Monday, April 28, 2008

Exhaustion

It's been a long week.

Life certainly has a way of smashing you in the face and then leaving you with a million questions afterwards. It stresses you, hurts you, frightens you, saddens you, encourages you, supports you, confuses you, and surprises you.

At least, that's what my life has done this week.

How 'bout yours?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Jazz Music and Open Windows at Night

Happy first official drive-at-night-with-the-car-windows-down-and-jazz-music-playing-on-the-radio day, everyone!

It's probably one of my favorite parts of spring and summer.

Growing Pains

I have tried to write this post several times now. And yet, it hasn't gotten any easier to type or think through.

At the point where my own life has started to grow and bloom, I am being faced with the fragility of life in the face of my mother's stage 4 cancer and now, my grandfather's imminent death.

How is it that joy and excitement and hope and laughter can sit side-by-side with regret and sorrow and mourning? Or that bills and budgets and grocery store lists must continue to be attended to while dreams or fears or uncertainties take over my mind.

But life ... my life ... goes on. And, as I look back over the past four years, and especially the past six months or so, I find that I have changed, even as I think I am not changing. I have changed. It is almost surreal. But no, it is very, very real.

I think it is all just called "growing up."

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy God Made Earth Day!

It's beautiful. It's precious. It is an amazing display of God's creative power.

And, when He was done making it, He said it was good ... so, I should probably try to take care of it.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Tenderness

Am I tender? Am I willing to be shaped and molded by Christ? Am I willing to be pruned, guided, watered, checked and balanced?

I was pondering this as I sat in Panera working on my report this afternoon. I overheard a mix of conversations over the hours I spent at my table, typing away. Some people were annoying and loud; some were quiet and sweet; some were gregarious and pleasant; some were self-absorbed and important. I could hear it in their voices. I could see in their faces.

What could they see in mine? Would they see a tender heart surrounded by a woman of character?

It was food for thought.

Engineers and Cats. Who Woulda Thunk.



Just wait 'til you see the yodeling. Impressive.

Friday, April 18, 2008

IHOP

So, the roommate and I have a new tradition: IHOP on the weekends. Late. Really late. Like, when she gets off work late. (That would be 11pm.)

Do you know what amazing things you can find at IHOP at 11pm? Let's just say, it ain't pretty. But it's pretty hilarious.

Last week, we overheard the two guys behind us discussing relationships and breakups. The one guy was hanging on to every word of the other guy, as if his life depended on it. If it weren't for the fact that they were sitting in the booth immediately behind us, I would have busted out laughing at some of the things I heard. Retract that: I did laugh. I just covered my mouth and choked back as much of it as possible.

We wanted to turn around, tap him on the shoulder, and say, "Excuse me? Just so you know, everything this guy is telling you is WRONG. Don't believe a word of it. He obviously doesn't understand women AT ALL."

But we didn't. We held our tongues.

So, I am about to head over to IHOP. Free wi-fi and cheap decaf coffee galore while I type my paper that is due Sunday. And, of course, people watch. You never know what you'll see next. My prediction? Prom couples. The roommate just sent me a picture text with four girls in prom dresses she met in Wal-Mart. Classy.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

Rain, Rain, Go Away

The rain is not improving my mood. I woke up late and got to work very late. I am not doing so hot on the database. I am crabby about school. I am wishing life would hurry up and magically grant me my wishes. I am being ridiculous.

I am better now.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Occupational Hazard

Inkpox.

Alarming blue spots all up and down my lower right arm. I will post a picture later.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Clothespins

I saw an article recently on how to decorate clothespins and use them for holding pictures when strung up on a line or when glued to a wooden backboard.

Now, I've done the stringing photographs by a line thing with clothespins, but I've never decorated them that I recall.

I thought it would be a wonderful little project. I've decided to attach strong magnets on the back, so they can stick to the refrigerator and hold notes or photos. I'll post pictures when I do, and I have considered posting sets of four on sale on Etsy, if I am pleased with the result of my artful endeavor.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Grammar Nerd Humor

From my Eats, Shoots & Leaves daily calendar page for today:

"The day after the abolition of the apostrophe, imagine the scene. Triumphant abolitionist sits down to write, 'Goodbye to the apostrophe, we're not missing you a bit!' and finds that he can't."

Sunday, April 06, 2008

I Mowed the Yard Today

Aren't you impressed?

First time I had operated a lawn mower since approximately 1992. Front and back lawns are doing fine. I, however, have a blister between my right thumb and forefinger.

I'm counting that as my workout for today. According to one calorie counter, I burned approximately 424 calories for my one hour of activity. Not bad.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Book People

Book people are intriguing creatures. They come in all shapes and sizes, but have particular habits all their own.

Have you met the comic book and manga readers? Their aisle in Books-a-Million has grown quite a bit over the past couple of years. They could be 14 year-old boys or 22 year-old women. They might look Emo. They might look Goth. They might look completely non-descript. They might even have a sketchbook and pencil with them, to copy their favorite characters and learn how to draw anime.

The magazine readers filter to the back and scope out their favorites, browsing through page after page while standing in front of the rack, completely oblivious to the world (and the person next to them who is trying to reach across and grab the newest Runner's World or Southern Living).

