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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Quick recap

Update to the recap: The only reason I posted something today was so that I could get to post #50 in six months time since I started blogging back in March. There is also more updated down by the family section.

New job
Wonderful! Woke up early two days, but overslept the other three. Food was good. Conversation was better. The kids are sponges. Lots of laughs and not one tear shed. This was unheard of at my old job. Met all the parents…ALL the parents! (For those of you who know my clientele, this was inspiring.) I was surprised with flowers. My guilty pleasure. I discussed everything from politics and sports to religion and Ebonics. That does not even touch on the topics I chatted about with my colleagues. I never once heard a negative word about the kids or the higher ups. I am actually motivated to work and work hard. Honestly, I do not even mind the late nights I have been keeping. Well, except for the fact that I had to DVR the DNC.
Dear baby Jesus, thanks for DVR. Amen. Oh, and my kick A job. Amen.

Beyond work
I caught up with a handful of old friends. Nice to know they are all still doing well. Touched base with friends that are teachers, and those that have gone back to school are happy with their students. It makes the year so much better. The one that is still on summer break seems to be organized and ready to go. Also makes the year so much easier to handle. Stayed up way too late hanging out with Johnnie 5, but it was worth it to reconnect. Ate a ridiculous amount of BW3s. I decided not to travel this weekend. Went to Bob instead and had a ton of fun. Even ran into an old friend. Bob…he brings people together. Went out Saturday and realized just how dead a bar could be in Dallas. Finally found a place to chat and people watch. One of the people I was with ran into old students from a previous teaching job. Hello, awkward! Checked in with three people that are in a transition in their lives and they are all handling it well.

Tonight is family dinner. It is sis’s b-day and my bro is actually coming up for it. He never makes family dinner, so it will be really nice to see him. I am also pumped because I do not have to work tomorrow so I can stay late and hang out. Let's just say family + Dickey's barbeque catering + cake = the perfect Sunday night! I even brought home about a pound of leftovers.

The spread

The kids
Politics
Obama and Biden are official.
McCain and Palin start next week pending Gustav.
I need to call my cousin. She is from Alaska and LOOOOVES Sarah Palin.
I need some more information. Ok, a lot more information.

Side note: If Obama is going to win this election, he should really add his name to the spell check option on all new computers.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

What party/channel do you watch?

For all of those Republicans (ex boyfriend S) who ever tried to convince me that Fox News was not biased...you are morons! I presented this today at work and the "people" I work with were outraged by the fact that Fox considers Michelle "just a pretty face". (Those are the girl's words...not that of Fox.) They found it insulting. They wondered why people could not admit when others did a good job. Youth and innocence...so sweet.

I think I may have swayed a few to the left. Ahhhh, the power! Please know that my intention was never to change their mind. Fox did it themselves.

I never, ever watch the channel. When I dated S, I refused to let him watch it in my house. That being said, it is rare that I know how they cover any event. This little clip was nice to see because it reassured me in my choice. Of what to watch that is.

You will need to pause the music on my playlist before you push play.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I think I'm really going to like it here

I am so glad to be back in an environment filled with intelligent conversation, challenges, and laughter. After reading more of yall's blogs than I care to admit, I feel like I too should throw out the obligatory sitting-by-the-pool photo. This was taken on the last day of summer.

This was taken on the first day of work. I love it! There is a lot to talk about, but I am simply too tired to write about it now. Plus, Hilary is about to speak. First the Olympics, now the DNC...I have got to get some sleep media people!

The flowers on my desk were a complete surprise from the greatest friends a girl could ask for...thanks a ton guys! All the support over the past few months has been so appreciated.


So I did not get the post out before Clinton spoke. WOW! She is an incredible orator! That was impressive. I am not so sure that it was really pro-Obama, but it was impressive. So intelligent. I really hope that Obama works out a deal to give her biggest supporters some cabinet positions. One of my kids is there this week and I am excited to hear all about it. Not to mention, I just love the orange.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

She wants to be a washed up Disney star

Two years ago I “adopted” my first child. She is an adorable little girl. She was just this little puff ball of fur that I had to have the moment I picked her up. As has been mentioned, I went to a flea market to buy an armoire and ended up with a dog that stole my heart. She is a purse puppy, but packed with personality. Taller and thinner than is her breed standard. Crazy spunky and stubborn just like her mama. Her favorite hobbies are dancing and NOT giving you her toys. Oh, and yes, she does like long walks on the sidewalk.

