Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I'm Really Jaded.

Yesterday I went to Big Lots to pick up a some furniture. Which is never really a good experience... you know what I'm talking about if you've ever been there. First of all, the store is always in a sketchy part of town. You know, like the part of town that I live in. Second, the people that work there don't really want to be there. Who can blame them? I probably wouldn't want to be there either.

So anyway, I decide I need something, and that I can get a good price on it there. I call (using (800) Goog-411, which you should all use - it's free and better than 411) ahead to make sure they have what I need and get transferred around 4 times. I go in there fully expecting to be ignored. Instead, a man named Anderson had set aside my items for me before I got there, carried them to the front, waited while I paid, and then helped me load everything into my car. I don't think I've been treated so well in ANY store in a long time.

It sort of made me sad that this is what I've come to expect. I don't know when I got so jaded. Why don't I always expect the best of people? Why don't I expect politicians to uphold the law instead of break it? I think people live up to the expectations that you set for them in most cases - and when we set those expectations too low, we won't be disappointed. It applies in so many areas of our life. Why don't we expect huge things from ourselves? From God? From the people in our life? I think we'd be surprised by how many expectations are met.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Epic.

This was so incredible I couldn't NOT post it.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Was Jesus a Socialist?

So anyone that knows me knows where I stand politically - disagree with me or not, it doesn't really matter. And in the grand scheme of things, God has it under control anyway, and I know that he isn't sitting up there stressing, wringing his hands, wondering how it's going to turn out. He already knows. That said, this is not going to be about which candidate I'm voting for.

I've had some interesting questions raised this week about how Jesus would want us to vote for this candidate or that candidate. For starters, God isn't a democrat or republican. There are views on both ends that contradict what I read in the Bible. However, I read a really interesting argument that has had me rethinking everything: Socialism is Biblical.

From Matthew 25:
35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
Clearly, Jesus wants us to take care of each other. We are called, as believers, to give of ourselves, to put each others' needs before our own. The communal life of the early church was inherently socialist, giving one's possessions, selling them off in order to contribute to the Church. However, I believe that there is a distinction between communal life between a group of believers and Socialism on a government level.

This may be politically incorrect, but here goes: The underlying premise of Christianity is NOT equality. It is salvation through Jesus. Period. That is not to say that God has favorites; he loves us all equally. But does that mean he means for us all to be completely equal in THIS world? Clearly he didn't, or we wouldn't have such different strengths and weaknesses, experiences and opportunities.

Let's stay in Matthew 25. Jesus tells two stories about a master who goes away for a long time. Who is this master he’s talking about? He is referring to himself, and we are the servants he has left to take care of business in his absence. We are stewards - he has entrusted us with the world.

This parable contains two important truths: The first is that the source of our wealth comes from God. He’s the one who gives. He’s also the one who takes away. The second is that God will give us not what we think we deserve, but what he knows we can handle.

He gave five bags of silver to one, two bags of silver to another, and one bag of silver to the last—dividing it in proportion to their abilities.

The NIV translation says that the master gave 5 talents to one, 2 talents to another, and 1 talent to the last. But what’s a talent? A talent is equal to 75 pounds of silver. The price of silver today is $9.66 per ounce, which is $154.56 per pound. So, to put this story into today’s terms, understand that the first person received 375 pounds of silver amounting to a total of $57,960. The second person received 150 pounds of silver amounting to a total of $23,184. The third person received 75 pounds of silver amounting to $11,592. Jesus said that the master divided the money in proportion to their abilities.

Now those of us who know the story know what happens. The first two doubled the master’s investment in them, which pleases their master.

Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!

The third servant buried what he had and merely returned what he had been given. He harbored resentment toward his master for giving the others more. Clearly, the unequal distribution chafed him a little. The master, however, doesn't redistribute the wealth. He actually takes away the little that the third servant had and gave it to those who were faithful. Sound like socialism? Actually, it's the exact opposite.

God gives to us according to what we can handle. He knows our hearts and our intentions. He didn’t give all the talents all at once. He started out with a little amount and then, when the servants showed that they were faithful to him with a little, He promised to give them even more responsibilities. Even more will be given to those who use well what they are given.

Use well. What does that mean?

If we keep reading, we’ll see Jesus divide those who remain after he leaves into two groups: the goats and the sheep. The sheep will get to be with him in His kingdom, but the goats will be thrown into the lake of fire.

