Thursday, March 31, 2005

Diet Dr. Pepper, 50% off easter candy, and a prayer

The above is a necessity when you are trying to be productive and fairly intelligent on three hours of sleep. Statistics, brain puzzles, predicting the future, these are just a few of the things that my work requires of me. I must stock up on my candy stash on my desk. The sad thing is there is no candy dish, no wrapper, not even a napkin, just a pile of robin's egg whoppers, m&ms and some mike and ikes.

Quote of the day

Me to a friend in the presence of another friend:

Man and I thought she was the anal one. It's like you crawled up her butt and set up camp.

Have I ever told you . . . .

Have you ever wanted to just run up to people with a big sign that spells out:

I . t . o . l . d . y . o . u . s . o .

I have. I have many many many many many many times. It is very hard for me to keep these words in my mouth. I am a very “plan for it” type person. I enjoy looking at all the options available, and trouble-shooting every decision that can be made. I look at all the conflicts that might arise if you choose this road over that road and I believe in making an educated decision which will prepare you for the future. I try and pass this information on to others, especially those who are making decisions. I try and warn them of the coming issues they will face if they don’t take into consideration the ramifications of their decision to do this and not that.

I am standing on a cliff with a sign that says “Big open hole right here that you are about to fall into. BIG HOLE, STOP or DIE!!!!” But do people see my sign? Yes they do and they ignore it. SO when their bodies go splat on the ground I feel like throwing my sign at their head and screaming I TOLD YOU SO.

The preceding is a dramatic interpretation of a recent frustration experienced by the writer. It does not pertain to any specific people or situations not including the writer. Read nothing in to this if you feel like I am talking about you. In fact that is very self-centered to think I would post about you. This is my site so I post about me. It's all about me

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


Rodents of unusual size. They are not a fictional character from the greatest movie of all time – PB of course, they are real and I have witnessed one. Let’s go back to a morning a few falls ago.

Fingers wave in the air, as high pitch sounds repeat and repeat.

One fair morning my roomie (who will go unnamed for the time being – she may choose to reveal herself if she so pleases) decided she wanted to boil eggs. She proceeded to place an entire dozen eggs in a pot, turn the burner on high and go take a shower. Now for most people this would be an acceptable feat as they would shower quickly and be out just in time to partake of their newly boiled eggs. Unfortunately this roomie is a “special” person with a “special” shower habit that includes a shower time that is longer than a normal washing machine cycle. Suffice it to say, that the eggs suffered a severe death due to the lengthy showering. I, subsequently, got out of my quick (always less than 15 minutes, with an average of 8.33 repeating) shower and my nose was tickled by a foul aroma. Tickled might not be the real word for it. If my nose had a mouth is would have screamed “what is that stanky smell?” and then “Oh my word is the house on fire?” to which my feet replied with a sprint to the kitchen to see what part of our house caught on fire. I was greeted by billowing smoke (I think the fire detector might have gone off) and the most retched smell to ever cross my nostrils to this day. Eggs never smell good, but burnt eggs are the depths of Hades to the olfactory sensory glands. I quickly pulled the burnt shells of smelliness away from the heat source and went in search for my sweet roomie (who by the way was still showering – how is she not a prune I know not, she must have skin cells of magnificent aquification – or she’s a water buffalo). So I quickly and kindly notified her that her eggs had met an untimely death and our house stunk of egg carcass. I then left for school and assured myself that my lovely roomie would take care of the dead eggs in the kitchen and somehow rid the house of the smell.

When I returned to my house I was excited to smell that the stanky stench had dissipated and there was only a lingering whiff of egg smelliness. My roomie had left for the weekend and I was settling in to prepare to attend an overnight conference of sorts. So I sat down on my couch and prepared to eat my dinner. Out of the corner of my eye I perceived some movement (I’m glad my optometrist checks my peripheral vision on all my visits) and turned to catch whatever had caught my attention. I say a tail scurry under the couch. A tail people. May I put forth that an unexpected tail is never welcome. A cute tail of a domesticated pet is a friendly thing to behold, especially if it is wagging, but a bony nasty hairless tail whipping as it escapes to the recesses of my couch is NOT WELCOME. I immediately practiced my survival skills and leapt into the air and landed feet first on my couch. I was now in a position of control in case the tail decided to attack.

My first instinct was to scream but fear itself kept me silent. I began to ponder how to make it from the couch to the kitchen without actually touching the ground. If only I had a stick to pole vault myself from couch to counter but alas my pole was in the linen closet so I was forced to actually step on the ground (or as I like to call it playground of the evil tail). I’m pretty sure that my feet actually only touch twice in the 15 feet it took me to get from couch to counter (and a phone). Who you gonna call when there’s a rat in your house? Your dad of course. I got my mom instead. Not a good sign.

You see my mom is great at pointing out the obvious (and giving all kinds of information that while useful may not put a person with a rat in their house at ease). My mother proceeded to tell me that rats are adept at climbing things and squeezing through holes 1/100th of their body size. This of course added to my anxiety. She told me to not try and use a broom to scurry the rat out the door because it might run up the broom and bite me in the face (that was her exact comment people, bite me in the face and all).

So here I am on my countertop and feeling very secure after talking with my mom so who do I call next? My friend who had some experience with rats and bb-guns. My friend Matt had told me a story of how he and some roommates had trapped a mouse/rat (their all the same people no matter how cute and sweet one might be proclaimed to be) in their living room and taken turns shooting at it with the bb-gun. So I called him and offered to let him have free reign of my house with his bb-gun as long as the rat was a dead man, but he wasn’t up for it (or I left a message, I don’t remember).

