December 30, 2008

makes up in quality what it lacks in originality


My friend, Brooke, wrote a groovy note on facebook about her year in review. I liked it. I'm gonna copy her style (imitation = flattery, no?).

January: Ah, new year optimism. I set a few goals (I won't rehash since it was discussed in a previous entry), and looked forward to 2008, the year I would move ahead from my job at Salem's front desk. In the spirit of bettering self, I began taking a sign language course at the community college (yay free education). I was also happily recording my weekend show on and assistant producing the occasional "From the Heart" segment on KKLA. Being productively busy was a-ok.

February: Still doing all of the above, which still include co-facilitating the Cans for Causes recycling effort at work and operating the video camera at church once a month. Saw Third Day at House of Blues on Sunset. Saw another Valentine's Day pass alone, but with hope in a crush. However, the highlight of the day was the parade the church kids did honoring loving one another. Still working at the front desk.

March: Happy Birthday me! In honor of the day, co-worker friends made me their "special project" and i got a makeover. It was fun. :) Then my friends and I celebrated my 25th year in Hollywood seeing Wicked!! Happy happy happy. This month I was also in the thick of rehearsal for the church Easter play, starring a mostly youth cast. I continued juggling all of the above and starting to feel the craziness, but the adrenaline was still carrying me through the hectic schedule. Discovered a love for basketball during March Madness, and almost got to see a Clippers game- until Sophia's grandpa started getting really sick. We spent the evening at the hospital instead. Still working at the front desk.

April: The adrenaline is starting to wear thin, but at least sign class and the play are successfully over. Pushing forward in a non-eventful month of just keeping up with it all... From the Heart, Cans for Causes, Kids Kingdom, JJ Radio, camera operating, and work fill my time. I realize that an empty calendar just means i'm too busy to write in it. Start playing tennis with the girls at work. Still at the front desk.

May: In attempt to maintain sanity, I begin to cut down on activities. JJ Radio gets the axe. After fulfilling the month's commitment, so does church camera work. However, more time is spent at work learning how to produce commercials and working overtime (seems i don't quite get the point about time management). Despite extra effort, still at the front desk.

June: Loving tennis, producing more, hanging out with crush (though hope will soon die, haha). Life is busy but not so bad. Participate in adopt-a-block in the projects with the Dream Center and have perspective about the inner city forever changed. Still working at front desk....

July: Birthday Luau for Sophia's mom and stepdad! Wildest party, and somehow getting rained out made it better! We spent Independence Day in the mountains with friends, and saw Wicked a second time. I gave blood for the first time in years- and survived. Our company began a wellness program that has since resulted in over $50 of Target cards for me (and more rewards due in coming months). From the Heart is cancelled, and the busyness falls to a dull roar (though I'm still at the front desk....).

August: i think this was the month we had a bunch of layoffs at work. Of course, that's not something you really write on a calendar. Once that happened, the whole climate at work changed and things quit being fun and started being stressful. On a happier note, this month i dogsat for a coworker friend and Soph and I participated in the Redondo Pier chalk contest for the third year (no trophies this time, but still fun!). Also visited Camp Joy for homeless kids- yet another life-changer. And, of course, still working the front desk....

September: Just lots of work- only less of the fun stuff like writing commercials and producing. Instead of working out of the front desk, I found myself buried under it. The coworker in my department left, so there was even more to do.... i kept the sanity by focusing on Kids Kingdom, including our awards ceremony. A friend invited me to an incredibly fancy gala in downtown L.A. for the organization she works for. Amazing!

October: One Sunday, I visited the Huntington Library. A couple Friday's later, I went to dinner with friends. The next Monday was Sophia's birthday. Other than that, lots of work at- you guessed it- the front desk.

November: Though declared NOvember in hopes of cutting down on the insanity, i hopelessly failed the project. The exception being the first week of the month, spent on vacation in San Diego! Way awesome! Also saw Twilight (after spending way too much time in previous months reading the series), and turned in an application for the Director's Guild Assistant Directors' Training Program- and still praying like mad I get in. Started to pull together the church Christmas play, and went shopping on the day after Thanksgiving for the first time ever. Still lots of work, but hope was renewed when I was promoted to an assistant position... only at the front  desk part time!

December: Oh, the joys of the holiday season. Though I squished stress by finishing shopping and gift wrapping early- and creating a good amount of homemade gift projects- the pitfalls of organizing part of a Christmas program made up for the anxiety. An amazing night at Disneyland maintained the magic, and enough Christmas blessings- many non-material and people-centered, brought something sacred back to the holiday. The end of the month finds me battling a wicked cold and, for the moment, juggling both my new assistant position in administration and the front desk that I thought for sure would be history by now.

Thanks to Claudia, who's gift of The Office calendar last year provided the record-keeping notes that helped me keep this straight. Although for perfect accuracy... see previous blogs. :-D

Coming tomorrow.... the non-resolutions, the goals and guidelines for 2009!

December 28, 2008

spiff and kelley's hella long survey


It's Sunday night, and I've been in bed for almost two days straight. I feel like writing, but lack inspiration. Apparently, my pillow is not much of a muse. Neither is Jolie, who is content to sleep at my feet.

Do this because the person who did this didn't sit here for ages for nothing. Answer all the questions honestly, no lying to avoid stuff.

Single or Taken:

Happy about that:
slightly depressed, if you must know

Becca in Seattle, Claudia in Ohio

Eye color:
polluted pacific blue-grey


What are you wearing right now?
Burgundy yoga pants and Sophia's Jaci Velasquez t-shirt that I stole after pouring water all over myself in a nyquil-induced stupor Friday night. It was the closest dry article of clothing. Until just now when i sneezed. Sick = gross and i'm done being it.

Can you make a dollar in change right now:
It's cute how you think i actually have cash

Best place to go for a date:
It's who you're with that matters, but personally, my heart is easily won near the ocean

don't care.

turtle, cow, butterfly, giraffe, monkey, dolphin, whale, starfish, dog, elephant, cat, horse, you get the picture? ;)

Drink(non alcoholic):

i miss playing tennis. The habit died when the weather got cold, it got dark sooner, and holiday busyness ruled. Perhaps that shall be revived soonly

December, March, anything warm and sunny


Favorite cartoon character:
Depends on my mood. Today, i'll pick the Smurfs and the Simpsons.

Have You Ever...
Given anyone a bath:
yup. yay for years and years of baby-sitting

Bungee Jumped?:
the kind where you swing/fly instead of bounce. Way more fun than whiplash.

Made yourself throw-up?
tried. Apparently physically incapable.

Eaten a dog?
Only hot dog, and not even that anymore.

loved someone so much it made you cry?
That's complicated.

Broken a bone?
Fractured my right hand just below the pinky when a fat kid ran into me at the Fulton County Fair.

Played truth or dare?

Been on a plane?

Came close to dying?
Actually, i was just thinking that I've been closer than I realize, and that it's only by the grace of God that i've not been in a major traffic accident as close as I've been so many times.

Been in a sauna?
briefly... not my thing. i like to breathe, thanks

Been in a hotub?
yup.. when we were little my parents' friends had one. We'd be outdoors in the snow in the hot tub. No wonder we were sick half the winter. More recently, at the hotel in San Diego.

Swam in the ocean?
my favorite place to swim. If it weren't so cold and i weren't so sick, that's totally what i am in the mood to do right now

Fallen asleep in school?
All the time. Usually thanks to a combo of tylenol and cough syrup that battled my annual cold. I have the chemistry notes to show each time I nodded off, and each time Heidi Hammontree woke me up.

Ran away?
dreamt about it, until i was old enough and mature enough that it was no longer "running" but "relocating" instead

Broken someone's heart?

Cried when someone died?

Cried in school?
When i was younger, until I learned that crying in public never ended well. Then i quit crying in front of any people ever.

Fell off your chair?
What HAVEN"T i fallen from?

Sat by the phone all night waiting for someone to call?
not that i can recall

Saved AIM conversations?
only by default, and i usually change that setting if i think of it.

Saved e-mails?
I only delete spam or forwards. Any actual email is saved eternally... or until my email address changes

Made out with JUST a friend?
yay college....

Used someone?
not on purpose

Been cheated on?
Not technically, but it cut pretty dang close to technically.

Your good luck charm?
luck schmuck

New fav. song?
"Winter Wonderland" by Jason Mraz

What is beside you?
stuffed cow, pillow, box of kleenex, cell phone hosting text convo with Claudia, and half-finished glass of orange juice

Last thing you ate?
bowl of lucky charms, peanut granola bar for protein, aforementioned OJ

What kind of shampoo do you use?
Sunsilk Blonde Ambition (or whatever cutesy name they call it now), and alternate days herbal essences body envy (or whatever cutesy name THEY call it now)
Ever Had..
Chicken pox:
Sore Throat:
now, even
strangely, not once in my klutzy existence. Though there are times I should've, but never sought treatment
Broken nose:
Do You...
Believe in love at first sight?
yes, then again, I believe in a couple things i've never seen
Long distant relationships?
they are doomed. Someone's gotta move, or just don't even try
Like school?
it had it's good points. however, i'm mostly glad it's over
Who was the last person that called you?
Bethany. I still need to call her back

Who was the last person you slow danced with?
the better question is when is the last time i slow danced?

Who makes you smile the most?

Who knows you the best?
only the Lord. i am an enigma. HA
Do you like filling these out:
It passes time

Do you wear contact lenses or glasses?:
contacts during the day, glasses at night.