There is a clear mandate, then, that those who will be sheep — the same ones who the Lord just praised for using well the resources he gave them — are to use those resources wisely. They are to feed the hungry, provide for clothing, visit and comfort the sick and the imprisoned. They are to love their neighbors in the course of their lives. No where in this parable does Jesus tell us to pass off this mandate onto the government. All these things are individual acts of love.

The goats are the ones who are like the servant who buried his money in the ground, full of resentment that he didn’t get a bigger share of the pie. But there may be times that we act more like goats than like sheep. Too many of us just pass on by the tenements and the homeless shelters without even a second thought because we know that the single mom is getting formula for her baby through WIC. We don’t concern ourselves much with getting our hands dirty in helping the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned because we figure there’s plenty of governmental assistance. And when we do this…when we rely on our government to do the mandate that Jesus himself gave us…then doesn’t that make us look suspiciously like goats?

So, there's my two cents. Are you a goat, or are you a sheep? I so want to be a sheep!



Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Why is it colder INSIDE than OUTSIDE?

So clearly the temperature has dropped this week - by a lot. Anyone who knows me knows how much I absolutely LOVE the cold... but I'm not gonna lie, I'm still sort of enjoying it. Don't tell anyone. However, it's gotten cold enough that Sunday night we decided to cut the heat on for the first time.

The roomie turned up the thermostat, and we all went to bed. The next morning, it's roughly 36 degrees in my bedroom. I lay there for 40 minutes, beneath 4 blankets with my dog curled up next to me, absolutely dreading the inevitable. There would be no showering. I pulled on two shirts, a winter coat, jeans, and shoes before even making it out to the kitchen. My roommates were similarly dressed, huddling over the oven. All we needed was a trash can fire and we might have looked like we belonged in our neighborhood...

Clearly, our heat wasn't working. And of course, you never figure that out until you actually NEED the heat. After railing for an entire day aginst the landlord, I get home to find my roommate in the living room, wearing a hat, sweater, and several blankets. She says the landlord came over and explained why the heat wasn't working...

We didn't turn on the gas. Naturally, our heat is gas. After trying hard not to laugh at us, he explained that we needed to call and have them turn it on. Thanks.

Meanwhile, we have to wait at least 48 hours for them to come hook us up. Here's to space heaters and lots of blankets...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

George Soros: Owner, Democratic Party.

So, like almost everyone else in America, this bailout makes me want to vomit.  SNL finally got one right... this is brilliant. I would embed it, but it gets yanked from youtube and hulu within minutes every time it's posted.


My favorite moments are at the end.  


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Life in the Barrio

So most of you know that basically, we moved to the mexican ghetto (aka the barrio). I absolutely love it here. A couple posts back I mentioned the neighborhood ministry we've started here, and I just wanted to give a quick update.

Things have been going well. Obviously, there are some kids we are getting to know better than others. Today might have been the coolest day yet. I got home from work to find 4 kids playing in our front yard. So I talked to them for a minute, and then asked if they wanted to help me make rice krispy treats. Clearly, that was a hit. The next thing I know, we've got 8 kids in the house eating rice krispy treats and begging us to go play in the yard with them. Liz and I took them outside and played games - soon we had 12 kids in our back yard.

After the mosquitoes started to attack, we came inside for sweet tea and I popped in a movie to chill them out a little. Like I said, there were 12 kids, ranging in age from 6 to 13. They were all just thrilled that they got to come over and hang out - it's so cool to have the opportunity to build solid relationships with them. I'm so excited that they LIKE us! It's amazing how well kids respond when you spend time with them.

Anyway, if you could pray about that it would be greatly appreciated. For guidance for us, for the kids, and for our relationships with their families, so this can continue.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Trees... trees... TELEPHONE POLE.... trees... trees...

This weekend I decided that it would be fun to take some of my favorite kids camping at the beach. Harmless enough, right? I knew it would be chaotic, but figured I could handle it and we left Friday after work. We got there late and set up the tent, grilled some hot dogs, walked around the beach - it was pretty laid back and all was going well.

12:30am. The kids decide to go to bed, the boys in their tent and the girls and I outside on a tarp with our blankets.

1am. A SUV rolls up full of people - 3 guys and 3 girls, roughly my age. They're loud. Really loud. Country music blaring from the car, starting fires, and generally being obnoxious. I gave it half an hour before I about lost it.

