm reading about in a book. Things have just been so great lately that I'm not sure how to deal with it! lol. I hope I'm not ruining everything by talking about it...

Still haven't heard about the job or the musical. I'm much more anxious about the former.

Monday, August 21, 2006

What an awesome day!

Today was fabulous. About six months ago, I wrote a grant to get a volunteer for the year for my organization. Today the volunteer arrived. Well actually, four of them arrived last night but today I picked them up and gave them a tour of the city and of the agencies where they will be working, including mine. Each of the ladies will be working for a different nonprofit agency in the city. They live in a house together and spend the year working for these different agencies.

Anyway, the tour was a lot of fun for me. It allowed me to see things through different eyes. It allowed me to be a tourist in my own city, which is always cool. We ate lunch with the residents of a homeless shelter, went to two other social service agencies, and then to my food bank. Then I took them to the bank and a local grocery store. One thing that struck me was the enthusiasm these young ladies had for what they were about to do. They are all committing a year of their lives to helping people, to volunteering. What an awesome way to spend a year. I don't think any of them will ever know just how much I admire them for what they are doing.

No word from the job or from the musical. I think I might have too many balls in the air... I'm beginning to forget what I'm waiting to hear about, lol!

The healthy lifestyle program (I've decided not to call it a diet) is still going well. I lost 5 pounds the first week! I'm sure it was the soda thing. Just laying off the soda cut over 700 calories a day from my diet. How in the world did I drink 700 calories a day??? Soda is EVIL! And diet soda is worse!

Anyway, so that's going well. Everything else is going well too. I have no reasons to complain. Except money. I could always use more of that, lol.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

It's coming through the window!!

This morning I was awakened by a buzzing noise. It started faintly and then grew louder and louder, until it was impossible to ignore. I looked out my bedroom window and saw this...

There was a crop duster right outside my window! You see, my house is next to a field. Every once in awhile, when it's time to spray the field, my house is buzzed by a crop duster. The small local airport is just down the road, so seeing small planes in the air above my house isn't unusual, but this crop duster looks like it's about to come through my window, doesn't it?

I stood at my window for a few minutes, watching the plane dive toward the field over and over again. Crop dusters are always interesting to watch, but I have to wonder if the stuff they are dropping on my neighborhood is safe for people and animals. I hope nothing lethal came into my house through the air conditioning. I was standing right over the air conditioner while it was spraying, and afterward I felt a little nauseated, but that may have just been nerves from all the crazy stuff that's going on right now, lol.

But anyway, it was certainly an interesting way to wake up in the morning, don't you think?

On to other subjects...

I still haven't heard from the job, but they did say it might be next week before I got a call. I'll give it until Wednesday or Thursday and then I'm going to assume they chose someone else.

I went to the Witchcraze rehearsal today and auditioned. I think it went well, but the director didn't say anything about giving me the part. She said she had to hear a few more people, so I assume she will call or email me to tell me if I got it. We listened and read the entire show tonight. It was interesting, very historically accurate (which was cool to me, since I'm fascinated by the Salem witch trials and all the insanity that happened during that time) The music was different. Very different. I liked it, though. It made more than one political statement regarding human rights (which was cool) and the end is very dramatic and cool.

So anyway, now I'm waiting for two people to call me back about things that could alter my future. It's interesting how things work sometimes...

Friday, August 18, 2006


Remember how I said I was trying to get back onto the stage? Well, tomorrow I'm taking a step toward that goal (hopefully!) I'll be auditioning for a feature role in a new musical. The cast will be on the original cast album!!! How cool is that? But also, the subject matter of the play is something that has always been interesting to me. It's called "Witchcraze" and is about the Salem Witch Trials. Or actually the trials as a metaphor for modern society. Anyway, I'm trying out for a role tomorrow. Tell me to break a leg!!!!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Interesting days ahead

So as I wait to see if I get a call for a second interview for the new job, I continue doing my current job (which I really do love) and things are getting more interesting there by the day. We are doing a special day of events on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and I think it's going to be a good day. It's so important to look back and move forward, isn't it? Being a part of the disaster relief effort was such a great experience for me, and I'm glad we have a chance to look back and reflect, while also unveiling a more effective approach at the same time.

Anyway, this day of events may be very exciting, but I can't really go into more detail about that right now. When I can, I'll say more.