Do you like yourself:
more than i used to

Do you get along with your family?
much better now 2,000 miles away
Are You...
Obsessive Compulsive?
Of all the things I am, OCD is not one of them

Not anymore, thank the Lord
MORE Questions:
What did you do yesterday?
slept, sneezed, watched tv, slept, ventured to walmart, got dizzy, took medicine, slept, sneezed, blew my nose, the end

Have you ever hated someone in your family?
Never hate

Gotten any awards lately?
The Shining Star at work two quarters ago

Where do you want to get married?
It's not so much the where as when

Good driver?
Sometimes i think I am, other times i wonder who I'm kidding and there must be an army of angels surrounding my vehicle

Good Singer?
i specialize in car solos. And while i don't think i'm spectacular, i do kind of miss performing

Have a lava lamp?
Used to. Might still. I'm starting to forget what i have in storage. Makes a good case for simple living, no?

How many remote controls are in your house?
There are three functional tv's with a couple remotes each. I don't care to count beyond that.

What was your weirdest dream about?
Jurassic Park themed dreams are but a small portion of the craziness that is my sleeping brain.

Scary or Funny Movies?
Funny. Once a blue moon I want creepy. As in, once every couple of years. And creepy is specific to paranormal, maaaaybe aliens. Suspense-filled escapes from serial killers and anything filled with blood is never on the list.

Chocolate or Vanilla?

Rootbeer or Dr.

Skiing or Snow Boarding?
i am dying to learn to snowboard

Summer or winter?

Silver or Gold?

Diamond or pearl?
i can't be picky ;)

Sprite or 7up?
neither. who wants sugar and chemicals in a can?

Coffee or sweet tea?

Phone or in person?
depends on who... hehe

Are you oldest, middle or youngest?
Today did you...
1.Talk to someone you liked:
I like Soph and her family....

2.Buy something:

3. Get sick?
Stayed sick.

4 Talked to an ex?
not in a long time

5. Miss someone?
How can you hear a voicemail with NKOTB and NOT miss someone??

Last person who....
10. Slept in your bed?
me. Jolie. And Sophia on Friday because i fell asleep in HER bed and would not be shaken from my nyquil-induced unconsciousness

11. Saw/heard you cry?
Don't remember

12. Made you cry?
Don't remember

13. Went to the movies with?
Danielle, Monique, Shelly, Patty, Chris, and Tim. Yay adults at Twilight opening night! haha!

14. Ever been in a fight with your pet?
With battle scars to prove it

15. Been to Mexico?
Been about as close as a person can be without crossing the border. However, until luxuries are back in the budget, i have not a passport

16.Been to Canada?
Seen Niagara Falls and waved to the Canadians (you could tell they were from Canada because their ponchos were a different color), but still stayed in America.

17. Been to Europe?
One day. I've been offered lodging in Germany, and that would be rad!

21. Do you have a crush on someone right now:
not anymore

22. What book are you reading now?
"This I Believe II" by Jay Allison- an NPR project about individual beliefs

23. Best feeling in the world?
any answer is going to sound cliche and gushy. Right now, my nose not burning from too many kleenex, and lungs able to get full capacity oxygen would be lovely

24. Future KIDS names?
you'll have to wait and find out, now won't you?

25. Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?
The cow i've had since high school. And Jolie tends to eat right before coming to bed

26. What's under your bed?
Storage boxes of clothes, art supplies, cat supplies, and cleaning supplies

27. Favorite sports to watch?
I discovered during March Madness last year that i actually like watching basketball. Sadly though, no matter how many times I watch football, i still don't get it.....

28. Favorite Locations?
the ocean, the woods, mamaw and grandma's house, but old school, not like now

29. Piercing/Tattoos?
just my ears. my dislike of needles trumps my love of rebellion
30. What are you most scared of right now?
gaining more weight

31. Who do you really hate?

32. Do you have a job?
do i ever. it scares me what a large portion of my life it is

33. Have you ever liked someone you didn't have a chance with?
um, yes.

34. What are you listening to right NOW?
tv in other rooms. my wheezing in this one.

35. What is the most random object in the room you're in?
Cement chunk from the Twin Towers

36. Worst favorite color?
What i think is the worst color is obviously not my favorite, but if it's someone else's favorite, then it's not the worst to them. So really the color opinion is all subjective, and as any observant person knows, the appeal of any given color depends on its context. So this question is actually quite pointless and a waste of time on a survey so long there is no way that any person has actually read all the way through to this point.

37. Read any memorable quotes lately?
Just reminded of some Martin Luther King Jr quotes I had forgotten about

38. Song that's stuck in your head right now?
Cosby Show theme

39. Have you ever played strip poker?
Nope. I don't really like normal poker

40. Have you ever gotten beat up?
All my anger-induced injuries happened one at a time, so i'm not sure it counts as being beat up

42. Have you ever been on radio/TV?
I used to have my own internet radio hosting gig, now they just use me occasionally on the stations i work for. I haven't been on tv- yet :) Oh wait! I sort of had! When i interned at Smallville i did a very very brief ADR thing. So my voice was on an episode for a whole five words, lol

43. Have you ever been in a "mosh-pit"?
At a Christian rock festival. Which means it was so tame it was almost like a group hug

44. Ever liked someone, but thought they never noticed you?

what color is your underwear right now?
blue with snowflakes

Whats the first things you notice about the opposite sex?
eyes, kindness

Your Favorite Food?
fruit, chocolate, pizza, soul food

Ever get so drunk you dont remember the night before?

Hair color?
Dark blonde, needs updated highlights

Are you too shy to ask someone out?

occasionally on target, usually horrid

Butter, Plain or Salted popcorn?

Dogs or cats?

Favorite Flower?
Daisies, wildflowers, tropical flowers, really, anything....

Have you ever fired a gun?
Yep. But it goes back to that aim thing, and so, for the safety of all americans, i don't do it often

Do you like to travel by plane as opposed to car?
where am I going?

How many pillows do you sleep with?

Who are you missing right now?

December 26, 2008

present and accounted for

Unlike 90% of friends, family, acquaintances, and even co-workers, I do not have the day off. This is not tragic, since it's a low-key day, but it falls more in the category of annoyances. The annoyance factor is raised due to the fact that I appear to be getting sick.

While doctors, scientists, and educated people will argue that cold weather does not induce sickness (rather, germs are the culprit), I do present the evidence that I become ill EVERYTIME the thermometer reads anything under 50-degrees. The sick process is accelerated if there is rain/snow/sleet/hail/precipitation of any kind. And if the doctors/scientists/educated folks could explain why even non-drowsy medication knocks me out, that'd be cool, too.

So Christmas was good. Christmas Eve meant the usual celebrating at Sophia's aunts house with tamales for dinner and starting gift-opening at 10p. Again, I have been very very blessed in the present area. :) And since we got home after 1a, yesterday was spent sleeping, watching "Across the Universe" (thanks, Danielle!), and playing Guitar Hero.

Though I do not miss the annual family drama, it was still sort of sad to see pics of my family after they opened gifts, and only talk to extended family members and hearing the craziness in the background. If i could arrange a two-day/one-night trip, I think that would be fantastic- despite the fact i'd spend more time traveling than actually being there.

I've run out of blogging steam, though I'm not sure I've run out of things to say.

December 22, 2008

i see the Christmas light at the end of the tunnel

The Kids Kingdom Savior's Workshop is done! Though low in attendance and high in cold rain, it was pretty successful (despite the repeated kitchen power failure). The kids played games, created ornaments as gifts for loved ones and nursing home residents, and learned about the meaning of Christmas from the youth group. Success.

Beverly's first birthday was celebrated! And while play rehearsal and preparation kept me from contributing to the party much, I was still able to help with games for the kids. Beverly quietly enjoyed her snowman cupcake in the middle of her winter one-derland theme, and even offered some to Soph and I. ;)

The Christmas program is complete! By the grace of God and the skin of teeth, it was something of a success. Yes, there were glitches- but no disasters. So win-win-win. And the best part? Everyone had fun, the congregation seemed happy, and it's OVER. Done. No more dragging actors to rehearsals, no more last-minute changes, no more big project looming overhead admist other large holiday projects.

Holiday baking is * almost * done! I finished cookies, brownies, and buckeyes late last night/early this morning. I tasted some today.... kind of sad to have given them to co-workers... hehe... They weren't the best, but they were made with love!! Too bad love doesn't seem to be as tasty as they could've been. Oh- and I say "almost" done because Soph's family is making tamales tonight, and I'm supposed to help.

Candlelight service tomorrow night, Christmas Eve with Sophia's family Wednesday, and then I think I will spend Thursday- my only day off besides New Year's Day- sleeping in and doing very little!

Dear Santa, please fill my stocking with time and sleep. That would be amazing.

December 17, 2008

Is it tomorrow yet?

I need a new blog layout, but can't seem to make it work. Blogger experts with free time, wanna help?

So caffeine is my enemy and my friend. While it enables productivity, it throws off my sleep schedule, leaves me with headaches, and causes me to lose a point in our wellness program at work. As you see, the "cons" outweigh the "pros". And yet.... this evening's entry is brought to you by Mountain Dew.

That's write, it's nearly two in the morning. I just finished signing Christmas cards for the kids in our class at church. Before that, I wrapped the last of my gifts (well, minus a pending item that should be arriving in the mail soonly, and Soph's stocking stuffers because we don't know where our stockings are). I also went shopping this evening for baking supplies for Thursday night's treat extravaganza that shall result in goodies for my coworkers.

i have been eating so much sugar lately, all in the name of the holidays. January is the traditional time to get back on track, and I seriously wish I had a personal trainer and nutritionist, haha. I have come to the realization that there are four things keeping me from healthier habits. They are as follows:

1. I love sugar. Love it. Possibly addicted. I am not proud of my sweet tooth, but I do believe genetics and the encouragement of dessert-love throughout childhood have doomed me for life.