1:30am. I go over to them and ask them to turn down the music. I get a non-commital "What? Oh sure." I go back and lay down again.

1:45am. Pretty sure it's getting ridiculous. I decide to go find one of the cops patrolling the beach. When that failed, I called the non-emergency Carolina Beach Police line. They said they'd send someone out. We go back to our site and lay down, waiting for them to get there.

2am. Random guy from SUV approaches. Drops his pants. Our conversation went something like this:

Guy with his butt hanging out: Where's my bon fire? I seem to have lost my bon fire. Can you tell me where my bon fire is?
Me: You really need to leave.
Guy With His Butt Hanging Out: I can't find my bon fire.
Me: These girls are 13 years old. You really need to get out of here.
Guy With His Butt Hanging Out: (voice cracking) Really?!
Me: Yeah. Go.


Meanwhile, Girl In Bikini is kneeling beside the boys tent taking picture of the whole thing. Because you ALWAYS want to document your flashings. Duh.

The slight panic in his voice was definitely classic.

I grab the girls and we walk down the beach a little, not wanting to hang out by random half naked guy.

2:05am. Cops arrive. Complete overkill, two huge vehicles, one of which is a ridiculous humvee. Blue lights flash all the way down the beach. The kids and I wait in the truck and watch them bust the drunkies... one girl burns her foot on a hot coal, general ridiculousness ensues. The verdict? Can't put them on the road and make them leave, so they drive them down to the other end of the beach away from us and all was well with the world.

A night in the life... you wish you were me. Don't lie. ;-)


PS - if you're confused about the title... don't be, it shouldn't make any sense to you.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Out of My Element...

So let's talk about the real world vs. the music industry. Because seriously, I am so out of my element here. I'm adjusting. Slowly. But anyone who knows what the music industry is like can understand this... in my office, I could pretty much wear whatever I wanted. There was no dress code. If they'd ever asked me to wear pantyhose, I probably would have laughed. My dog came to work with me. We broke out wine for meetings at 2pm and served it in coffee cups. Dog walking breaks were totally normal, as were random popsicle and smoothie field trips. And that's pretty standard fare on Music Row.

This month, I'm temping at a medical firm in RTP. Which is great, don't get me wrong. I really like it here. But this whole 9-5:30, pantyhose-requiring, grown up office is taking some getting used to. The scary thing is, I'm sort of enjoying it. I always thought I'd hate the corporate world. The idea of a real job always irritated me... but oddly enough, the routine is nice. I've never had one of those before. I'm enjoying the relative stability. For now, I need it. That will probably change - I'll get restless and want to do something more challenging and more exciting, and I will, I have no doubts. But having the time and money to go to the beach and go camping is pretty sweet, I'm not gonna lie.

I don't think it's sunk yet in that I'm not a college student anymore.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I Want To Do It All.

So yeah, now I've got my degree. It's great. Sure. I don't have a job.

Suddenly I'm obsessed with the medical field. I don't know why. I just filled out the FAFSA so I can go take some more classes. Granted I'll hold off til next fall, but I want to do this. And the english thing, too...

Why is school so addictive? I love learning. I hate the structure of classes. I think now that the pressure's off, I have the piece of paper, I can explore and learn what I WANT to learn. I can take whatever classes I want to. And it's so exciting for me. I feel like a kid - I wanna be a DOCTOR when I grow up! I wanna be a TEACHER! I wanna be a PIRATE!

Seriously, I feel like I should have gone through this phase already. I think at this point I'm going to get me a job and just take some more classes when I can... I'm so excited to see what doors open up!

Jesus rocks my world.

So today was probably the coolest day I've had in a long time. First, I finally caved and went down to the Carolina Ale House to apply for a job. That's the one stipulation I had for moving back here - I was not going to work in a restaurant. But I started to panic about money and went back to what I knew. So as I'm standing in the parking lot I get a call - the temp agency had a great paying month long job for me. Yay God.

Since we moved in, the roomies and I have felt lead to do some sort of children's ministry in our neighborhood. Yes, we live in the hood. There are about a million little Hispanic kids that run through our yard every day. Yesterday, they show up on our doorstep - selling school fundraiser type stuff. Basically God did the work FOR us... today they came back, just wanting to hang out. We took the dog for a walk, went to the park, gave them some cookies, watched a movie... they were absolutely adorable, and I know we're all way excited about them.