In recent weeks I have been letting her run around the house with a lot more freedom. I knew with the new job it would be an adjustment for her to not have me around. Well, in her sheer excitement of my new furniture, her new sheets, moving back into her bedroom complete with decorations, and a few new toys, she threw out her back. Yep, you heard me right. My two year old suddenly progressed into an arthritic old woman. The poor thing would just sit and whimper. When I tried to pet her, put on her leash, hand feed her, or simply move my hand in her general direction she would yelp in pain. I, being a great dog mom, ignored it for a few days. God help me if I ever have human children. I finally took her in on Tuesday of this past week.

Later, when I went to get Cooper, they accidentally gave me Britney. My dog now has five…FIVE medications to take for her freaking back. It actually turned out to be a hip. The diagnosis is complicated so I will not get into it. Not only does she have a slew of pills to take multiple times a day, but she LOVES them! This is a dog that refuses to eat for days at a time. And now she is a pill popper! While she does seem to be getting a little better, I fear that she will throw her hip out again just to GET MORE DRUGS!! A very Lindsay move if you ask me. I fully anticipate to walk into her room (known as the kitchen) in a week and see her with a serious case of the shakes. I miss when she was young, fun, and just a little bit crazy. I miss her Miley days.
Until those days return, she will be known as Cooper Lohan-Spears.


She walked around with this bottle in her mouth for about 10 minutes before she set it down on her blanket for a rest.

This one she picked up off the coffee table and came and sat in front of me in the kitchen. I guess she sat so I thought she was being good and would give her one of her "treats". Notice the martini glass that she drinks out of behind her. Maybe she wants to be Karen Walker?

SOMEBODY CALL INTERVENTION!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Free Stuff!

Okay...so my friend C that I mentioned in the post below will have a giveaway on this site tomorrow, Friday, August 22nd! So, if you liked her stuff in the links from yesterday, go to stealsdeals.blogspot.com tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Enough about me

But first, thanks to yall that wrote me sweet, sweet emails to my personal account, posted on here, or called about the reunion. Like I said, I am usually fine with it, but sometimes it just stinks. Lisa, thanks for reminding me that I will see her again. In the moment I tend to forget.
Other notes...
My friend C is crazy talented when she gets "bored". She can make pretty much anything you want her to make with a pair of scissors and a sewing machine. It really is incredible! For those of you with little kiddos that will be going to "school" soon, here is a little backpack she makes for the wee ones. Everybody with an insane amount of t-shirts from college, schools you taught at, or just life...here is a sample of the quilts she can make. She is so crafty that she was featured on a crafty website here. Her tutorial is the one on the top right. If you want to get a hold of her check out her Etsy spot or her company blog at Columbia Lily. Oh, did I mention that she made this adorable pillow for me last year?

Front


Back


The colors coordinate with both my living and bedroom, and is made of fabric with baseball players on the front, and a patchwork of my favorite things on the back. (my puppy, history, government, school colors, Aggies, and Rangers fabric) This year I got a new bag for school. She even made it my school colors and includes our "mascot", the Killer Daisy. Seriously, pillows, quilts, diaper bags, backpacks, little girl's dresses, anything...give her a shout. Please place your orders before basketball season. She struggles to stay focused when "her Mavs" are on the court.

Julie is also just a little Dorothy Domestic. Check out the teacher gift she made, not for herself, but for other teachers. These things would not have gotten out of my house if I made them. Not to mention her mad cake decorating skills.

I always knew that teachers were creative people, but these two girlies are not even elementary educators and they can bust out this kind of stuff. I guess we need to have an outlet from dealing with teenagers all day. 8th and 9th graders none the less! Good luck this school year, girls!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

So much for dealing

So now that the reunion has settled in a bit, I am glad that I went. Even if I originally went in a begrudged state because another friend wanted to go. While I am content in the fact that I handled it, I still can not get over how hard it was that night. You see, ever time I walked away from someone or changed rooms I was looking for the same person. Elisabeth. It really hit me the Thursday night before the reunion that she was not going to be there, but I thought I could settle that feeling by the time Saturday came around. I managed to stay distracted most of the day by taking part in my least favorite activity at the worst time of the year…shopping…for pants…on tax free weekend. Well, I was not at the reunion more than 10 minutes before someone walked up to me and mentioned her. I quickly told them to stop, don’t talk about it, I already had multiple meltdowns in the shower about it. We changed the subject. Each time someone brought her up, they got a similar response from me, and each time I walked away I wished I would find her. There is not a major event in high school that we did not do together. Come to think of it, there is not a major school event we did not do together. From the time we met in elementary school through sophomore year in college, including living together freshman year. Seriously, I am perfectly fine about it until an event like this comes up. Then it just sucks for a few days. All I really needed that night was a genuine squeeze, hug, or feeling that I had a best friend like her still around.