2. I have horrible coping methods, including emotional eating. Somehow, my inner self has equated a cookie with love.

3. I am a terrible cook. Seriously, terrible. Legendarily so, and you can ask family and close friends for examples of my kitchen disasters. They can provide many. As a result, my self-prepared food tends to be simple, or of the preservative-filled frozen or canned variety. In extreme situations when I find the motivation to try cooking one more time, it typically results in a non-edible mess. This leads to a demonstration of #2 (emotional eating out of frustration) as well as #1 (seeking the affirmation of the cookie).

4. My life is a whirlwind. And even simple food preparation is time-consuming. However, most quick food is also unhealthy. Hence why I end up with pop-tarts for breakfast even though I don't really like them. Grab-and-go wins out over taste and nutrition, and that annoys me.

Why the hell am I blogging at two am??? I have to figure out how to upload and edit from a dvd and go over light cues and blocking.... and be up and running in four hours for a very very long day of work and church Christmas busyness.

Next year, can I take a sabbatical to celebrate the birth of our Lord?

December 11, 2008


Sometimes when I'm driving, I use the street signs to create the premise for a script.

First I name the protaganist with the first two streets I cross once I've decided to play. Today, I crossed Isabel, then Jackson.

Then the protaganist needs a station in life- occupation, situation, etc. I saw a sign for an open house on Louise when I was at the intersection of Kenwood... so I played with that and decided that Isabel was an in-home caregiver for Louise Kenwood.

I can use as many street signs for clues until my imagination takes off. Longer trips create more detailed stories. Today was quicker, so I decided that my script would be called "Lessons from Louise". Louise is middle-aged and developmentally disabled and showing Isabel the simple truths of truly living life, including encouraging her to fall in love with whatever guy I would've invented had the trip been longer. This would be in conflict with Isabel's contentment/complacency with the simple life she is living. The script, of course, would become some Hallmark or Lifetime movie of the week.

Haha, so it's sort of dorky, but if I'm going to be filling my days with office work, I've got to throw in creative writing exercises somewhere. It makes still feel like some sort of writer.

Just thought i'd share.

December 10, 2008

stealth Disney

Two random things that have happened this week:

After church and Christmas program rehearsal on Sunday, I drove home under the cool, cloudy skies. My thoughts were on the things that needed done and the way rehearsal went. I noticed a couple cars pulled over to the side of the freeway with hazard lights blinking. I assumed they had a fender-bender and kept driving. Then I saw another pulled-over car, then another, and another... How many cars could've been involved? Then I realized the freeway was lined with cars pulled over....

I looked to the other side of the freeway to find the same thing. People were getting out of their cars and looking to the sky. Cell phones were out for talking and photo taking. But I still did not see what they were seeing.

This started to make me nervous, as the scene resembled a suspense thriller where the monster begins a path of destruction, the spaceship breaks through the clouds, or the natural disaster blows in. Since this particular stretch of freeway gives a pretty good view of downtown L.A., i found myself imagining terrorist attacks. So i did what any sensible human being would do at that moment- i pulled the heck over.

My logic was I needed to make sure there was no danger, then I could continue home. Once I was stopped and my blinkers were on, I tried to figure out what was happening. I couldn't get out of the car, as other motorists were still passing with full speed. So I followed the gazes of others nearby.

I saw it coming toward us, flying low over the dam and rock quarry. The shape seemed odd at first, but once it got a bit closer, I recognized it at once- stealth bomber.

I laughed and said outloud, "THAT'S what y'all are looking at??" But I do have to admit that this has been one of my favorite planes since I was a kid. It's black bat shape is pretty other-worldly. But a mass pulling-over off a major freeway? That seemed a bit much. Then again, maybe I was just jaded growing up so close to Wright Patt Air Force Base....

I called my sister to process the whole thing, and to find a balance between the pumping adrenaline caused from not knowing what major event was about to happen and the silliness i felt over that event being quite minor. Thankfully, she said she would've done the same thing. ;)
Later that evening, I discovered the flyover was in honor of the funeral of a former Secretary of the Air Force.

This local blogger has some great video: . At about :54 you'll see pretty much my exact view.

Last night my awesome friend Leah treated me to her employee Disneyland party. Seriously, it is worth the exhaustion i feel today from schlepping around the park until past midnight.
In a mere four hours, we rode Jungle Cruise, Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, The Matterhorn, Space Mountain, AstroBlasters, and Thunder Mountain Railroad. Also included in that time span were a Christmas parade, fake snow, brief shopping, and eating a Mickey pretzel with cheese while waiting for the tram. The lights were beautiful- especially the castle. They had great music going, and even supplied candy canes when you walked into the park. Disneyland is notorious for making you feel like a kid again, but they really achieved that kid-at-Christmas magic. Cheesy as it sounds... totally true.

Leah and I now suspect that God is a Disneyland fan (haha, or maybe a fan of His kids?), as we randomly got to the front of pretty much every line- either by a fast track line being opened up right in front of us, or just happening to be near Space Mountain right when it was reopened (yes, we walked right into Space Mountain with NO WAIT).

Best. Night. Ever.

December 03, 2008


7:30a- Woke up later than normal, knowing I would be taking my car to the shop instead of going to work. Started my day with a short devotional and an episode of Roseanne (it's what Soph had on).

9a- Took car to mechanic, thinking this was when they opened (wrong, but good to know for future reference they open at 8am). Was delayed trying to explain the basics of Microsoft Outlook to new coworker over the phone.

9:20a- Leave car and walk to K-Mart, as this is the closest place I could go sit and wait (my mechanic doesn't have a lobby, and no one had made the lawn chairs accessible yet). Try to fight how-will-i-afford-car-repair-and-remaining-Christmas-shopping-and-postage anxiety. Sit in snack bar, plan tonight's Kids Kingdom lesson, journal, and organize life (including plan B on remaining Christmas gifts, utilizing Kohl's card and gift cards given away during last week's Black Friday deals).

10:30a- Enough of K-Mart, decide to take walk. Pass a few homeless folks, moms with babies in strollers, and one hot guy who unfortunately had non-attractive cigarette hanging from lips. Chat on phone with Soph's mom and Lara, see house that looked like a barn (in a cute, cozy way), and random Jesus fish carved into sidewalk cement.

11:30a- Back at auto shop, learn that part of my car's problem is with evap system, but this means nothing to me in my car-stupidity. Answer a couple more calls from same co-worker, update boss on status, settle into now-available lawn chair with book.

12:40p- losing focus on book, ask for car update. Learn they are trying to figure out what hose is the problem, am advised to go somewhere for lunch.

12:47p- Arrive at Subway by foot, order kids meal and try to eat it slowly. Nearly finish book, chat with Sophia. Pray and remind self that God will supply all my needs and knows my budget, and sufficient for the day is its own trouble (is it ever).

1:30p- Too cold in Subway, start walking back to auto shop. Notice another Jesus fish randomly in sidewalk cement.

2:20p- Briefing from mechanic. Problem is small but involved. Will cost more than I have at the moment, but does not cause my car to be unsafe to drive. Advised that waiting until after the holidays for repairs will be perfectly fine. Car would not pass smog test, but smog test was just done a few months ago and won't be necessary for years. Happily pay for today's labor and diagnostic, wish mechanic-who-i-love Merry-Christmas-see-you-in-January for repairs, call boss with hopes that it won't be necessary for me to report to work.

2:30p- Arrive home, happy to be free from work for the day. Make bed, clean litter box, engage in random productivity, including making candles for Christmas gifts.

5:45p- blog.

November 28, 2008

i became one of those people

Every year after Thanksgiving, my parents, aunts, and uncles would leave my cousins and i to go shopping as early as six or seven in the morning. I thought they were nuts. Why would you wake up early on a day off to go fight crowds and spend money?

Maybe it was because I have never been a big fan of the shopping process. I do love new things, but the lines, the crying children, the trying-on-of-things-that-mostly-didn't-fit, and the money-spending are just not that exciting to me. And doing it in a stressful environment? No thanks. Everyone else can have their fun, if that's what Black Friday was to them. I would stay home and shop later.

So how was it that I found myself standing in a line stretching around the Kohl's parking lot at four o'clock this morning? Though that short time in the chilly pre-dawn was nothing compared to the two-hour line that snaked through women's pajamas, menswear, pots and pans, and shoes to end at the cash register.

What in the world could be worth the madness? Well... fifty percent off pretty much everything. And the fact that I have a Kohl's card and can pay it off in increments. The early bird specials help make it possible for my budget to afford reasonable gifts this year. Combined with the deals we found later at Target, Big Lots, and Michael's (all with less people and practically no more lines as the morning went by), my Christmas shopping is 90% done. Peace of mind? Priceless.

I don't think I'll do it again. Though Sophia said that if she wanted to next year, I had to tag along. Fair enough, since this year's trek was inspired by my lapse in judgement and a moment of irrationality. However, i don't really regret it. It's a twisted American tradition, so it's worth trying at least once.

Tomorrow shall find me in the company of a sewing machine, paint, cards, and other craft supplies. And my pillow. I'm sleeping in.

November 25, 2008

Do you love me like I love you?

Almost Thanksgiving... which means everyone starts blogging about the things for which they are thankful. Sadly, I'm not in the mood to write that kind of entry. It's not that I'm not thankful- I am. In fact, such a list would probably grow sappy with thankfulness. And it's the sappy that I'm not.

There's a trend on my dad's side of the family. When babies were born, they received a family name and a biblical name. I don't know if our parents planned this, but that's how it worked out. And that's how Joshua, Andrew, Sarah, Bethany, Rebecca, Daniel, and (Claudia) Abigail came to be. I ended up with Malinda- the family name- but instead of the traditional scripture-inspired middle name, I was handed a name to share with a third of the girls born in the eighties- Renee (the other two-thirds got "Lynn" or "Marie"). As a child, i felt branded as the only pagan among my holier cousins. To my mother's credit, I have always liked my first name. And now I know that the combined meaning is "gently reborn"- pretty fitting for a girl whose life is a constant growing journey with the Lord instead of a dramatic conversion story.