I wrote a couple of pages of After the Storm today. As I said before, it's an interesting time to be working on this because the anniversary of Katrina is coming up. It's hard to believe it's been a year.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Ten ways to celebrate diversity

I've been thinking a lot about diversity and equality lately. It's extremely important. I found this neat list of 10 things we can do to celebrate diversity, so I wanted to post this. It was on the University of Alaska Web site, if anyone is curious.

10 Ways to Celebrate Diversity

1. Respect Everyone. We're all human beings, and we're all equal too. Treat others the way you want them to treat you.

2. Make the connection. We are much more alike than at first it seems. We all have hearts and minds and dreams.

3. Be Proud of Your Heritage. You are special - don't keep it inside. Share your culture background with pride.

4. Keep an Open Mind. Listen to what others have to say. You're sure to learn something new that way.

5. Learn About Other Cultures. Explore the world that we all share. It's you world, too, so show you care.

6. Avoid Sterotyping. Don't judge others based on their looks. It's what's inside that matters - just like with books.

7. Enjoy Multicultural Activities. Go to cultural festivals, concerts, and more. The world's full of interesting things to explore.

8. Study Another Language. You discover other cultures as you learn what people speak, whether it's Japanese, Spanish, Swahili, or Greek.

9. Reach Out. Friends of all backgrounds bring something new. Get to know people different from you.

10. Build Peace. Kind actions and words help spread peace with ease. Tolerance, love, and trust are the keys.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Stupid Blogger

So last night Blogger kept telling me I didn't have any space left on my blog. What??? I did some searching and found that you have to clear your cookies to make that problem go away. So I did that and tried again. It wouldn't let me log in at all after that! But this morning, from a different computer, I was able to publish last night's post with no problems. I swear, sometimes computers do not make any sense. Oh well... you can see last night's post now...

Monday, August 14, 2006

Well, it's over

So the interview was today and I think it went well. Actually, I'm pretty horrible at figuring these things out, so sometimes I think things went horribly and they actually went well, and sometimes I think they went well and.. you know...

But it went better than I expected. The people were very nice, the office seemed like a nice, relaxed atmosphere, and I got good vibes from everyone. A good office environment is very important to me, so getting a good vibe was comforting.

I had lunch/dinner with Marcus afterward and was totally bad.. pizza and cheese sticks and soda (oh my!) But everyone needs a cheat day every now and then. Plus, it was the only thing I ate or drank all day, so it still stayed within my calorie range. Not the best use of those calories, but oh well! Still managed to do my 2 miles for the day, although I didn't really feel like it at first. I'm extremely tired and really just want to go to bed. Since I spent a good portion of the morning being tense about the interview, it's no wonder I'm exhausted now.

I - Day is here

I Day. Interview Day. Whatever you call it, the day is here. I'm doing some final work on my portfolio and mentally preparing myself for the interview. I'm sure I will do okay, I'm pretty good under pressure. But that doesn't keep me from being nervous. I'll post about it when I get home.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

it continues

I've managed to make it through Thursday, Friday and today without a soda of any kind. Yay! It's been really difficult, though. With the help of a wonderful Web site fitness program called SparkPeople, I'm learning about making healthy choices. And the tools on the site are a huge help. There's a place to count your calories/carbs/fat (etc) per day as well as a place to log your exercise. And the message boards contain great challenges. I've finally found some people to do the Walk to Rivendell challenge with, as well as a couple of other challenges that I think will be fun.

Anyway, it's going well. Today was kind of a lazy day. I slept late (which I never get to do anymore) got some writing done, did some laundry, went shopping with my mom.. it was nice. I'm feeling better today than I did the other day, which is good.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

getting up early is hard

Okay, so it didn't work out this morning. I'm in the habit of hitting my alarm clock three times every morning, and this morning was no exception. I'll jog when I get home from work. I promise!!!

But there is good news regarding breakfast and lunch. I made good choices today, a granola bar for breakfast and a grilled chicken wrap at lunch. Not a french fry in sight! I also haven't had a coke today, which is an accomplishment since I usually drink 3 each day. (I know, that's horrible!) So you see, my big plan is still on track.