Thankfully, work is right around the corner to help me refocus.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Reunion

The basics...
Saw some people I am really glad to see.
Reconnected with people I have been meaning to reconnect with lately. (Hi Jen, Hi Pip)
Did not see people I was really looking forward to seeing.
Glad I went.
Nothing terribly exciting, but I would have regretted it if I had not gone.
Eb went home with another girl. Awesome.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Is this Iowa?

Today was the day. The alarm went off after the dog was already been walked. It was Christmas morning. Much like the night before that big day, I stayed up WAY too late last night. The Olympics are hypnotizing. But that is a totally different post. I did get to bed at about 2:30 in the morning after every lap, apparatus, medal ceremony, watching a DVRed Sex and the City (it is habitual), and laying out my clothes for probably the first and last time ever. This morning I woke up before my alarm. Also, probably the first and last time. C and Robyn will appreciate this…I was ready fifteen minutes before I had to leave. WITH MAKE-UP ON!! That is how you know I am excited. I even took Cooper for a walk! On the way to work, I called one of my former students. It was her first day as a new teacher and Beavis went into it with NO PLANS! She is so weird.

Now, I am really going to brag. Sorry…

Here ... people smile. People know your name, are genuinely excited to see you, and are more than eager to help you, have the time to offer their aid, ask you a question and actually listen to your answer. They take care of each other both personally and professionally. The benefits are incredible…I am not talking about the matching 401K, but the free lunch and snacks EVERYDAY. It is such a novel concept in my profession to enjoy where you are working. Maybe it isn’t? Maybe it is just that where I was before was so different from every other institute in the world. I do not really care to find out. This, where I am now, is heaven.

So that was all written Thursday before I went out to celebrate my first day. Today was…well…let me just tell you two things that happened.

1.) After a short meeting, a great lunch, and an afternoon Q & A session, I go back to my room. I am staring blankly at my computer. I suddenly, and for the first time, felt completely and totally overwhelmed. The standard of excellence here is something I just cannot wrap my head around. A lot of places in this line of work say there is a “commitment to excellence in a caring environment”, but here it is very, very real. I am used to low standards if any at all. I sat there with a feeling of where do I even begin. You know that feeling when you play that game where you have to spin with your forehead on a baseball bat, pop up straight, and then run as quickly as possible to the finish line? That is my current feeling. I know where I am supposed to be; the end result. I am just totally confused on how to take that first step…especially knowing that even if I try to run forward I am just going to curve a little to the right. There is so much going on and so much to take in that it is a little crazy.

2.) Just when this feeling is about to swallow me like a wave in Phuket, my boss and his wife (she is the head of a different division in the building) come in to talk to me. We all chat for about two minutes before he offers me 4 tickets to the Ranger game tonight with parking. She laughs and says welcome to [the family]. WHAT?! Holy cow! I have been here officially two days. I have never in my life ever received a perk through my job.

I am fairly confident that there will be a good bit of stress, but I think I am going to like my Iowa.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Procrastinated or just forgot?

As I sit here and watch the freakish athleticism of the Olympic participants, especially the women's gymnastics team, I am reminded of something on my to do list. About a month and a half ago I got the invitation for my high school reunion. I decided that I would work out and look all great for it...but...oops! The reunion is on Saturday and "work-out" is still on the list. I am going to go with forgot. Maybe I will start on Monday...after the reunion.

Olympics and World Issues

I so look forward to the Olympics every two years. Summer more so than winter, but I do enjoy them both. As a historian, the last few Olympics have been incredibly interesting to me in that they were held in significant locations such as Athens and dealt with issues of political question such as the dismantling of the USSR. This Olympics however has so many instances that make me one, thankful that I was born and live in the US, and two excited that many people are being exposed to world issues that they would have normally never realized exist. It is often nauseating how na├»ve people are to the world’s problems and the history that brought them about. Now, I am very aware that my sugar coated suburban upbringing has not made me well rounded, but I seek to learn of the world and its issues. Thankfully, I have a profession that allows me this opportunity from a young and often unbiased view.