I think this is when I call my roomie and share with her the horror of our rat to which she nonchalantly replied “And . . . . “ And? And? And I need to get back here and help me with this crazy girl. I was trying to figure out how this rat had gotten into our house. Had it been living in our couch for weeks, growing in size until it was ready to take over the world? Had is somehow found a microscopic hole in our foundation and squeezed its way into my abode, or had an innocent attempt to clear the house of the stanky egg of death smell been the opportunity every rat had hoped for with open doors abounding and it just sauntered on into a open house? I voted for the last and therefore I wanted my sweet, kind, loving roomie to return at once and dispose of the little visitor she had welcomed with open arms by leaving the front door open. But alas she could not (did not) return to take care of our guest.

**Sidenote: The couch from whence the rat came out from under happen to be days new and was a kindly loan/donation from a friend. It had been residing in a shed at a other friend’s house and I thought the rat might have seen it as a comfy home in a sad sad world of backyard tin sheds and that might have been how the rat came to live with me but nooooo it was the open door people, the doorway to ratdom.

So once again I am alone with the rat (still standing on my counter) and I realize that I need to pack because I am going to an overnight conference. I don’t know if I felt better about leaving the rat in my house all night or the fact that I could sleep in comfort at this other house without thinking about a rat crawling under the covers with me to come and bite my face.

So at this conference I just happen to talk with an old friend whose dad is an exterminator (shout out to Adams Exterminating) and she told me to get some sticky traps. So as I left this little conference and was making my way home, I directed my car to the nearest Wal-Mart to pick up sticky traps. I wanted to buy at least 50 and figure out a way to cover the entire floor of my house in sticky traps but that was both expensive and unrealistic (the first one was my down fall because I can make anything realistic if I try really hard). So I call my dad again and he agrees to meet me at home with my sticky traps and try and catch this little vermin of a house guest.

We set up the sticky traps (which in reality are plastic plates with some kind of hair wax attached – if you wanted to make your own – craft day and all) and proceed to try and flush out the rat. I have a broom and my dad has the mop handle and all I can think of is that the rat is going to make a beeline for my broom and come at me with the intent of biting my face and then I am going to have to explain to people why I have rabies and a bite mark on the end of my nose (I really did think this – is that qualification for insanity, I hope not).

Well it worked well because my dad shooed the rat to the sticky trap, it did its job and we soon had a rat in a bag. Now what do you do with a rat stuck to a sticky trap and in a garbage bag? You bang it against the wall.

Ok now I know that all the members of PETA are preparing to march on my house and protest my cruel punishment of a rat doing what rats do but get over it.

So my story ends and my roomie returned to our rat-free house and she was never allowed to boil eggs again.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Coming Attractions

Check back tomorrow for a special feature on ROUSes

And to blogger: Dance monkey dance, dance you stupid fool

On my last nerve

Blogger why do you do this to me? Why oh why do you tease me so? I go to my blogmunity sites and try as I might I cannot, CANNOT comment to them. Blogger don't you understand that commenting is equal with the ability to even post. What is the use of posting if people cannot comment? The entire idea of an exchange of ideas is shattered. It's like having a conversation with a mime with no hands. I can tell them what I want but they can't respond. Blogger do you understand the frustration this causes? Do you? Or do you sit at your blogger corporation offices and laugh at the people as they try and try to comment. Do you sit there and chant "Dance monkey dance" as we push the comment button over and over and over again, hoping with our last shred of hope that maybe it will go through this time. Are you that cold hearted?

SIGH . . . . So here I sit waiting for the comments to flow and alas I know they will not. It's like waiting for a prom date in your purple puffy sleeve dress, side pony tail, and died to match metallic shoes and he never shows. My comments are all dressed up with no where to go.

Friday, March 25, 2005

Easter - what does it mean to you?

It is EASTER, a time where I personally celebrate the life changing and only once occurring incident of a man conquering the pain of death and rising from the grave to bring life not to himself but to all mankind. This is a holiday about bunnies, eggs, chocolate, or new spring dresses (with holiday being defined as a day set aside in common culture to take off work, close down the post office, and spend time with family, Hallmark may also be conspiring to create these days to increase revenue), but is is a celebration of the act of salvation. Christmas may be the "official" Christian holiday but Easter is my favorite. It is the climax of the story, the reason we even celebrate Christmas. Christmas without Easter would be celebrating Columbus Day without independence day. It is not enough that Christ came to this world but that he died for this world. His life, his mere presence on earth was always in perspective to his impending death. It was for death that he came and for life that he rose. So ponder amongst yourselves what Easter means to you and enjoy this time with your families, friends, and a chocolate bunny but don't loose sight of the day it marks. A day that seemed shrouded in death and despair but became a day of joy, understanding, and a beginning of a new life that would never be the same. Easter is the birthday of all Christians.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

You think you know but you don't

A random assortment of points of notice:

1. This was my aunt's comment regaring my blog :

I think you are funny too. Your writing reminds me of the way Anne Shirley
talked in the " Anne of Green Gables" books.

That is a big compliment for me because i love the Anne of Green Gables books and movies. I use to stay home on Saturdays and camp in front of the TV when they would show all the movies on the PBS telethon. I now own the last two of the set but i need the first. I also wanted red hair like Anne but alas I will suffer through my blonde.