But i guess that I just turned sappy.

November 16, 2008

protesting the end

Oh, Sunday night, the saddest of all moments. You are more melancholy than Monday morning, even. At least on Monday, there is a bit of motivation to face the week head-on (the desire to face the week non-withstanding). But on Sunday night, you are still technically sitting in the weekend, but without enough weekend left to grasp. Like accidentally dropping an earring down the drain, that moment when you can only watch it disappear, helpless.

But i'm being melodramatic, and I know it.

I knocked a few things off the to-do list this weekend, which is encouraging. The biggest news is the fires. To all my far-away family friends, we are thankfully safe. The sky is perpetually smoky gray, and being outside makes eyes sting and throat burn, but that's only a minor inconvenience compared to anyone directly affected. My heart goes out to the thousands of people who've experienced extreme loss, and prayers for the firefighters who engage in battle against the flames.

Not to give the impression I live in a bad neighborhood (because it's really pretty average), but Friday night the sound of sirens woke me up from *just* falling asleep. I looked out my window to see a random car speed by, followed by FIVE police cruisers with lights and sirens blaring. One of them even pulled to the other side of the road to try to cut of the guy. No high speed chase was on tv so I have no clue how it ended, but it was kind of exciting to watch for a few seconds before going back to sleep.

In other non-relevant news, I am totally ready for the holidays. I do refuse to jump into Christmas until after Thanksgiving (with the exception of some light Christmas shopping, but really that's reasonable). Thanksgiving is really such a lovely holiday, why rush it? I am burning a gingerbread candle (food smells count for multiple holidays, not strictly Christmas), and I got apple cider at Wal*Mart. Though, for the record, it is not as good as the local ciders I used to get back in Ohio in the jugs like milk jugs. The cider was darker than this stuff and tasted better, fresher, and cider-ery. But i'll take what i can get. I'm trying to hold off watching my Charlie Brown Thanksgiving dvd until at LEAST next week. And i'll be contributing no-bake jello oreo pie to this year's family Thanksgiving dinner.

On Thanksgiving, the family does a drawing for who-buys-for-who for Christmas. This requires creating a Christmas list. Other family members have also asked for my list, as I will not be returning to Ohio for the holidays. I've faced an internal dilemma. First, I thought, "I don't need anything for Christmas. I'm very blessed, especially in light of recent events. I would rather people donate to fire victims or World Vision or something instead of buying me a present." Then, selfishly, I thought, "Though it really would be kind of a bummer to have nothing to watch everyone open gifts on Christmas and walk away empty-handed." This was followed by, "Holy cow, that was a pretty selfish thought. I should definitely just ask for donations to charity instead of gifts just to teach myself a lesson!" The flow of thought ended with, "But that wouldn't be very good motives. If you're going to suggest such a thing, you better mean it sincerely. Like, SERIOUSLY." Then I wondered why I sounded like such a valley-girl in my head. A decision has yet to be made.

Friday night I'm going to see "Twilight" with work friends. V. fun. Much looking forward to it. However, it does represent how much i'm killing NOvember this year. With work craziness, the Christmas play, and the occasional social event like this one, November resembles all the hectic months before it. Vacation was the best, most NOvember-like thing I've done all month. Otherwise, it's just been church play/kids kingdom stuff. I did turn down a trip out to eat with Soph and a friend. However, I WAS going to Magic Mountain Saturday, had it not been closed due to fire......

Can I take a true sabbatical for a month? How do people afford that?

This entry had turned rambly and unfocused. I just have one more thing to say:

While I strongly believe in being active in your community and standing up for what you believe, I would suggest those who oppose Prop 8 to move forward instead of whining about how it passed. I say this not based on my own personal opinion on the proposition (though, for the record, I did vote yes after giving it much thought and prayer), but because waving a sign and ranting on myspace isn't going to accomplish anything. Become involved in an activist group or take a part in local government instead. If you feel strongly about ANY issue, then you should do something proactive about it. Educate yourself about all sides of the issue, know why you believe, and search for positive solutions. As for Prop 8, it's over, it's passed.
Also, if you don't live in California, thanks but no thanks for your input. Again, do something proactive in your local community. If you feel that strongly, move here so it becomes your community and do something proactive. There were other angles to Prop 8 besides yes or no that most of the country didn't pay attention to- for instance, the fact that it had already been voted on, then overturned by the court despite what the people wanted. No matter what the issue is, our system of government is built on giving people as much power possible. When judges or leaders use their position to overturn what the entire state voted on, it only undermines the power of the vote. If enough people want to overturn the original decision, there are proper ways to put it on the ballot again. I'm assuming, all of you who have sent me Keith Olbermann's video, that you do care about these details as well. ;)

Alright, the news is on with fire updates. I'm praying that the three firetrucks who raced by here a bit ago don't mean anything serious.

November 13, 2008

a day like every other

i have hairy legs today. When i opened my eyes this morning, I took a moment to admire the sunrise-orange sky from my window, then weighed my options of more sleep or snooze button. The snooze won- for an hour. And my skilled procrastinative self jumped up, got ready, and was out of the house in twenty minutes.

Save one minor detail. I wore a skirt. This decision was made due to said skirt not needing the iron (ironing takes time, you know), and the lack of quality time in front of the mirror. Fortunately for me, I was behind a desk half of the day, and my hair is somewhat light. Unfortunately, i felt like a yeti most of the day... Sasquatch in a skirt.

But maybe everyone was too busy too notice. After all, we had an earthquake drill today. A big promotion where everyone in the predicted destruction path of the San Andreas sat under their desk at 10am. But God loves me and wants me to be entertained. The monthly management meeting was scheduled for this morning. That meant at 10am, our management team was seated around the table in the large conference room, the one with the big glass wall right near my desk. I got to watch each and everyone of them crawl under that table. It made my week.

I also got to see L.A. from one of the skyscrapers downtown. My boss and I visited the Canon open house to consider our options for an updated copier. I can't imagine working every day there, on the 54th floor... or higher. My ears popped in the rushing, wobbly elevator (an elevator i could NOT take on a regular basis. Seriously, childhood claustraphobia is pretty much gone, but elevators are still freaky).

Then in the afternoon, I saw building tenants (who apparently still had too much dignity left after the morning's drill) digging in the dirt outside the front door. The building management offered plants to any willing soul before the landscaping is removed for construction next door. A couple of my co-workers joined dozens of others with shovels and gloves, still dressed in business attire.

i don't even know how to end this entry. It's just a day... .colorful like every other. It's actually part of what I like about where I live and work. Normalcy, after all, is not worth our time.

November 11, 2008

a lot of catchin' up to do

So my plans of updating from San Diego didn't quite happen. We were too cheap to keep paying for internet access in our room, and I was too lazy to try to update from my phone. So now you get a recap.

Luckily for me, the recap comes courtesy of my brand new laptop!! Woohoo!! While the tragic and devastating crash of my hard drive still stings (farewell, lost files. I will miss you), there is some comfort from my new Dell Studio 15. I can log in with my fingerprint, take photos straight from the memory card from my digital camera, and utilize up to three USB ports. It's designed for media... movies, music, photos, editing... and the top has a durable rubberized cover in plum. :) Once i finish adjusting the settings to my like and exploring the options- like sidebar gadgets and a blog manager that sadly doesn't work with myspace, i shall try editing projects and maybe reviving my youtube account. Oh, and if i get bored with all THAT fun? There are games. Not only solitaire and minesweeper, but fun other games. And a built in microphone that I haven't had a chance to try. So it's safe to say i love my new computer. But enough fawning, vacation recap time.

You might have seen the pictures I posted (if not, check 'em out :) ). Let me sort it out into something manageable....

I left our last entry on that low-key Monday with little to tell. Really, we just got settled in. So how about a day-by-day summary? Imagine all events laced with sleeping in, time to read, and visits to the jacuzzi.

Tuesday: Originally planned on kayaking, but waking up to rain dampened our plans (lame pun, i know). Instead, we went to the grocery and explored Oceanside a bit. It was a day to relax and unwind. We went to Joe's Crab Shack for dinner (since it was right next to the hotel and all), and Dairy Queen for dessert! I miss Dairy Queen now that it's not so conveniently located.... It was in a convenience/bait and tackle store buying a postcard for Claudia and ranch dressing that we heard McCain's speech and realized Obama won the election. I can't say I was all that dazzled by Obama's acceptance speech, but we'll see if he can come through on any of the change he promises. I do hope to see Sarah Palin in national leadership soon. Maybe she'll be a senator?

Wednesday: Kayaking!! I waited so long.... sigh. I love kayaking. It's hard to believe i've really only gone a couple times. Like the proverbial bike-riding, it was so easy to get back in the groove once we were out on the water with paddle in hand. We saw leopard sharks and sea lions up-close-and-personal, and ventured into the sea caves for a brief-but-way-cool look around. As we made our way to the shore, we flipped the kayak. No biggie, the water wasn't that deep at that point. I love when the waves over take you and turn you in somersaults... crazy, i know. But being in the ocean and just letting it spin you around... it's happy. We also checked out La Jolla cove and the sandstone cliffs. There's nothing like a sunset as waves dance over rocks....

Thursday: A tip from our kayak guide led us to a mountaintop veterans memorial with a fantastic view. The rest of the afternoon was spent exploring Balboa Park in downtown San Diego. I read online a few weeks ago that it's the "Central Park of San Diego" if that helps you get a mental picture. Lots of gardens, museums, and the zoo (which we visited another day). Highlights included amazing architecture, sushi and miso soup outside the Japanese friendship garden (which was itself was surprisingly tiny), the butterfly garden, the palm tree jungle trail, and the fact that there was more than we could see in a day. At night, we checked out the way groovy weekly Oceanside street fair and went to the water's edge to collect seashells in the dark.