I'm feeling a little down today. A little depressed. I can't figure out why.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

serious about the weight thing

So since my experience over the weekend (which I purposely didn't blog about because it involves a devastatingly cute and charming guy chatting me up so his friend could meet and get to know my best friend, who is tall, thin, and beautiful) I decided I need to put more effort into myself. I'm always saying I need to go on a diet and get more exercise, but I don't do anything about it. And then today I went shopping and tried on some clothes. Such a depressing thing to do when you are over a certain size. When did I start having to shop exclusively in the "woman" section?? I don't know how or when that happened, but it's not going to be a permanent thing.

So I jogged (yes, jogged) a mile tonight. It wasn't a fast jog, but I did burn some calories and I feel pretty great! I'll do 15 minutes of yoga tonight, and then tomorrow I'm going to start getting up early and doing at least a mile before getting ready for work. It's time to get serious about this.

So anyway, I bought some cute shirts and some jewelry. Not expensive jewelry, just some cool stuff to go with my boho skirts that I love so much. I don't even care if the skirts are not in style anymore, I crazy love them. They're so comfortable and they actually look decent on me, which is pretty hard to find these days. I wanted to get some shoes, but I have way too many pairs of shoes already! Bev is always telling me that I should buy clothes instead of gagets, and I guess she's right. I could buy a new outfit from every paycheck if I didn't buy so many DVDs, CDs, and other "stuff."

In three months, I'll be 30 years old. I want to be healthy as I enter this new phase of my life, and now I'm ready to work hard at it.

Well, it's time to work on After the Storm. As the one year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches, and as we plan commemorative events at work, my mind is flooded with memories of that horrible time. These memories are fueling the story more than I ever imagined they would. But in a way, it also makes writing the story more difficult. But I am determined to work on the story at least a couple of hours a day, so here I go!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

This one's about music

I love doing lunchtime posts. I sit here, munching on whatever I brought or bought for myself, and ramble for anyone to read. Today's lunchtime topic is going to be music.

It should be fairly obvious to anyone who has read this blog for any length of time that music is really important to me. I love all kinds of music, and I find lyrics and the music itself very inspiring. Music can alter or sustain any mood. There is a power in music that cannot be found elsewhere.

There is a genre or song for every possible occasion. Listening to a lovely classical piece, for example, I can close my eyes and be transported to another world or another time. If I'm driving to or from work and the other drivers are particularly annoying, I can put on Sarah Brightman singing Pie Jesu. There is no way to be angry when that song is playing. I always sing along too, and that helps calm me right down! If I'm angry and want to stay that way (for whatever reason) I can always play something hard, with screaming guitars and hard hitting rhythm. If I'm in a good, happy mood, something upbeat with bouncy lyrics is always appropriate. A dance tune perhaps, or something from the 80's. In the mornings, on my way to work, I often listen to my Christian rock playlist. These songs uplift my spirit and encourage me to have a positive, loving attitude throughout the day. It's amazing what the right song will do. Movie soundtracks are favorites, simply because the music paints a picture of what happens on the screen. My favorite soundtracks are the ones that recall the scene when I'm listening in my car, and make me relive that moment again. The Lord of the Rings soundtracks do that very, very well.

I write better to music. It's one of the things I discovered during NaNoWriMo last year. Everyone on the forum talked about the music they were using to write, and I had never really thought about how different music would be more appropriate for different types of writing. Which is silly considering how much music means to me in general, and how much it affects my life. So I experimented with different types of music for different scenes. I wrote a particularly beautiful scene during this experiment. The perfect song came on and inspired the scene so much more than silence ever would have.

So I guess this post has no point other than the fact that music is so important. As I sit here, typing my lunchtime blog post, my iPod is playing my Christian playlist. The song from Relient K called "For the Moments I Feel Faint" is on right now, and I can close my eyes and speak the words of the song in my mind. It is a prayer for strength, and we can all use strength in our lives. Just another example of a song coming at a good time, and inspiring me to say things I may not have said.

exciting news

I have a job interview next Monday. It's a step up. A pretty big step up, actually. It's a director's position, and I feel like I'm totally ready for that kind of challenge. It's odd, because I really like my job, but I know there's nowhere for me to go in it. The only two higher positions I can have here are Development Director and Executive Director, and the people who hold those positions are not going anywhere anytime soon. If I am offered this position, I will be sad to leave the family I have grown to love here, but I will be excited about getting to know new people and learning a new position. This job would completely change my life. I would move to a new city (a new state, actually!), get involved in community activities there, make more money, and have a new job with more responsibility. Happily, the new city is still near enough that I can visit my family when I want and it is still near water, so I wouldn't have to compromise that. In fact, it's actually closer to the water, which is great!