2. Achilles had his heel, Superman his cryptonite, and I have the word supposedly. Reality comes crashing down upon my perceived intelligence when I use this word in conversation. For some reason I say supposevely (with a "v" people, a "v"). I'm not quite sure how long this has gone on and I fear that it may have been since the beginning of my time using this word. I'm trying hard to correct this but I get all confused and wonder which way I actually said it and then which way is correct and I start second guessing myself and end up all flustered. It is my bane.

3. I am a complicated person. Not complicated in the sense of hard to deal with (some might disagree with that statement but I disagree with them), but complicated in the sense that I am not easily pegged. Pegged being when someone thinks they have you figured out by meeting you once, talking with you once, or seeing you in only one situation. People just so you know there is a lot of depth going on in this girl. So with that said I am in the process of coming up with 100 things about me. It is in progress and I hope to have it up soon.

4. When it says compact cars only on a parking space and a Hummer or SUV parks there is it wrong for me to assume that while they obviously have enough money to buy a stinkin tank for a car they in fact cannot read. What is happening in this world that there are all the rich car owners who are illiterate. Whay aren't people talking about this in the media. We have a huge social problem here and it needs to be dealt with. Therefore I prescribe to start my own socially conscience organization for the illiteracy of Hummer owners (or O-FI-HO). You may make tax deductable donations to this organization at any time. Please contact me here is you would like to volunteer your time. We are looking for individuals who can assist us in educating these poor souls. A knowledge of how to read street signs, traffic signs, and general directions is a must.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

1 Bride, 5 Beauty Queens, and a baby that hadn’t pooped for two days

That title could stand alone as a post. It draws the reader in. When I was in high school, I was the yearbook editor and participated in journalism contest. One of those areas was headline writing. It was harder than you think. You have a set amount of space to convey the idea of the story and draw the reader in. I practiced and practiced and I think I ended up placing no higher than third at some rinky dink contest but oh well I did better in other areas. Maybe I can attribute that to my downfall as a journalism major in college.

The above was a preface to the story. It has nothing to do with the story but is more of a warm up if you were, in fact, not quite paying attention yet. See you have to give some light and insignificant stuff at the beginning so people will get interested but not bored and will be primed for the real stuff.

Now back to the story . . . .

A few weekends ago I went with some friends to a wedding in the west Texas, panhandle town of Amarillo. Now some of you may not be from Texas and think that all towns are alike but oh how wrong you are.

We embarked from Dallas ready for the wedding. This means we each looked “cute” in our wedding watching clothes. You may be asking yourself why I’m telling you what we wore but it is an important part of the story.

We interrupt your regular blogging to bring you this important message: The author would like to explain the word “cute” as it is used in context with this story. (insert air quotes here) “Cute” (insert air quotes here) is not in reference to rainbows, unicorns, pig tails or ruffles on your skirt, bloomers, and socks. I know this is a hard thing to understand, especially for boys, since girls tend to use the word “cute” in various situations and it means something different in each one. In this context “cute” is defining a situation where a woman wants to look put together, nice, and dressed in a way to garner some attention. She does not want a cat call from a construction site, that is not “cute”, but a look from a nice gentleman that lasts long enough for him to notice her and that she looks nice is good, a look of slight envy from another woman is good, a comment of how they like her outfit, hair, shoes, or accessories is a plus. So that is the “cute” I am referring to. For your information only we were each wearing slacks or skirts with tops. “Church clothes” would be an appropriate description. We now return you to your original blog.

So we leave the confines of Dallas and arrive at Amarillo International Airport. Yep you heard me international. I’m not quite sure that the good people in Amarillo understand what international means. Here is a quick language lesson (we always need to continue learning): Inter means between and Intra means within. Think of it like Interstate and Intrastate, and interstate goes between states while an intrastate stays within the state. Now I realize this seems irrational since inter seems like it would mean within since it sounds like enter but that is the English language for you, it doesn’t always make sense. Here are some examples of the correct use of inter: International, Interstate, Intercontinental, Interview (well that one doesn’t work so well). So I’m thinking that the airport should be called the Amarillo Intra-national airport, but wait maybe they travel to Mexico so that is why they are International.

You would think with all this international travel that five girls in church clothes wouldn’t cause such havoc but alas it did. See as we walked through the terminal all eyes were on us. I’m not being self-absorbed here; it was like they had never seen five young women in skirts travel in a pack before. Maybe they thought we were some special Dallas gang who dressed up and used our heels as weapons or something similar. So as we walked through the extremely small and short terminal we were getting quite a few looks (and these were not for being dressed “cute”).

Well we get out of the airport and head to our nicely upgraded for free SUV (we were five cute girls in attire that was causing a stir you see so we at least deserved an upgrade). As we left the parking lot we came across the following:

Click me to see picture

And so we looked in that direction and say this:

Click me to see picture

So that is the city, two grain silos and a bunch of farm land. I actually expected more from Amarillo. Well we did find the city and we made it to the church to see my friend Lindsay before she got dressed. She was amazingly tan (Lindsay girl you looked like a Hawaiian Tropics model). We then went in search of food and ended up at Chili’s where we were once again looked upon with some interest. I guess the idea of five girls dressed up on a Saturday afternoon is not a common occurrence in Amarillo (airport or town alike).