Friday: We went back to the beach in the morning, and just hung out and waded in the water. I could get all poetic about the water baptizing my feet and washing away whatever it is that needs washing away, or describe the smooth rocks in the sand that literally glitters with specks of gold (yeah yeah, mica), but really, unless you were breathing in the salty-air moment it sounds like a cheesy piece of whimsy. You truly did have to be there. Soph's mom and stepdad joined us for the weekend.

Saturday: San Diego Zoo! A place i've wanted to visit since childhood... And it was pretty nifty. I missed feeding the giraffes, sadly. But my day will come.... Some of the animals are immortalized in my pics. Randomly, i kept thinking of my childhood dreams of marine biology and zookeeping this week. Nighttime found us in Old Town San Diego, and at the Whaley House. The landmark is reported to be the most haunted place in America by tons of experts... now I don't particularly believe in wandering souls, but i DO believe in demons and spirits. So you better believe i prayed my heart out before we walked in! Soph's stepdad is into the whole ghost thing, and was snapping photo after photo in hopes of catching something supernatural. He actually got a couple of creepy shots, including what looks like a wispy face by a lamp. The lamp is in one of the children's room, and the employees (who report all sorts of creepy happenings they've witnessed first-hand) say that if they turn off that lamp at night, they return to a mess in the room the next morning. And my pictures? Though i took a lot of pictures in the same place/time, I got nothing. The house itself was interesting though. History bores me, unless it's really getting down to what it was like to live day-to-day in another time. Stepping into a preserved home was pretting interesting, even if it WAS crawling with ghost-hunters. Oh, and if you're interested, I have Soph's stepdad on my friends list (Drums of Mordor), and he posted the pics online.

Sunday: We visited the aircraft carrier USS Midway. It was gigantic, like a city in itself. Again, imagining day-to-day living on a massive boat was crazy....

And now it's back to "real life" and work again. I'm training for the new position, so it's challenging in a good way. So far, I like it. But it keeps me hopping all day! (which, hopefully, will burn more calories. Because since the layoffs in August, the stress at work has reduced me to stress-eating. And checking out some of the vacation photos i DIDN'T post, you can totally see the effects of my comfort cookies, pizza, or margaritas. Though a new challenge has emerged... tonight, thanks to the free drink promotion, I was introduced to the peppermint mocha latte from Coffee Bean. Oh, happy holidays....).

When i was a freshman in Mr. Rettig's English class, I had a planner with a map of the U.S. One day, i circled a dot labled Oceanside, California. I declared this would be my future home (with summer headquarters in Hawaii, of course). Sure, my decision was based on three simple facts- 1. It was halfway between L.A. and San Diego, 2. It was right on the coast, and 3. The word "ocean" was in the name. After spending time in the town for real, I realize my 14-year-old self was brilliantly right on the money.

Just a little test

Big entry coming soon... highlights include vacation and free coffee at Coffee Bean. Right now I'm testing some of the features on my new laptop. While losing my entire hard drive was at the most extreme level of suckage, my new laptop is AMAZING. Right now i'm using a built-in blog manager to update. If i can figure out how, I might be able to update both myspace and blogger in one fell swoop. Now if only it could upload pics and stuff to picasa/myspace/facebook all at once. Really, it's getting a bit ridiculous.....

November 03, 2008

vacating, day one

It took us a bit to get on the road, so the morning was filled with last-minute packing, getting Jolie all taken care of, and even a little Guitar Hero until Soph was ready to go.

Driving to San Diego wasn't bad. Of course, that could be because our destination is technically Oceanside, so it isn't as far south. Near Camp Pendleton a big ol' flock of military aircraft flew over us.

We couldn't check in until four, so we drove down the road a bit and ate at a tiny little roadside diner. Next door was an itty-bitty vintage clothing store.

We are staying at Soph's mom and stepdad's timeshare. It's randomly located by the harbor near the freeway and train tracks.... but is saved from ghetto status by being amazingly near the ocean. I can see the water from our balcony. Happy.

So our biggest accomplishment of the night? Hanging out in the jacuzzi. THAT was the moment i started to relax. Now I just sit while Soph watches random campaign coverage on tv.

On that note, I will be SO GLAD when the election is over. I voted by mail-in ballot last week. It's to the point where everyone has made up their minds and are only bickering. Ready to move forward....

October 27, 2008


This is just a fly-by entry, because it's Monday morning at work and you KNOW there's a zillion things to do. But a few important notes:

Thanks to all who gave input about my Guitar Hero dilemma. Due to overwhelming response, I am keeping the game. It is happy.

Of course, once a person makes a purchase like that (and opens an electronic item, therefore branding it unable-to-be-returned), something goes wrong. In this case, it's the crashing laptop. I know the $50 I spend on Guitar Hero wouldn't even begin to cover it, but I can't help but fight the panic over the files I can no longer access. Files I use for my JOB, for the CHRISTMAS PLAY, and the amazing resource that is the internet that I need for half of what I do. Seeking solution.....

Meanwhile, today starts a week where my department is short-staffed and I must also prepare for next week's absence. So please, listeners who feel the need to call me about the "Obama lawsuit" or asking our manager to help you fight city council.... can it please wait? (and for the record, did you ever consider that the Democratic party would not waste their time, money, and resources on a candidate that was not eligible for the presidency? And i'm sorry you're having trouble with the city, but you should contact an attorney, not a radio station).

This weekend, I just crashed like my computer. Deer-in-the-headlights reaction to a full plate. I woke up with a pounding heart and stomach in knots- text book anxiety. On Saturday, I took two naps and watched a lot of tv to distract me- to no avail. On Sunday, I tried to cram two days worth of activity into one. Not smart. It's no wonder i'm still queasy.... then again, if I quit eating poptarts for breakfast, that might help. Does anyone know how to make eggs in 30 seconds to go?

October 22, 2008

nothings gonna change my world

I sat in Sophia's black round moon chair last night in front of her cd player. I just got my "Across the Universe" cd from Claudia's fundraiser, and didn't want to wait until I was in the car this morning to hear it. Then I thought, wow. I'm actually just SITTING here, listening to music. Not multi-tasking. It was crazy. I don't think I've done that- just LISTEN- for years. Sure, i felt like I was fifteen.. but in a good way.

I've only seen about thirty minutes of "Across the Universe", but I liked it. I want to rent it when funds allow. Until then, yay for the soundtrack. I was pleasantly surprised at how well they remade Beatles' songs. Typically, I am cynical of anyone who tries to remake classics.

In the news-of-mal.... my job duties are going to be changing soon. Just way less phone and a lot more tasks. But that's good. There is a bit of a challenge in my fast approaching vacation time ( 11 days, 15 hours, 39 minutes from this moment!), but i hesitate to say more since it hasn't been made public at work. Not that many work people read this, but posting things on the world wide web just seems slightly risky. But there is a lot to do in the next 11 days.

On the flip side, only 11 days, 15 hours, and 39 minutes until my week of freedom in San Diego! I dream of kayaking. And reading by the pool. God bless Southern California weather, that I can do these things in November. I love you, climate.

October 14, 2008

urban jungle

"I am a panther in a jungle of hope," says one of the many quotes painted on the wall above the tennis courts in the park. Child-like drawings illustrate words that sound like variations on a Mother Theresa theme. You've seen the pictures, it's a quiet, sweet little park.

Most days, anyway. Yesterday I smelled smoke, and thought, "I play tennis while neighborhoods burn." I started to feel a bit guilty. Then realized there's not a lot I can do. Then both Danielle (across the court) and I realized that we were smelling weed.

This of course, can overshadow the images of bridges, trees, and friendly butterflies, and instead remind us of the day we found broken glass on one side of the net. The chopper overhead was a bit louder- today it could be headed to fight the fires or provide news coverage. Other days? I think there was a standoff once, another time, traffic accident, or who knows what else. There's usually a helicopter. And the painted-over graffiti under my feet was a little harder to ignore.

Though it's hardly as if we play in downtown L.A. or anything. But it just dampens my little naturistic retreat that i so desperately wanted. And after yet another day of corporate frustration, I needed to take out my aggression with a racquet while surrounded by peaceful leaves, a cool breeze, and the awesome fact that the courts are nestled down into the park, so you can barely even SEE the street above.

Who deserves such luxury while not-so-distant neighborhoods burn? Then again, don't we always live our lives carefree while neighbors distant and nearby suffer? This afternoon is no different.

As I steered my car out of the parking lot, a sign in my rearview mirror reminded me that this is a Drug-Free Zone.

October 10, 2008

casino night

i suppose I should update, eh?

I have been avoiding my blog purely because I don't have anything to say besides the usual oh-i'm-so-busy-and-feel-like-my-job's-a-hamster-wheel kind of thing. And frankly, who wants to hear a girl blessed with a job and good friends-like-family whine over slight imperfections?
But then again, I don't like to feel out of the loop when you guys don't keep your blogs up, so i decided to at least post something.

In twenty minutes I am off work! And the building management people are hosting casino night for tenants so i'm going to hang out down there with my work buddies Danielle and Monique.

I have a mysterious rash. Gross, huh? I finally broke down and went to the doctor, who also doesn't know what it is, but gave me prescription stuff that will hopefully help. This is a new doctor, whose office is around the corner from work. Everyone- staff and patients- was speaking Russian or Armenian or something, unless they were talking directly to me- the lone English-only speaker. One patient had his dog in the waiting room. Everyone was nice, though, and I liked it. I didn't even mind being out of the language loop. The physician's assistant's eyes about bugged out of her head when she did my history and i told her I was a virgin. I was amused. It almost distracted me from feeling like a leper.