Forty-something bestseller readers with classy tortoiseshell glasses and perfectly coiffed hair wander the aisles looking for a good read from the favorite authors. Perhaps this year's Mary Higgins Clark, Tom Clancy, or Patricia Cornwell for that trip to Daytona Beach or Boston.

There's always a supply of down-to-earth hikers, bikers, and travelers pouring over the travel and adventure guides. They are easily identifiable by their fleece vests and trendy hiking boots.

The kids are kept company with a favorite movie in the children's reading area. Those who don't watch the latest Disney favorite are begging for the new American Girl book or Lemony Snickett tale.

Huddled in one of the back aisles, two philosphy lovers, themselves in love, flip through the pages of serious-looking hardcovers with long titles and obscure authors. The two huddle head-to-head, smiling and nodding and seriously discussing something utterly important.

Friday, April 04, 2008

A Long Weekend at Home

After three busy, busy weekends (Chicago, East Tennessee, Nashville birthday jaunt with Crystal and MJ), I am at home for once, and I plan on being at home until I go to church on Sunday. Unless, of course, a friend calls and begs me to leave my self-imposed hermitage.

I've just been so busy lately that I really need to pay some attention to little things like taking time to read a book, or actually study for those tests next week, or clean the house. Do laundry. You know, the mundane stuff.

So, the plan for tonight is to get into my pj's, grab a book, and curl up under a blanket on the couch and just enjoy the experience of reading for pleasure for once. I'll probably listen to some quiet music in the background until I'm done, and then the music will have to go upbeat so I stay motivated while cleaning.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

One Last Post: Tonight's Collage



I finally did another collage. This one is multi-media; oil pastels, old photographs I discovered at an antique shop, felt flowers from something vintage, and charcoal pencil on three 5x7 canvas panels.

I don't have a name for the series yet, but it was incredibly relaxing. I think I should make this a weekly activity.

The Fam

The result of the Big Surprise over Easter weekend.



Have I mentioned lately how much I love my Mom, Dad, brothers, and sister-in-law?

Observations from the Gym

What's up with talking on the cell phone while working out? Better yet ... what's up with talking on the cell phone while jogging around the indoors track?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Avoiding Work at the Moment—Don't Judge Me

So, I'm doing my accounting homework yesterday afternoon before class (I get off work early on Mondays and Tuesdays for this very purpose), and I need my computer professor dad to help with some Excel stuff.

We're supposed to calculate how much I'd have to have in an 8% savings account as of this month in order for me to have $1 million to my name by the time I am 65. I get one number; he gets another.

Turns out, he's pre-aged me. See, I figured I would have 38 years to earn this interest. He said I had only 37. I said, "but I'm not 28 yet." He said, "yes, but you will be in a month and a half."

That stopped me in my tracks.

How could 27 have gone so fast? I liked 27. It was good to me. I'm gonna miss it. Guess I'll have to live it up for the next month or so.

Thoughts on a Sunny Day

Days like this I want to skip out of work and go to a state park with lots of grassy knolls and open spaces. I'd grab an old blanket and a book along the way and head out to soak it all in, while watching kids play on the playground and walkers make their rounds.

Which reminds me: I need to buy a bike. I miss biking.

And I miss Valley Forge State Park in Pennsylvania, and the kite flyers I used to marvel at there. Stunt kites, whimsical kites, box kites—any kite you could imagine, really—were flown there on days like this.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Penguins Can Fly

I may have already e-mailed this to some of you, but I couldn't resist posting this here for everyone else:



Only the BBC could come up with such an elegant nod to April 1.

Bach and Yo-Yo Ma

Are good for the soul. The mellow sound of the Cello Suites soothes and inspires me in a way that nothing else can.

How to Make a Blue Quilt and Ruin Somebody's Life During Grad School While Hosting a RubyRed Breakfast Bridal Shower at Tiffany's

Yeah, I know what you're thinking: what on earth?

Google Analytics does a nifty job of tracking where my visitors come from, what they search for, and how long the stay once they find it.

Oddly enough, I get the most hits from the following terms:

- Rubyred (duh)
- How to throw a drop-in bridal shower (makes sense, considering I used to talk about working at the tea room)
- Breakfast at Tiffany's bedding. (Again. Makes sense.)
- How to ruin somebody's life (this one scares me! Who actually searches for this kind of thing? Seriously. Please, if you are reading this ... don't. Just don't. I was only being sarcastic about my job when I wrote about ruining somebody's day.)
- How to go to grad school while working. (Ahh, don't! Just kidding.)

Looks like I need to write more "How To" posts ... they seem to draw the most interest.

So Much for Straight A's

Aaaack.

I'm such a bad student this time around. People keep getting in my way. People I care about. People I'd rather see/take care of/be around than study/do homework/go to class.

So grad school hasn't been the best experience so far, but I still believe in it. I just wish there was a way I could do it without working full-time to pay expenses, so that I could spend week day daylight hours doing schoolwork instead of evenings and weekends.

But I just forgot to write a deadline in my planner, and so I didn't realize until an hour before the assignment was due that I had not read and responded to an article on Global Communication.

Yikes.

Yeah, I got a half-hearted response in 15 minutes before midnight, and then worked on a couple responses to chapter discussions. I don't expect a good grade from any of them. And you know what? I'm not devastated. This is so weird. The only thing that bothers me is how much money I borrowed from the government to do this.

*sigh*

C'est la Vie.