One of the girls really wanted a manicure (she had a hot date that night) so we asked our waitress where the nearest nail place was and guess what her answer was: Wal-Mart. Interesting I never placed Wal-Mart, the largest chain of retailers in the world as a place to get a manicure but we thought hey why knock it. So we were off in search of Wal-Mart and a quick manicure (and a razor, one of the girls had missed a spot on her knee and wanted to take care of that – guys you cannot relate, don’t even try). I was interested to see what a nail salon in Wal-Mart would look like and it resembled any average nail salon you would see in a strip mall. I was intrigued by the customers partaking of the manicures and pedicures. Now I shop at Wal-Mart (hello discount prices, 24 hours, and it is EVERYWHERE, how can you not actually go in one in your lifetime) and one of my favorite things to do at a Wal-Mart is people watch and people watch I did at this one in its nail salon on a Saturday in my cute clothes. I was also struck by a set of nightmare inducing she-devil nails that were displayed on fake hands at the check-in counter. The entire sight was a memory I will never forget and it was one of those moments I wish I had a camera phone so I could share with you the sight.

But back to our trip. We made it to the wedding and Lindsay was beautiful, the church was beautiful, everything was beautiful. It was exciting to see her get married to her “babe”. At the reception we were known as the “Bible study friends” actually throughout the entire wedding production (showers, bachelorette shower, etc.). We thought of making t-shirts.

Here is the bride and the “bible study friends”:

Click me to see picture

One thing to know, the six of us and more are friends from BSF (bible study fellowship) and met in October of 2004. We became what I would dare say is the best BSF group ever. These girls are super fun, super sweet, and super friends. We still get together every week to eat before BSF even though we are now in all different groups. I know i was very lucky to be in a group with them and it is fun that our friendship has grown and now we got to celebrate the second wedding in our group. In fact it was another Lindsay that got married first, there must be something in that name.

So the wedding was fun, the trip was fun, and obviously we are fun. Oops I forgot the beauty queens and poop. That makes a fun sentence. So when we went back to the airport to leave one of the nice security people at the x-ray machine (can they check to see if I have any broken bones if I lay down on that conveyer belt?) asked if we were in Amarillo for a beauty pageant. That explains it all, the people of Amarillo thought we were five beauty queens descending on their fair town.

So as we walked through the airport we realized we were the last people escaping from Amarillo. The airport was closing down and it was 4:30 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon. 4:30 people and the little chain fence was coming down on the gift shop and the bar/food court (as if people would break into the airport to steal Amarillo memorabilia or nachos). We made out way to the terminal and waited with what must have been half the wedding party, the bride and groom, and his parents.

While there, we noticed one of the bridesmaids was having a hard time calming down her son. He was crying and would not stop. I would like to note that I belief this young boy was 9 months old (sidenote: my mother tells me I walked at 8 months, I know I know I’m an overachiever) and HUGE. Not huge in the sense of a Buddha baby, all chubby and rolls, but huge in the sense of he could be mistaken for a 2 year old. This little boy was a bigun’. When Lindsay (the bride) arrived she asked this bridesmaid if the baby was tired to which she replied, “He hasn’t pooped in two days.” Now this might be a nice tidbit of information shared between friends in a private sense but she practically yelled it across the terminal and our entire group was now aware of the baby’s bowel movements.

We, of course, proceeded to share with each other our own timeline for bowel movements since the flood gates had been opened (any pun perceived by this statement was unintended). We soon boarded our flight and made our way home.

Amarillo by morning . . . . . Dallas by evening.

Umm what city???? Posted by Hello

1 bride and 5 beauty queens Posted by Hello

This sign gets the title "Captain Obvious" Posted by Hello

Monday, March 21, 2005

A quick hello to my silent readership

Hello one and all. This is a shout out to my silent readers. Those who visit but do not comment. My sister is one of these SRs. She told me the other day that I am funny. I'm funny people, my little sister said so. The funny (not ha ha but ironic) is that I was really excited she found me entertaining. I feel this big responsibility to continue to be entertaining and funny because my sister is reading this. So everyone join me in saying hello to my sister (or maybe both but only one told me she read it and thought I was funny, but we will say hello to both). Ok people join with me, ready, 1, 2, 3 . . . . . Hello Kristen and Kelli, and welcome to my blogworld.

Baby Oranges

I'm trying to blog when the moment strikes so here goes:

I just had a conversation with a co-worker/friend. The combination and definition of that term (or co-terms) will be explored at a later date. We were commenting on the crowded nature of our mini-fridge in the main office, the houser of lunches and sometimes science experiments (let me just say gross - I once had to share fridge space for my turkey sandwich with a dissected frog and that is not natural). So I commented that there was an orange in the fridge that was the largest I had ever seen and I supposed it was a pregnant orange (now please take no offense pregnant women of the world I am in no way saying you are "large" but this orange sure was). Maybe this orange was full of little baby oranges I surmissed and my co-worker/friend said that she loved pregnant oranges to which I was surprised there were such things. She assured me there were and described an orange with another orange attached under the rind. I repelled at the thought of this and could only imagine it to be a siamise orange. I then spoke of an orange that was once twins and one overtook the other. Then she said that the big one must have sucked all the nutrients from the little one. In that moment I realized that our conversation had taken a turn toward insanity. Big oranges, pregnant oranges, twin oranges and oranges that were overtaking the other in growth.