Here are just a few issues that have been brought up during the coverage of this Olympics…

(I will not go into the human rights issues with China and Tibet because it would just be long...like REALLY LONG! There are too many links to connect you to here, so research it on your own. Please.)
1.) The simply incredible idea that this is even being held in Beijing! This is the place that is most often recognized for punishing people by death for speaking out for example Tiananmen Square. This is a country that is slightly smaller than the United States and holds tightly to traditions that date back to the 220 BC when the Qin dynasty united China. Yes, that is BC!! (Currently it is taught BCE – before common era- due to separation of church and state.) It is juxtaposition in every sense of the word. Completely modern cities next to winding villages of old tradition, small families in large urban homes with extended families squeezing into tiny country homes, traditional agricultural communities only 30 short minutes away from a Wal-Mart. The children of China may have no idea of how big a deal this is for their country. Sadly, the vast majority of Americans have no idea either.
2.) Despite the positives in China opening its doors, there are still glaring signs of the Communist state. The fact that China pulled the Visa of a stellar athlete because of rumors that he would speak of the issues in Tibet during interviews. Nothing athletic, nothing criminal, nothing “enhancing drug” related, but simply because speech is government controlled in China.

Beyond China…
3.) An Afghani athlete disappeared within hours of arriving in China. It is still being investigated.
4.) Saudi Arabia has a population of 28 million, but the delegation has no women competing, because they still need a man (father, oldest brother, or husband) to grant permission for them to either work or travel. This is illegal according to the IOC, so they may be banned from the London 2012 events if they do not change. This is religiously based, and I do not foresee them altering doctrine for the IOC.
5.) Only two women are representing the United Arab Emirates, and they are the Prime Minister’s daughters. Well, at least they are there! Side note – I was offered a job there 5 years ago and was told that because I was a woman, I would have two armed guards with me 24/7. Needless to say, I did not take the job.
6.) There are several countries that have citizens that are so poor it is horrifying. These are countries where the average YEARLY salary is around $150. I do not care if the cost of living is cheaper than industrialized countries, this is upsetting!
7.) Several countries have been war torn for years, and many still are during these competitions. What will these athletes go home to in a few weeks? There will be no Nike or Gatorade endorsements.
8.) Speaking of number 7, while our president (whom I like – sorry Eb) is chuckling with and issuing high fives to Vladimir Putin, the Russians are attacking Georgia. Literally, this is happening simultaneously. How quickly their friendship is on thin ice. Three days later, GWB warns Putin that this action threatens our relationship with Russia. Putin is mad that we flew Georgian troops back from Iraq. Yes, GWB took their soldiers out of the Middle East.
9.) Venezuela has lots of issues and we all know that their president HATES Bush! But just as an example of how odd Chavez really is, it was mentioned during opening ceremonies that he changed the entire country’s time zone to be just 30 minutes ahead of New York. What?! Weird!
10.) It has also been brought up, thankfully, how terribly unsupportive the government of Myanmar has been following the cyclone that hit several months back. While many stateside raised money for the people there, it was nothing like the outpouring of support for the tsunami in Phuket. This is because most countries knew the aid would not be distributed. When aid was issued, the government kept it for themselves. The people in that country are still homeless, without clean water or food, and suffering.

Despite all of the turmoil, questions, and suffering, each country replaces that with pride for the success of their athletes…medal or no medal. Hopefully, by the time that adorable little Chinese boy from the opening ceremony is an adult, the world will be even the slightest bit different. At least I hope more people will be aware of what is going on in the world.
Maybe that boy will run for president of China. Well, now I might just be getting crazy.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Christmas when I was 5

The feeling is just like that one you had when Santa was coming. You are so excited you can not even see straight. You have trouble going to sleep. You have been counting down the days for months, but it feels like years. Well, that is the feeling I have for the first day of my new job. So much so that I decided to start work this week. I do not actually have to start until the 18th, but I am READY!! I went in today for a couple of hours, and then came home and spread out my work stuff all over my living and dining room. A "BOOM" of stuff as Robyn says. This boom does not bode well for pictures of my productivity from the previous weeks. So...that was a really long excuse to say, "I will post my completed projects tomorrow. I promise."