Other than that... same ol' routine that drives me nuts. I miss the ocean. The end.

September 29, 2008

extended weekend

Too bad this couldn't be a long weekend. Instead, today almost doesn't exist. "Yay" for nauseating migraines that dissolve the day into nothing more than a dream-filled marathon nap.

The actual weekend was pretty nifty, though. The ChildShare gala was amazing. I was late getting there after navigating the one-way streets of downtown Los Angeles, but once I got to the California Club, it was like stepping into an old movie. The high ceilings were ornately carved in intricate designs. The carpet and the curtains were red and gold. The tables danced in candlelight, seated with men in tuxedos and black ties, and women in beautiful dresses and sparkling jewelry. And it was all a benefit to raise money for this organization that finds home for kids in need.

We had fun at our table. My friend who invited me for some reason stuck me between herself and her husband. Despite the great awkwardness potential, I was glad to get to know him a little better. There was a lot of laughter among the whole table, which included another lady I knew through my ChildShare friend, my friend Lara and her husband, and three ladies who were sign interpreters. I wished I were more fluent in their quick sign. I only understood tidbits here and there... but it was fun. Add sign language fluency back to my perpetual to-do list...

I wore a simple black dress and black heels (thank you, Kohl's card, for bailing me out again. Note: must NOT make a habit of using this, despite the incredible deals). I had a silver chain that was shaped into different-sized stars and silver bangle bracelets. Soph and I tried to curl my hair (when will we ever learn?), and when it was obvious it wasn't going well, her mom and aunt stepped in. The three of them curled, sprayed, pinned, and with the final touch of Sophia's butterfly barrette, I was read to go. Sadly, I'm not satisfied with the pictures we hurriedly snapped, so I'm not posting them. Your imagination is probably more flattering anyway.

I didn't so much feel like a fish-out-of-water but for a few moments. My friends are remarkably down-to-earth, despite colorful lives of super-mom-sign-interpreter or radio-personality-married-to-tv-producer, which is one of the many reasons i love them. I did have to laugh as I waited for the valet to bring my car (free valet parking- maybe the first and only time i experience THIS luxury). I waited with the fancy-dressy men and women who just moments before were bidding thousands of dollars on the charity auction as their Lexus' (Lexi?), Mercedes', and Audi's pulled up. Then appeared my dirty Cavalier with the busted front license plate. I had to hide my chuckle as I claimed my vehicle. And I do admit those moments driving downtown, I envied my married friends whose husbands safely drove....

So yes, great fun. Also included in the weekend: teachers' appreciation luncheon at church, change in Christmas play plans, an afternoon at Boomer's with teen-boy-cousins, and the low-key season premiere of Desperate Housewives. Today i finished the last book in the "Twilight" series. And can anyone believe it's almost October?

September 25, 2008

i think i need another NOvember

Is it bad when your first thoughts in the morning are "Make it stop!!!" and you aren't referring to your alarm clock? And how is it that after i cut down things in my schedule that I'm just as busy? It must be a gift.

Last night at church we had the Disciple Awards- basically Kids Kingdom Oscar night. I'm quite happy with how the fellowship hall turned out. I stand by my philosophy- there is no such thing as too many christmas lights. Sophia was in charge of the menu and kicked butt as usual. The other teachers pitched in, and the best part was how happy the kids were to get their awards for things like "Most Courageous", "Best Scripture Memorization", and "The Good Samaritan Award". Nevermind that a fistfight briefly broke out. One little girl gave me a big ol' hug when I told her I was proud of her. I got two synchronized high fives from twins (despite our small numbers, we have three sets of twins. go figure). And Daylene loudly announced how much fun she had as she gathered her things at the end of the night. So what if the standards are high for next year? It gives them something to look forward to- and work for.

Now to finish that darn assistant directors training application! I have three essays to go, and I want them to be good. The writing is what will express my personality and hopefully convince them that my presence in an interview would be a beautiful thing.

Tonight is the season premiere of The Office. Happy.

This weekend I'm going to a gala benefit for an organization a friend is involved in. I'm quite excited to hang out with her, and this is a black-tie optional affair... I have never been to anything so fancy! So while I'm a little nervous about that, i'm mostly excited. Every now and then, even I look forward to dressing up and going out.

Ok, so i just received more writing projects here at work. So...... that means must step away from the blog.............

September 16, 2008

i will write you a song

15 minutes til freedom. My brain is fried. I have a list of things I want to do tonight..... Does anyone else try to live the meaningful parts of their lives in the few hours in the evening? Does anyone else think this is nuts??

P.S.- calling someone, insulting them, and then requesting information is not a good idea. Do you really expect good customer service after you harrass me for not picking up your call on the first ring? Please. You're lucky I don't transfer your rude self to the voicemail of a former employee.

Appreciated thing of the week: Blockbuster, for their lack of late fees. God bless you. Sorry I don't reward you by being more timely with my movies. But thank you for rocking.

I wish i had copies of old video projects from childhood. I did mention them in my assistant director training application. What i wouldn't give to laugh at "The Bare Witch Project", "Ghetto Medea", "The Night Before Christmas at Mamaw's House", our Rosie O'Donnell tribute, or even the news report that Heidi Hammontree and I put together.

I wrote a letter to a random member of the Air Force through It was kind of cool to do and I hope it helps. You guys should do it, too. Let me know how it goes. This week's project is about hunger. I'm thinking about how I want to approach it. I might do a creative project. Details to follow once I think it through some more.

I want to do "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" at church this year. I need to pull more team members on board. It will be a big project with a large cast of mostly kids... and most of the young actors at my church are almost too old to play kids. We'll see... it might be interesting.

I get to leave here in five minutes. So i shall save this entry, close the blinds in the conference room, and tell my carpool buddy to be ready- because i'm ready to actually spend my time on something that matters.

September 08, 2008

you decide

Was my weekend fruitful? You decide:

The plans were to take a couple 13-year-old boy cousins to play laser tag on Saturday, then tag along with Sophia and her work friends to celebrate a birthday at the beach on Sunday. In between, I would finalize my Assistant Director's Trainee application.

None of those things happened.

However, this is what I DID accomplish:

-I finished my book on screenwriting and read through Ephesians.

-Spent quality time with the old school nintendo- specifically Super Mario Bros. (the first one). In my lifetime, I have never actually beat the game. This is appalling and I set out to remedy this immediately. Thanks to ill-timed Starbucks, I was up until two this morning. I got to the part in level 8-4 where you go down the pipe and go through the water. I'm not sure how close I am to the end. Perhaps tonight, when I return to battle Bowser again, we shall see. I hope to report back with good news of a rescued princess. Wow, I sound like a twelve-year-old boy.

- took my car through a car wash. Those of you who see me regularly know how pathetically amazing this is. Those of you who don't: imagine a car that needs a chisel to remove the dirt. Apparently, parking next to a sprinkler does not equal "free car wash".

- significant Target/Trader Joe's shopping. Spent a lot of money, but it was for a carefully planned list of necessities, and it was budgeted (two points i remind myself when the checkbook-balancing-guilt approaches)

- rented Penelope, Anchorman, and A Beautiful Mind. Didn't actually watch any of them yet. Instead, finally saw Knocked Up, and discovered that it is exactly what everyone says- sweetly funny, yet so very vulgar. Incredible how the two can coexist.

- skipped church, but slept a lot

- discovered the boy I used to like before distance cruelly reminded us about reality is now engaged. Pondered why I was so sad. Came to the conclusion that it was because I really did like him and had let myself imagine him living here and it working out (however unlikely) combined with the fact that I'm still so very alone (and current object of fancy just doesn't feel the same way). My sister pointed out how similar we are to Bridget Jones. Sigh. She's right. Pathetic.

-Recieved free samples of cat food, tampons, and two chicken soft tacos from Del Taco, as well as the book I ordered using my latest Blingo gift card. Yay for savings!! Forgot to secure the CVS flier from Cali Grandma's Sunday paper to start exploring the extra care savings. :( I wonder if you can get the flier in-store? Maybe I can convince Sophia to walk there tonight by bribing her with Jamba Juice?

- hung out with baby Beverly for a bit. Sophia's mom watched her while the rest of the family went to the beach.

So..... productive weekend? Lazy weekend? I'm not sure either.

Meanwhile, this week's project is to write a letter to a soldier. Tell them a little about yourself, then thank them for their sacrifice and service for our freedom. Check out for more details (it seems a bit confusing at first, but read the FAQ's and it becomes clear). Let me know if you send a letter, too! :)

September 02, 2008


I took the outgoing mail downstairs to the mailbox, a usual task in my day. Today, there was a small white post-it note on the big blue box. I wanted to take a picture but I did not have a camera handy. It said something along the lines of, "I dropped an envelope mailed to Wendy Ramos in the box, but neglected to put a stamp on it. Could you please be so kind as to add the stamp when you open the box? Thanks!" Attached was the required postage.

When I turned back to the elevators to go back to our floor, I noticed Larry the UPS delivery guy outside. He usually has a break at mail-time, and has a packed lunch at one of the small tables outsitde our building. Often, he has a book in hand and his UPS scanner lying on the table in front of him. Today, I stopped to ask what he was reading. "The Egyptologist", i believe was the name of the book. He said it was about a guy who conned a whole bunch of people out of a large sum of money to go raid the tomb of some unknown Egyptian pharoah.

On my way back to the elevators (again), I passed the girl who does security in the mornings at the front desk of our building. Only now she wasn't wearing her standard collared shirt and name tag. Her shift was over, so now she had on a black t-shirt with a skull on it and a plaid bookbag. She looked happier.

i put up some more pictures. Some of Jolie and my old-school nintendo i hooked up again this weekend. Some are pictures I took near the library (i revived my library card again this weekend! woohoo!). I was going to post them in here, but i'm kind of pressed for time. Sorry. But you should go look anyway. Some of them i'm proud of because they're pretty, haha.