Guess what I'm back. Check back soon for a new post.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Just Checking In

So it's Thursday of Spring Break and wow a week is not enough time to get done all the things I planned. I guess I was optimistic on my time or I placed relax way too low on the list. I have done a lot of relaxing but I've also been somewhat good about completing my list of to dos. So I'm just here checking in. I'll post for real (since in my mind this is more of a pity post) on Monday.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Anticipation and Hiatus

As I think back to my school days, which seem so long ago (when did becoming a real adult mean that things for not so long ago seem like they occurred in a different life?) I remember the anticipation that came with an impending Spring Break. The excitement, the freedom, the lack of homework or responsibility. Spring Break was synonymous with freedom, all out youth freedom. And now as I look forward to another spring break I realize that it does not offer the same sweet taste as it once did. I look at this coming week off as the time to catch up on all the things that have fallen through the cracks. Things I need to do:

Clean my house – not the spot cleaning I do when I know someone is coming over, real cleaning including mop buckets, brooms, bleach products, etc.;

Wash my car – my previous white car now looks like a gradation of grays rising from the bottom to the top, which in case you were wondering is not an attractive color for a car;

Switch out my closet – I’m a girl so of course I have season’s of clothes and since my closet is the size of a port-a-potty I must store those clothes that are out of season under my bed, so now I get to transfer my winter clothes to the black hole of under my bed and resurrect my spring/summer attire. And because of the stinking ground hog I need to keep those transitional clothes that are good for those last few cold days that will haunt the rest of this month.

Remove the shanty town of boxes that have accumulated in my small house – our trash pickup requires that everything fit in a trash bag and then in the plastic trash container provided by the city, unfortunately, neither of these are large enough to fit the small apartment complex of cardboard box houses I have filling my living room and kitchen.

Take all my “give away” stuff to a good place to give it away – I have been gathering all those things that you have but don’t need or use – space taker uppers, and I have very responsibly boxed and bagged them up but that is about the extent of my responsibility. They are now gathered at my front door waiting to be given away.

Read – I have about five books that I have started and not finished. I might actually have to start some of them over. These books cover so many topics that my mind is having a hard time switching from one to the other.

BSF – I have a few, ok more than a few lessons that I have not completed. Shhh don’t tell anyone. I want to do them, I enjoy them, so I’m thinking this week would be a great time to catch up on my backlog.

Movie marathon – I’ve wanted to have a Lord of the Rings extended edition marathon ever since I completed my collection and now I have the time. So I’m thinking I may hole myself up on my couch with every essential in reach and watch the entire trilogy in one sitting (bathroom breaks allowed). I realize that this may cause many of you to assume that I am a nerd or geek of sorts and while I do embrace my nerdiness I want to assure you that I will not be sporting fun elvin ears or a any special costumes for this marathon. I am a normal person who enjoys a wonderful movie and story. There is nothing wrong with that. Got that people.

Educate theeself – I’m considering going back to college to get my masters. Therefore I need to start investigating what all that will include and what I need to do to make this plan come true. So I need to get in my car and go down to Dallas and stop procrastinating.

Exercise – Real exercise, not running up and down hallways in my heels but getting out and walking, riding a bike, doing something that includes both physical effort and also moving beyond my dual areas of existence (my home and my work). I think I may try to go walking at our nearby lake, get out and explore. I’ll have to think about what I want to do.

Explore – I live next to two amazing cities – Dallas and Ft. Worth. This means that there is an entire world of things that I’ve most likely never taken advantage of. I want to go and explore – museums, parks, historic areas, etc.

And last . . . . .

RELAX – not the fake relaxing I do during the weekends the real relaxing: sitting on my deck with a good book and a glass of ice tea, taking a nap whenever I feel like it, vegging.

So I will try and blog when I get a chance but I don’t have a computer at home, nor do I have internet so that means a trip to work but I will try and check in and let you know any interesting things that happen.

Katie out.

Thursday, March 10, 2005


Does it feel like Friday to anyone else? Maybe it's because today is the last day for our elementary students before Spring Break but it feels like it is crazy day. Unfortunately I have to come back tomorrow for crazy day part deux with the secondary kids and they will be wild because they actually know what spring break it and have plans. So I will sit at my desk and work and hold my breath for tomorrow when I can really say TGIFBSB (thank goodness it's friday before spring break)