So everyone out there, cross your fingers for me. This is a great opportunity and I'm beginning to really hope it happens!

Monday, August 07, 2006

A bunch of questions

I don't usually do this, but I liked this one so I decided to go ahead...

in the last 24 hours:

  • Had sex: no
  • Bought somethng: yes
  • Gotten sick: no
  • Sang: yes (almost all the time)
  • Been kissed: sadly, no
  • Ate something: yes
  • Felt stupid: of course
  • Talked to an ex: no
  • Missed someone: I miss my friend Chris on a daily basis...

Last person who...

  • slept or laid in bed with you: Winnie the Pooh (stuffed animal, not kinky costume)
  • saw you cry: my mom
  • made you cry: an ex
  • went to the movies with you: Rhea
  • went to the mall with you: Beverly

Have you ever...

  • said I love you and meant it: yes
  • got into a fight with your pet: when I was a kid
  • been to New York: yes (loved it!)
  • been to Mexico: no (want to)
  • been to Canada: yes (loved it!)
  • been to Europe: no, but hopefully soon!
  • been to Japan: no (want to)
  • been to Italy: no (want to)

Assorted questions:

  • do you have a crush on someone: maybe...
  • what books are you reading: Pattern Recognition, The Girls Guide to Power and Success
  • worst feeling in the world: being betrayed
  • future kids names: Elisabeth Rhea, Anne Victoria, Christopher (middle name unknown)
  • do you sleep with a stuffed animal: aforementioned Winnie the Pooh
  • what's under your bed: books, board games, and hidden secrets
  • favorite sport to watch: figure skating
  • location: Alabama
  • piercings: ears
  • do you drink: I love a good wine with dinner
  • what are you most worried about right now: my sister
  • where do you want to get married: on a beach
  • who do you really hate: people who hate (lol, but it's true)
  • do you like being around people: most of the time
  • have you ever cried: mostly at sad movies
  • are you lonely right now: yes
  • song that is stuck in your head: Sinnerman by Nina Simone
  • played strip poker: no
  • has anyone said you look like a celebrity: yes, Drew Barrymore
  • been drunk for more than 2 days straight: no way
  • have you ever done an all-nighter: when I was in school I did a few of those
  • Been on radio or TV: yes and yes
  • been in in a mosh-pit: yes (long time ago)
  • do you have any gay/lesbian friends: yes
  • can you dance: I'm really bad but I still love to dance.
  • What is your favorite smell: chocolate chip cookies in the oven
  • What is the first things you notice about the opposite sex: eyes (not the color, the light)
  • Name someone with the same birthday as you: Mickey Mouse!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Quacked Up

This is a great example of keeping a sense of humor when under stress. A coworker claims the duck that normally sits on his shelf decided it had enough of this life and made a noose out of the rubber bands he found on the desk. He just couldn't take it anymore, according to his suicide note.We all had a laugh about it today, which was good. It sort of made everyone relax a little, which is something we all needed.

interesting article about the word "sucks"

I happened to look at this today and thought it was so interesting that it deserved a mention here. I've battled with my mother on the meaning of the word "sucks" so often, even in adulthood, that it is refreshing and wonderful to see someone write so intelligently about the origins and uses of this word. I personally never use it in professional settings, but it is so useful in my personal life. Yet when I do use it in front of my mother, she still makes a noise of disapproval. I plan to print it out and give it to her so she can see that I have no ill intent when I use this word. It's just so appropriate in some situations...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Things are intense today. Something is going down. Not sure what's going to happen, but it's sort of crazy right now. Unfortunately, I can't go into details.

Yesterday was Hannah's birthday. She turned 4, and when I asked her what she wanted this year, she said "Taylor Hicks!" She can't be old enough for her first celebrity crush! But then again, I wasn't much older than she is now when I first laid eyes on Han Solo and Clark Kent, so I guess I can't say anything. But it's still interesting to see her having her first crush. It's the year for that, I guess, since Noah kissed a girl for the first time (at the age of 10) a few months ago. Wow, the kids are growing up...

I'm going to write more later. For now, just know that things are about to get interesting...