For Eb...Good luck tomorrow, again. Play each shot as its own. The proverbial journey, not the destination. Love.

Friday, August 1, 2008

I am going to rehab

Find me one and I will check in. Not Amy Winehouse rehab. No! No! No! Not sad depressed rehab. I think that is a psych ward. Not rehab like that guy from Grey’s went to for calling the other guy a derogatory name. I think that is called think before you speak rehab. Not Lindsay Lohan rehab. I think that is called Jesus Camp. Nope. I am going to rehab for pack rats. I think it is called Clean House.

Since I was young I have known I am a pack rat. This is not an epiphany! Each time I go to an estate sale, which is every weekend (this may contribute to the problem), I think that I should clean out my house so that strangers are not milling about my home postmortem looking at crap from 1974. My house does not look like Clean House, but will begin to in five years. Maybe three.

There are three things that I contribute to my issue.

1.) I am single. Do not get me wrong, I enjoy being single. But, hell, I have four walk-in closets and two credit cards. A girl is gonna shop!

2.) I have an elephant like memory. Seriously. Everything I touch has a moment that I remember how it was acquired. I really do remember who I saw Just Married with on January 1, 2003. (Caitie, Ben, Brains...Caitie and Ben had just gotten engaged.) When I found the ticket for Anchorman, I immediately recalled that I was sitting next to Ricky and Eb called in the middle of the show. I remember picking out my first pair of glasses when I was 11 and yes, I did find them in my bathroom closet. Super hot! I have a 14 gallon Rubbermaid container filled to the brim with only newspaper articles from the fall of the Aggie Bonfire. Each and every set of bedding (four to be exact) since I was 16 is individually wrapped in “bedding bags”. This does not include my current master bedroom or guest bedroom stuff...therefore the total is 6 sets. I have not one, but two, TWO bags of bags. Now you may be thinking, what? Not kidding. At one point I thought that I would reuse every. single. bag. I ever received while shopping. I was going green before it was cool. Unfortunately, that just meant that I now have a collection of no less than 100 bags in my guest closet. Speaking of collections. Evidently, I truly enjoy chairs, despite the fact that I work, read, watch TV, eat, and sometimes sleep on my couch. Regardless of this issue, I have TWELVE chairs in my house! My two bedroom house. WHAT?! WHY?! No more than two of them are a matching set by the way. I also only have one outside door because my house is like a brown stone walk-up. Hopefully that door may see one of my five wreaths that are all handmade...handmade in 2000 when I moved into my college apartment. That means those wreaths have been moved five times. College apartment, mom and dad’s, mom’s, my new apartment, then current location. Five times! Do not even get me started on the cell phones, remotes, owner’s manuals, and cords that have not been used since Al Gore invented the internet. And OH MY GOD the craft supplies!! Oh, the craft supplies. Have I mentioned that I HATE crafting? But it all has so many memories to me. Memories back to my single digit ages. I guess I should probably get a journal. Oh wait, I have seven empty ones!

I get it; I have a problem.

3.) But I like to blame others. So, my third reason is because I am a proud American. We are the land of the free, home of the brave, and keepers of China’s crap. Even if it says Taiwan. (A little history lesson. We, being the US, actually recognized Taiwan as "China" for decades because of the oppressive government of mainland China. We refused to work with the mainland and would only work with the “independent” island nation. It is complicated, but there is a little taste. Just a bit of trivia to Tai-wan over. Badump cha. There are lots more where that one came from :)) We have created such awesome products as the hula hoop, skip-it, Rollerblades, and free weights in every size, shape, and color imaginable. All of these things were in one of my closets...covered in dust. We have kitchen gadgets like mix and bake bread bowls, apple coring things, juicers, and the “lean, mean, grillin’ machine” from George Foreman. I mean, who has not busted that sucker out at the dinner party? Classy! I own all of this crap!! Props to all the inventors out there because I will buy what you are selling. Oh, and the crazy sales people at the state fair. I can not wait to see you guys in October now that my cupboards are clear. 55 days people!!

Again, let me mention that most of this stuff has moved multiple times in its lifetime. What is mentioned here is just scratching the surface of the junk I have found. I mean rediscovered. Have no fear. It has all been tossed, sold, or given away. Ok. Most of it.