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Good 'ol southern gal

I would like to think I am a good little southern girl but the fact is I was born in southeast Texas and could almost be considered a Louisiana girl. Texas really doesn’t count as the south more like the southwest. So while I would like to group myself with all those sweet southern debutantes who were taught at a young age to have proper manners, sit with their ankles crossed and know how to ballroom dance from the age of 3 I am in fact a former (well not that former) tomboy who had mostly male friends, a Barbie doll who was married to my GI Joe, had fairly good manners but not those southern-born ones, and was constantly gotten onto in elementary school for talking to my neighbor. In fact, I almost wanted to suggest to my teacher that she just check that column for the year and get the menial task of doing it every six weeks out of they way. That would be the economical thing to do because she was predisposed to consider me a “talker” while in fact I was just social and wanting to participate in a discourse on the subject at hand (fancy words for a fancy girl). See even at a young age I had the appearance of good manners and rule following but underneath I was a shifty gal who knew how to talk the talk and outsmart the other person in the process. Ohh it gives me chills to realize that about myself. But we have strayed from the topic at hand. So my manners have recently taken a turn for the better. I say yes sir and no ma’am, which of course throws my parents for a loop when I use it with them. Yes I am a 27 year old woman who has finally realized that you get more bees with honey than vinegar and a nice sir and ma’am thrown in always helps out the situation. The problem is when to use sir and ma’am. This is a conflict for me at my work as I work with many more senior adults and I struggle with the level factor that determines how you address a co-worker. Do I call a mom who is also a teacher by her first name or by Mrs. such and such. If I once referred to them as Mrs. when is the appropriate time to switch to their given name. Should this be a cold turkey switch or a gradual thing over time as I pivot back and forth between Mrs. and given? Oh the stress that goes into this. Also with parents should I use Mrs. and Mr. to show that I am giving them respect while they continually refer to me by my given name and even seem to use it with their children so that second graders call me by my first name. By the way this is of course a big “no, no” at our school, students should always refer to staff members by a title and their last name. No Miss S either, we want appropriate names that show their respect and submission to our overlordness. Ok so that was a little over the top. Here is another predicament. I seem to be seen as a continual college student. The amazing thing is I’ve been out of college for 4 years now and I’m 2.5 years from being 30 but alas I think I am still viewed at a “kid”. The other funny thing is that I am older than many of these parents where when they first had kids of their own and yet I am still seen as young. I wonder if I had a wedding ring on my left hand or a baby on my hip would I be viewed as being older? Is marriage and childbirth an immediate jump to adulthood (like taking the big ladder in chutes and ladders and without the ring or the baby you are going down the big slide to the bottom of the pile). See I know many girls (women) who are married or even have children and in my opinion I am more of an adult than they are. I’ve had to support myself for the last four years; I’ve lived on my own since I was 18; I went off to college away from friends, family, anything familiar for my freshman year and then came back an independent woman to live in my home town; I own my own car with I’ve bought with my own money; I am a single adult woman. It actually frustrates me that somehow because I am not married or with child that I am not an official adult. When did this become the defining factor in adulthood? Does that mean that those junior high teen girls who are pregnant get their adult card before me? All this to say I’m wondering if I should drop the Mr. and Mrs. and start referring to parents by their first names so that we are all on the same playing field and by that one insignificant act I will maybe get by adult card by a round about way. So what do you think? Manners or adulthood?

I'm a maniac

Dear readers: I had intended to blog about my fun trip to Amarillo this last weekend but unfortunately that will have to wait until tomorrow.

Today I am hovering on the edge of sanity. One slight move, one wrong burst of wind and I will fall right over and become a full-fledged psychotic person. Have you ever felt like you might at any moment just explode with a burst of repetitive movements that jerk your body back and forth but release the tension that is pulsating through your veins? I think I would almost appear like the dancer in Flashdance when she is bursting with raw energy and running in place to “I’m a maniac, maniac on the run”.

So if you happen to see some crazy girl dancing down the street at any time in the next few months, don’t worry it is just me and I am only releasing tension.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

and then my head exploded

I was sick yesterday. Not horrible flu-like sickness but the kind where your head feels like it may float off and your nose has turned into a snot faucet. Not a pretty picture I know but an accurate one of how I felt. Even now my head feels like it may detach itself from my body and float away. This sickness was inevitable, I had ignored the warning signs on Friday and Saturday but Saturday was a special day. I flew to Amarillo with my “Bible Study friends” and went to our other Bible Study friend’s wedding. More on that later, in fact it will get its own post. Back to my floating faucety head. I realized that flying makes me sleepy or at least causes me to yawn uncontrollably. It must be the recycled oxygen they pump in the cabin when we are above normal breathing levels. So I was yawny, tired (because I woke up first at 5:30 then at 6:00 am on a Saturday – I’m not sure I’ve seen the morning side of those times on the weekend, I’ve seen the evening sides from staying up late, or early, or whatever), and feeling more sickness as the day wore on. The sickness was nothing in comparison to the fun we had but it was lurking in the background. Then of course on the return flight my ears decided to be obnoxious (yes obnoxious ears) and not pop. So I’m starting to succumb to the sickness and my ears are building up pressure in my head and I just wanted my head to vent some of that pressure of even explode. I actually wondered if I could find a long pokey thing to stick into my ear and break the buildup of painful gasses that were suffocating my brain and squeezing my eyes out of their sockets. Alas no explosion or release of pressure occurred. It did get better when we landed and I made it safely home but I gave in to the sickness and spent Sunday and Monday in bed trying to recuperate without the assistance of a doctor. Now I’m back, a days behind in work, and suffering from a floaty head.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

It'll do pig, it'll do

Oh I forgot my most memorable part of our trip to the mountains for hiking. We weren’t even out of Texas yet, but I really don’t consider the panhandle Texas, it might as well be annexed by Oklahoma into that wasteland of non-scenic routes. But then of course Texas would loose our bragging rights for being the biggest state. Now I know you think I failed geography and don’t realize that Alaska is a bigger state, but in my reality we are talking about biggest real states. Alaska is really just our own little part of Canada we conquered and rose up our flag on. How many people actually live there anyways? Wait I’ll check on my trust google. I love google, google is my best friend. It lets me know all the information I want, it is excited that I want to learn all this useless knowledge, it feeds my knowledge addiction, and it doesn’t talk back when I yell at it for not giving me the information I want in the order I want it. Ok hold on I’m off to google. I’m back. Ok as of the 2000 census the total population of Alaska is 626,932, ok the estimate for 2003 (since we want reliable and recent stats) is 648,818. That’s it folks. The total population of Dallas, Texas is 1,188,580 in the 2000 census. That is almost twice the population of the 2003 estimate. People Dallas has more people than Alaska. Thus my reality is not only plausible but in fact correct.