September 01, 2008

sing like Madonna.... holidaaay!

Yay for long weekends!
Double-yay for long weekends with nothing going on!

We spent Saturday doing deep cleaning, and yesterday was supposed to be more of the same. Though I did something weird to screw up my back, and even yawning, sneezing, or the occasional deep breath was excruciating (still sort of is but i'm bored of sitting still). So onward I go! I have a to-do list that's long, but in a good way. It consists of things I've been meaning to accomplish (like bathing Jolie- check- and catching up on reading) and fun things (playing guitar, hooking up my old school nintendo). And it's beautiful out, so maybe i'll go for a walk or something. We're supposed to have a barbecue at Sophia's grandma's, but i've yet to hear those details.

Saturday when we were cleaning, I came across a rock on the shelf. Soph's mom, Rosalie, collects Betty Boop, and I'm staying in the room designated for her collection. But i could not figure out the purpose of this random rock about the size of a fist....Apparently, Rosalie's mother-in-law visited Ground Zero a few years back. She picked up the rock and gave it to Rosalie.... So all this time, I've been staying in a room with a piece of Ground Zero. Crazy, huh?

I half-heartedly looked at last week's "Every Monday Matters" so i'm just going to pick it up again today. We are waging a war on junk mail! It's a waste to print, and a waste when it's not recycled. So when you get it, recycle it! But better yet, try not to get it. Opt-out of mailings every chance you get. Go paperless when you have the option. Call the phone number on the junk mail you DO get to ask them to remove your name and address from their list.
I tried to look online for a simple way to opt out of stuff, but one site made you pay $3 a month (no thanks) and another seemed complicated. So i guess i'll try the one-item-at-a-time option and make sure to note "please don't sell/rent my name" whenever I sign up for anything. I'll start with the Oriental Trading catalog that always shows up!

August 28, 2008

so so much....

I can't keep up with all that's going on... so instead of a cleverly crafted, well-written entry, you're just going to get the run down. I hope you won't mind. I'm tired.

Today: I started my day with an email from my dad with a scanned-in newspaper clipping. It showed a picture of our former house in the W- on fire. It's eerie to see a place you called home in flames. No one was home or hurt, so i'm glad for that.

A public service announcement came across my desk at work. It's for an assistant director training program. It sounds amazing and I will be applying. But please please pray. I feel like it's a real long shot, but i really want to do it.

My friend Patty won on Blingo again! Which means i, who referred her, won, too! Thanks, Patty! Amazon, here I come with my $5.....

Monday: I spent the day in the mountains at Camp Joy, for homeless kids. It was amazing for a lot of reasons. I wanted to stay all week with those kids. I know a couple days at summer camp won't change their situation.... but i do believe it could change their life. Jesus is a powerful dude.

Saturday: Chalk contest! Check my pics section for this year's entry... i'm too lazy to stick it in here, sorry. I'm proud of our picture, and thanks to Patty for being part of the idea conceptualization! They didn't have places this year, only one prize per category and one overall grand prize. The grand prize winner had a great drawing. The winner in our category.... well, at the risk of having a bad attitude, i say check out my pics section and see for yourself. We'll be back and ready to try again next year!

There's a lot more in between the "big events"- like church and dogsitting and work and such.... and I had been meaning to blog and really expound on a lot of these things. But the days have been so dang full, and when i get home i'm exhausted. At least you're not totally in the dark!! :) And a holiday weekend with no plans is on the horizon, so expect better blogs soon.

August 20, 2008

now i lay me down to sleep

Sometimes i just want to close my eyes and stop. Just for a minute. To rest. Not that i don't rest ever, because I do. And as crazy as life is, I take moments to stop or nap or play or what have you... But there's always a deadline looming or the knowledge that time is limited before I have to get up again and keep going. I realize this is normal, this is adulthood, and I have nothing to complain about. But sometimes, I just want to have a day with nothing to do, no expectations, no responsibilities, no accountability.

The chalk contest is Saturday and I'm v. excited. We're drawing a sunset in a clamshell. We practiced last night... and have a LOT of work to do. The competition time has been shortened to only three hours to draw, so we need a very strategic game plan. We're doing a run-through on Friday night... but i'm actually a little nervous, because i'm less confident at the moment. I know the remedy for that is preparedness.....

This week's project is eating healthy. I won't bore you with the rundown, because it's nothing you haven't heard, and it's usually something on my mind anyway. So yay healthiness. I did invest $20 in an emergency kit for my car though. I figure when Soph and i are back in an apartment i'll put aside emergency supplies there. At least my car is ready to go. The kit has first aid stuff, jumper cables and tow rope, gloves, blanket, and poncho, a flashlight (and i added glowsticks so as not to depend on batteries) and a year's free roadside assistance. I might add a couple bottles of water, an index card of emergency numbers, and some cash. I feel a bit more prepared now.

August 16, 2008

saturday in flight

i really have no business being on the computer right now. There's a big reunion tomorrow for my adoptive family, and i should be helping or at least finishing my house-cleaning duties. But i was working on a project on the computer anyway, and i am weak!! So i blog.

God got my attention over my bad attitude on Wednesday. As we sat in McDonald's for a late post-church dinner, I complained to Sophia about various church-related injustices. I felt they were valid laments- Kids' Kingdom limitations because we can't spend a dime, small-group let-down, frustration over drama ministry (or lack there-of). As I paused to take a bite of my high-calorie comfort chicken mcnuggets, Daylene turned to me and said, "I'm so lucky."
"Why is that?" I innocently asked.
She shrugged and said, "I love my life."

Darn kids.


Sometimes my co-workers and I walk to a nearby restaurant for lunch. We take a short-cut through the bottom level of our parking garage. One day as we were coming back, we saw a lady emerge from the dumpster. However, she didn't appear to be homeless, and had a friend in the car nearby. My oh-so-outgoing friend, Shelly, of course asked her what she was doing.As it turns out, she was bringing food and fresh water to stray cats. Since then, we've seen her a couple of times. Her name is Fran and she's a very sweet lady. And it's awesome that she puts time and money into taking care of neighborhood cats (and no notes about how she's contributing to the pet population. At least she's doing SOMEthing, and who knows, i wouldn't put it past her to care for sick ones or invest in getting them fixed. )


Traffic was unbelievable light on Friday morning, and I got to work 45 minutes early. That means Jamba Juice! And thanks to my little punch card, i was treated to a free breakfast smoothie! Nothing beats a twenty-minute miracle commute and free Jamba Juice! As I walked back to my car, I saw a woman with blonde hair piled on top of her head and huge sunglasses.... it was Fran the cat lady! I am always surprised to run into familiar faces in the city- it's not like it's a Wal*Mart in small-farm-town. When i expressed my surprise, Fran just said, "There are no coincidences". I hope i run into her again.


We finally have our chalk idea! Sketches coming soon...... Also in random notes... i found out my blood type after donating last month. I am A+! I have no clue why but i've always wondered about my blood type...

Alright, if I don't get my booty off this computer, I'm going to be in for it! Besides, there's a toilet that needs scrubbed and a carpet that needs vacuuming....

August 14, 2008

thursday, eh?

Does your internal calendar ever get thrown off? You forget what day it is, Monday feels like Friday, everything is scattered... and you're not sure what comes next...

What would it be like without clocks and calendars? Without routines and obligations and bills? No credit cards, just a barter system? Simplicity is something the Amish got right.

No update on the complicated life situation. And i don't want another whiny entry, so i'm just not going into it. Meanwhile, a co-worker just walked by holding a bunch of phones and a weird look on his face. Hmmm....

Nine days until chalk contest '08! The theme is "Fanta-Sea". We're anxious to expand the sunset from a section of last year's turtle, but not sure how to make that fit the theme. Suggestions and inspiration are welcome.

i feel like doing a survey. Just because i want to type and make it look like i'm working, even though most of my work (besides incoming phone calls) is done for the day. So here it is. A survey from the latest on the bulletin board expressly to make me look busy.

What is your favorite sit-down restaurant?
Red Lobster. Olive Garden. Does Souplantation count? Cracker Barrel. Joe's Crab Shack. California Pizza Kitchen.

geez, no wonder i'm chunky.

What are your pizza toppings of choice?
speaking of.... cheese, mushrooms, various veggies

What do you like to put on your toast?
maranatha organice peanut butter on one, trader joes organic strawberry preserves on the other, please

What is your wallpaper on your computer?
the picture i took of the stone steps at the Pasadena park

What is the last heavy item you lifted?
blue recycling bin full of empty glass bottles

Have you ever been knocked unconscious?
nope. though it's a little fuzzy around the time i fell during a KWC theatre audition

If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
i like my name. Always have, even as a kid. My last name however... i'm looking forward to changing that with marriage. Not that i'm ashamed of my last name, people just have a hard time pronouncing it

Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000
Do I have to chug it? Can I go at my own pace? If so, yes. Otherwise, i'll chug it for $5000 and you have a deal.

How many pairs of flip flops do you own?at least seven but probably more

Last time you had a run-in with the cops?last year, giving a police report when my friends' purse (then car, now that they had her keys) were stolen from church

summer summer summer summer!

Christmas. My birthday (yes, i think it counts). Easter. Fourth of July. Thanksgiving. Memorial Day. Labor Day. New Years. In that order. And yes, other holidays were omitted because i do NOT enjoy them. (Though in case anyone's taking notes, i'm looking forward to someone changing Valentine's Day into a day to look forward to instead of dread)

Day of the week?
Any day i'm not at work

Mood?pick one

First place you went this morning?the bathroom. it's weird- it's the first thing i HAVE To do when i wake up. seriously. no exceptions.