Now that you have been edumacated about Alaska, Texas and the biggest state war I will continue with my story.

So we are in small town Texas in the panhandle and we pull into a gas station and what do my eyes behold but the perfect photo opportunity. There right in front of me was a motel. But not just any motel, it was the “It’ll Do Motel”. Now that is some cracker jack marketing there. Sometimes you want a luxury motel, sometimes you want a convenient motel, and some times you want a cheap motel, but let’s admit it people there are those moments when we just want a motel that will do.

I loved this motel, I wanted to buy this motel, or at least take a picture of this motel. So I stumbled out of the van (we left at like 10 p.m. and had been on the road for a while now so it was fairly late and I think I had dozed off at some point). So I stumble out with my camera trying to get just the right framing of the motel and what comes my way but a police officer in his nice shiny squad car. Try explaining to a police man why you are stumbling out of an 18 passenger van in the middle of the night in the middle of the panhandle in front of a sketchy gas station and trying to take a picture in the pitch blackness of a motel sign. Somehow I pulled it off and got my picture and if I had a scanner or a digital camera I would post it but just picture in your mind: west Texas, small town, run down gas station, sketchy looking motel and a sign on the side of it that says “It’ll Do Motel”.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005


I had lunch with my mother yesterday. She looked at me and exclaimed (EXCLAIMED) “Are you wearing makeup?” She then perused my face with deep concentration and listed the items that I was wearing “Eyeliner, mascara, eye-shadow.” Uh mom, I’m 27 and I do wear makeup and I have for quite some time.

Now I realize that I’m not a granola type girl but I think I would be considered low maintenance on the fah-fah quotient. (Definition of fah-fah: those girls who must go through many hours of prepping themselves to be seen by the general public, this usually includes hair styling beyond brushing, products, makeup when you are planning of sweating, etc.) I am not fah-fah but I do realize that you can be just as wrong on the other side of the spectrum. I think that for the most part I am a nice compromise between being dressy and casual. I like to dress up and I like casual. With my new found skirtability I am actually quite adept at being dressed up now and carrying on with my normal business.

This reminds me of a story. Actually it doesn’t but I’ve wanted to share this story and there is no real segue that will lead me there. So enjoy and share in my life:

Ohhhhhh, an Austrian went yodeling on a mountain top high when along came a crazy girl interrupting his cry and that girl was me, but we weren’t in Austria, and there was no yodeling, some whittling but no yodeling.

I worked at a sports camp for 6 years and lived in a teepee. Not a real honest to goodness teepee but about as close as you can get before OSHA and child protective services comes a knocking. I’ve sweated my fair share of sweat, I’ve gone a good few days without showering, and I’ve lived in camp gear for an entire summer. People this is low maintenance living here. I’ve gone camping, not the camping where you stay in a mobile home but the kind where you sleep in tents or on the ground itself. I’ve roughed it.

Or at least I thought I had, then the summer of 03 came around and I went backpacking. This is roughing it. My sweet roomie Jessica encouraged me to go so off I went with the youth group I was working with to traipse through Estes Park, Colorado.

Here is a somewhat shortened narrative of highlights. Mind you these are all about me because this is my blog. If you want information on other people go read their blogs.

Burn ban
Those were infamous words for that trip. See we had to change locations from our original spot because of the wild fires and then the burn ban meant that we packed out what we packed in. I’ll spell it out for you: anything, ANYTHING, we brought on the trail with us went back off the trail with us: trash, leftover food, used toiletry items. Now you get the picture. Let’s just say it was a eye opening experience.

Duct Tape
Another big phrase for me this trip. Did you know duct tape can take the place or an ace bandage? It can and it did. See I have these trick ankles. They have a tendency to fail. Now just in case you were wondering ankles are very important to walking. Try it sometime without yours. Yep, I saw you fall down.

And fall is what I did. Many times. Too many times. I fell first when we came down from a mini-hike at our first campsite. It was starting to rain and we were hurrying down from our peak to our nice dry tents. I was a little slow, people I have asthma and well I’m not a fast walker at high altitudes. This was my first time hiking for real, not that wussy day hiking where you just walk around the national park in your boots and gnaw on beef jerky and trail mix and talk about nature. You are not hiking, you’re walking, you’re gazing, and you’re a wuss. We were hiking, heavy packs, no car to go to when it rains, no toilets. Real hiking. So my ankle choose this moment to fail me and down I went and hard. See I was worried about he lightening. Yep you read that right, the lightening. People we were in the clouds and when you’re standing on a mountaintop you are the biggest target for those flashy bolts of fiery hot electricity. So I was running, or at least what running looks like when your wheezing and slow and I bit it hard. So there goes ankle trick #1. I was wet in pain and now wheezing, slow, and limping. We made it back to camp and I took a nap. Hmmm nap good, ankle bad.

So I quickly recovered from that ankle fiasco. I’m a quick healer. Well not really but I’m hard headed and stubborn and I wasn’t going to let a rolled ankle get me down. So we went on and started hiking to our new campsite. We had to pass the main park entrance and walk pass what Matt Hilliard called “fairy day hikers”. Some of these people were actually in skirts and heels, SKIRTS and HEELS. People you are at a national park, the outdoors, hiking (wuss hiking that is), you don’t wear skirts and heels. Some other people had walking sticks, yea you might need that for the 200 yards you covered on packed dirt walkways, or the backpack water camels, because that 200 yard walk really sucks your body of water so you want to make sure you have a gallon strapped to your back just in case dehydration start to set in. These people gave us the weirdest looks. I think they thought we were mountain people, or gypsies, or maybe transient discovers of the plains. I wanted to tell them we were part of the original Lewis and Clark expedition but we ended up in Canada so we hiked back down the Rocky Mountains. I’m serious it was as if they had never seen real hikers before.