What can you not wait to do?
be financially stable again

What's the last movie you saw at home?
French Kiss

How about at the theater?
Mamma Mia

Whats the most random thing in the room you are in right now?
the awesome sort-of real-looking fake orchid on my desk

Talked to a jerk today?
It's why they pay me

Do you like anyone?
does it matter?

Can you do a cartwheel?
yup. Daylene asked me to teach her last summer. then she revealed she already knew how, she just wanted to see if i'd do it.

Do you have a piggy bank shaped like a pig?
Do i? I might. I haven't seen most of my belongings in over a year, so i'm starting to forget what's in those boxes in storage. Though it's pretty telling, isn't it? Amazing what we really can live without.

A Daydreamer:
please. must you even ask?

just another service i offer.

actually, sometimes yes

yeah, you ask my second-grade teacher that question and report back to me when she stops laughing

August 11, 2008


Our church small group has decided to sell those rubberband bracelets to raise money for Voice of the Martyrs. They're $3, silver with black writing and say "Pray for China" in English and Chinese. Funds support persecuted Christians overseas. Yesterday at church I was given five to find homes for. If you're interested, leave a comment or email me..... It can be your good deed for the day.


Other notable happenings:
- attended two birthday parties and a wedding this weekend
- chalk contest at the beach in two weeks
- still no clue what we're drawing
- At one of the birthday parties, Sophia and I did temporary tattoos and facepaint for the kids... something of a warm-up for her family reunion this coming Sunday
- visiting Camp Joy (for homeless kids) in two weeks!! :)
- it's been recommended that I read a book called "Twilight". Anyone read it? Is it good? I need to resurrect my library card
- I'm really starting to loathe the sound of a ringing phone


Every Monday Matters!

Did anyone else sign up for Amber Alerts last week?

This week... prepare for an emergency.

To me, this is challenging. There are so many possible emergencies, and it's impossible to predict when, where, and how it could happen. I guess having supplies at home and in the car is a good idea?

- develop a family communication plan, and select a family member outside of the area to call during an emergency to be a central information point.
- MEMORIZE phone numbers. Thanks to cell phones, we don't normally do this. However, if I don't have my phone or laptop, I couldn't tell you how to reach my parents or sisters. I'm thinking I need to fix that. Also, think about coins for a payphone or a phone card, since cell phones get jammed with high call volume. (We witnessed this after the earthquake the other day- and that wasn't even a disaster. We couldn't use cell phones for at least an hour or more, just because EVERYONE gets on the phone after a quake).

-Designate a meeting location, and a back-up plan B

- Create an emergency supply kit to carry you through three days. Here's one website with suggestions: Also, check out the camping section at Wal*Mart or Target for useful supplies. I'm going to make a kit for my car, i think. I'll post details when it's done.

We don't know what the future holds. But I bet these folks wished THEY were prepared (fast forward about 50 seconds to the good part):

(I can't figure out how to put the youtube video in the darn blog... arrgh. Just click it)

August 06, 2008


So i really did mean to blog on Monday. However, i did update frequently last week, so it evens out, right?

Biggest craziness- last week, our company laid off a large group of people. Everyone was shocked and now sitting uneasy. Though they say they don't anticipate further cutbacks, no one feels secure- not to mention the increased workload to make up for those who aren't here. And, more importantly, we're a pretty close-knit office. Our hearts break for our suddenly-unemployed friends.

Of course, that paragraph would've been more bitter and sarcastic had i written it last week.... but forward we must move, eh? God has a plan, it is good. God is good all the time. (and I'll say it again until my heart is sure).

So my job searching has a little more drive behind it. I still send out a few resume's a day. So far I've only gotten one response for a personal assistant job. I'm waiting for confirmation on a Saturday interview. We'll see what happens!

Saturday I had a very enlightening counseling session with a pastor at church, and my emotionalness was brightened when I got a package in the mail... a crazy awesome book, the sequel to "Stargirl"!! I read it all afternoon... waiting in line at Wal*Mart, waiting for Soph's mom at the mall, in the car, and before I went to bed... and finished it! I loved it!! And it struck a chord.... i know it sounds cheesy but she's got a lot of similarities to me in the "free spirit" department. Though as I've ventured into "adulthood", that spirit is much contained (with depressing results, as you've witnessed). In the book, she's lost a little of her shine, too. And the way she finds to get it back... well, dang it, it made sense. Yay for revelations in young adult fiction.

Also saw "Mamma Mia".... oh-so-cheesy, but fun and silly. Soph and her mom really liked it, so that's what matters. Go Abba. Now i want to see "Dark Knight" and a zillion other movies i'm behind on. Oh, how I miss Blockbuster Online.

This week's project: Amber Alerts. America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response was created in memorium to 9-year-old Amber from Texas who was kidnapped and murdered. Now, by giving the public the information, 336 kids have been found and returned to their families.

What do we do?
- pay attention when you see a posted Amber Alert
- sign up to receive Amber Alerts on your phone or download a webpage ticker (Myspace posts them, too, I think?)
- Don't take it lightly- this kid is somewhere, and it really could be closer than you think. If it were your daughter, your nephew, your little sister or cousin- you would pray that people were looking for them.

Stargirls shed light.

July 30, 2008

you and me, tv free!

No tv, and i'm still alive! hehehe

Last night, i housesat and had dinner at a groovy little Thai place in Toluca Lake with Sophia. When we got home, her mom and cousin had the tv on. Though my heart broke at the thought of missing the latest installment of "America's Got Talent" (please note sarcasm), I spent my time reading instead. A little anti-social, but much more interesting than the strange whistling act i heard from the other room.

Today's revelation, as I tried to productively work toward solutions to my issues rather than wallow in them: In order to afford living expenses and bills (no luxuries), i must make $18 an hour. So i am seeking jobs that actually pay that much with my limited experience. Sadly, this means that everything i studied in school and all my recent/current career goals are useless. It seems creativity is only valued by the dollar when it is paired with years of experience. I still pray for that eleventh hour miracle (though it seems that hour passed months ago), and i still cling to waning hope that God DOES have a plan for me, and it is good. Meanwhile, if any of you know of an open position with that kind of pay, please let me know.

Soon, off to church. We're supposed to take our kids to Golfland tonight. I think i screwed up the scheduling though, so i'm waiting to hear exactly what we will do. I'm battin' a thousand this week, that's for sure.

July 29, 2008


i'm on top of things at work, there's nothing a pressing... a few emails to answer and a flier (or is it flyer?) to make. If i really buckled down, i could finish in an hour. Then what? i've got to pace myself or i will be twiddling my thumbs for a few more hours. Then again, i should enjoy it now, because this time next week i'll be up to my ears in billing invoices.

We had an earthquake this morning. It was kind of fun. Our building is on rollers and we're on the fifth floor, so it swayed back and forth for a little bit. Then came the fun time after where you can't use your cell phone. No, not a natural phenomenon, just the result of EVERYone in the Southland calling friends and family to make sure all is well.

Last night with no tv went well. Really, all i did was sleep. Literally. I came home and went straight to bed. Partly because my back was hurting, but who knows why else. Today i cheated a bit and did watch news reports in the studio, but that was honestly to be updated when people call, so it's not like wasting time with passive entertainment.

i'm eating broccoli and ranch.

i should answer emails now.

July 28, 2008

make it matter

Coming back from a weekend of spending too much money, exercising too little, watching too much tv, and eating too much junk food leaves one less than prepared for a Monday.

Particularly when one wakes up with back spasms.

I am not fifty years old!! This is not fair!! But if my week of being sick wasn't signal enough from my body that I am not living well, maybe this would get my attention. It seems my muscles are protesting to their eight-hour confinement to this desk chair, then freedom only to sit in the car for another hour (and the hour on the way here in the mornings must only serve as a "warm up" for marathon sitting). It seems that my job is making me sick. Literally.

Funny that this occurs during my week of analyzing my time management. So what's a girl to do?

I pray. I pray that God guides me and opens doors, because the job search only left me worn out and at square one. I'm really out of answers, but open to any possibilities. Maybe i'll start searching again, but part of me already feels defeated. Then again, maybe i'm just cranky because i'm hurting and still in the chair of death.

Regardless, we move forward. It's week two of the "Every Monday Matters" challenge. I think i'm a bit disappointed that no one wanted to join the challenge with me. I thought it could be fun if a group of us did it together. So the offer still stands.

This week: Turn Off Your TV
Did you know a person watches television for an average of 40 days a year? And kids spend about 1,023 hours a year watching television, compared to 900 hours of school, and 33.4 hours having meaningful conversation with their parents. What about you? Can you add up your hours spent watching tv?

Time for action. Step one is turn off the tv.... for the whole week. Actually, this comes at a good time, since it's summer and there's nothing new on anyway.

Instead, use the time to make a list of alternative activities. My list includes reading, taking a walk or some other active thing, playing my guitar, writing, working on drama ministry or kids kingdom or whatever else is on the "to do" list. Haha, though i suppose transferring your television time to time spent on the computer is counter-productive.

Prepare for the end of the week- don't return to bad habits! Remove televisions from the bedroom or kitchen. Designate specific tv time so you reduce viewing hours. Avoid using television time as a reward (hehe, the book says this "increases its power" which made me laugh). Also, be more selective about what programs you watch.

I guess I will start a list of "approved" programs and only watch them. This should naturally and indirectly restrict my hours. The shows shall be:

- The Office

- Desperate Housewives

- The Simpsons

- anything educational

- movies without commercials (otherwise do something in between)

So no tv this week... stay tuned for my blogged results... and dare to try it with me!! I know some of you have already, so i'd love to hear how that went for you. Discussion, people! Don't make me go it alone!