Of course this would be the moment that my ankle decided to stage a coup and revolt from the dictatorial rule of walking with your legs and feet in unison. We were walking, just walking, one foot in front of the other, normal flat ground and bam I went down. I went down hard and everyone knew it. We were walking in a line and all of a sudden I was done. I think I may have yelped (not a scream but a definite vocalization of the pain I was experiencing) and my group all stopped and I started asking them to help me up. Here is a tip, if you fall a lot on your ankle like I do, the first thing is to get up and moving, prevent the ankle from thinking it has won and walk it into submission. So that is what I did. While that happened the sweet high schoolers of my group began to divvy up everything in my pack. That was the kindest and most giving thing they could have done. They took on more weight so that I wouldn’t have any. I was very thankful and overwhelmed with gratitude. So we wrapped it with duct tape. See I brought you back to my thought earlier. That is good story telling there.

But I’m not done. So we hiked all day that day, meaning I hiked on my painful ankle all day. It was what hikers (or at least the ones I was with) called a “grunt”. A “grunt” is a long day of hiking where you change your altitude greatly, i.e. we went a long ways and up most of the ways, way up in fact. So we get to the camp site and I’m doing good. I was so tired that I was practically running down this embankment to just get to a place where I could sit down. It was a long day. We made camp and that night I couldn’t sleep. My foot was killing me so I woke early in the morning and went in search of a knife to cut off this duct tape that was now strangling my foot. My toes were huge Vienna sausages and my calf looked like it could belong to Eddie. The fluid that would have normally caused my ankle to swell was directed elsewhere by the tourniquet that choked the life out of my ankle. So after slicing the duct tape off with the precision of a woman in pain my ankle let out a sigh of relief and resumed blood flow to my now purplish tinted foot.

Off the beaten path
We enjoyed the wilderness for another day or so. Then we had our final hike to go home. I was of course at the back of the pack: ankle, asthma, slow. I thought I was following the trail correctly but alas I was off so I had to bush-wack my way back to the group and bush-wack I did, or at least a bush wacked me and made me bleed. I ran into and through some kind of thorny bushy branches and tore up my leg. So here I am hobbling along, wheezing, and without the use of a proper toilet, or any toilet for that matter, for many days and now blood is trickling down my leg. Once again I was assisted by the medical supplies. I think I was the sole user of the medical supplies, in fact this injury used up the last of our gauze, tape, and antibiotic ointment. So we stumbled out of the wilderness, a little worse for wear but successful.

Now for a normal person this would be the end of the story but, when it comes to me, of course I have much more to share and it only gets better.

Sunburn and some puffiness
After our wondrous week on the mountain (I really did enjoy it and would love to go again) and a long, long shower we packed up and headed off to go river rafting. Now realize that there was a significant drought in Colorado so rafting is the correct word to use for what we did but rafting rapids is not quite correct. It was more like rafting the lazy river than rafting the wave pool. We paddled and paddled and paddled and paddled, and then we paddled some more. We were on the water for 4 hours. FOUR HOURS. Normally the rafting takes 2 hours but with no water and no rapids, it was a much much longer trip. So of course most of us neglected to put on sunscreen. BIG MISTAKE. When we finally made shore I was as red as a tomato and baked to a crisp. I was also suffering from a chronic toothache that had started on the trail but I had treated with advil and forgot.

So we changed back into normal clothes and headed off to eat dinner. As I sat at dinner I began to feel funny. Was it the sunburn, did I have sun poisoning? Or maybe it was my toothache with was coming back with a vengeance. I went to the bathroom and while checking out my nice red face I realized that the right side of my face was a little, well, fat. I hurried back to the table to get a second opinion and Matt concurred and mentioned the fact that abscessed teeth often cause swelling. Oh and do they. For the rest of the trip home I consumed a whole lot of Aleve and continued to swell up like a chipmunk. The pain was excruciating. I really have never had anything quite like it and my face was swelling into a scary looking Halloween mask. My right eye was swelled shut. My cheek was at least 2 to 3 times its original size and I was pretty much horrible looking. It was an interesting experience. Just so you know it was an abscess. I was on Vicodin for a few days and penicillin and then I had a major root canal. I still have a picture of me from that time and I keep it in case I ever think that any of my self worth is in the way I look.

So that was my hiking trip. It was amazing. I loved it and would love to go back. I really do like nature and getting away from the craziness of life but it was one roller coaster for my body and health. But I survived.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

I will have nightmares tonight

Numbers, numbers, they're everywhere. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, etc. and on and on and on. I'm working on statistical research and survey data. Man I never knew that statistical marketing class I took would come in handy. Where is an SSE program when I need it (I think it's called that). Data is pooring into and out of my head, I am speaking in numbers, thinking in numbers, even walking in numbers. 1 step 2 step 3 step. First, second, third. I just know that i am going to dream about large numbers from Sesame Street attacking me tonight and Big Bird and Snufalufagus will just sit there and laugh and laugh as the giant 9 comes crashing down on me. Oh the horror.