The next step will be to throw some sort of neighborhood event - a block party, something - for all of them. I'll most likely bust out the clown stuff, twist some balloons, paint some faces... it's going to be a good time. Let me know if you want in.

I love my life.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

$100k later...

So I registered with a temp agency to get me by while I look for a more permanent job. I got my first position today with the Apple Gold corporate office - basically corporate Applebees. It's a 2 day position ROLLING TEE-SHIRTS. I rolled 720 tee shirts up and boxed them to send off to stores. To top it off, they said "Riblets for President". What kind of marketing genius thought that this was a viable marketing campaign for Applebees? I mean, honestly, the term "riblet" already marginalizes your credibility. Then you promote them as a presidential candidate? Totally unnecessary.

Please tell me I'll get a big girl job soon. Okay great.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

I hate the north.

Okay so obviously northern roads are exposed to more weather than southern roads and require more maintenance... but like, really, there is no excuse for the PA Turnpike.  Worst. Road. Ever.  And people PAY to drive on it! I spent $8 to bump and wind my way through PA with nowhere to stop and pee. I'm just saying. They should remedy that situation.  I'm never going back.

Okay that's a lie.  Mariah had Caedan Saturday night so I guess I'll go back and meet him... ;-)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

So Far...

So right now I'm jobless and sort of homeless. All of my stuff is on Renee's porch. I am sort of looking for a job... but I'm not gonna lie, it's a half hearted search. I'm tired. I'm enjoying my "family" and friends here... it's good to be back. It feels so good to finally celebrate and enjoy life. A friend on Monday asked me what I was going to do that day - and I didn't have an answer. It was an awesome feeling.

Things I've done here so far:
- gone to Cookout three times. In 4 days.
- stayed up until 4am to watch a meteor shower.
- watched Aladdin for the first time in like 10 years
- slept until noon.
- gotten pulled over for speeding... which I totally talked my way out of by pretending I was "new to the area"... yay for Tennessee tags.
- called everyone I know.
- bought a stupid number of DVDs at Blockbuster - they were on sale and I HAVE TIME TO WATCH THEM NOW.
- baked a birthday cake for Lisa with Max and Cana. Lots of sprinkles were involved.
- stole Renee's keys and left her locked out of her house.
- not turned on my mac.
- checked out my NEW HOUSE in the ghetto. I <3 it.
- hung out with my fabulous new roommate and her crazy mother. We're going to have way too much fun.


I miss you Nashville kids, though. I'm not gonna lie. I feel like both of my lives need to converge. That would be great. Nashville + Raleigh = my version of heaven. :-)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Car Jack Design Fail.

So the other day I had lunch with two lovely ladies. Rather uneventful. So we go back to our cars, I'm opening my door with Jess rolls by on a flat tire. Quickly realizing that it's flat, she pulls over right in front of my car on the side of the street. So, clearly, we were all dressed to change a tire. I'm obviously the man in most of my friendships, so naturally, I ask Jess if she has a spare.

"I don't think so." I told her she was wrong and pulled it out of her trunk. So I get down on the ground and start trying to jack up the car to remove the tire. PS, the car jack was the dumbest design in the whole world, and didn't let me just crank it up.


I won't even attempt to describe how it worked, but it involved a hook and a hole and it was stupid. So I finally get it up high enough. We're in business.



Just as I was about to pop the lug nuts off, Sweaty Guy in Hat walked by and offers to help. I was like great, okay, thanks. So starts the process, and no joke, there was sweat dripping onto the pavement as he worked. Did I mention that it was like, 4087 degrees out there? Because it was.

So he gets the lug nuts off and give the wheel a tug to get it off the car. Clearly it wasn't that easy. He obviously had other places to be and took off. We could not for the life of us figure out how to get the wheel off the car. So Jessica calls her brother and asks him if we're doing something wrong. He told me to kick it. So I did. Then when that failed, I leaned down and yanked, and it came off - while I flew backwards onto my butt. It was a stellar moment.

The rest of the process came rather easily. The best part was showing up at the office. I was like, um lemme go wash my hands. Thom informed me that I needed a shower... apparently I was covered in grease all the way to my shoulder. It was awesome.

Monday, August 4, 2008

DONE.

I'm done. DONE DONE DONE DONE DONE.  My assignments are all in, the tests are all taken. I have a lot of sleep to catch up on.  But it's done. 

I don't really know what to do with myself. There's no impending doom.  Life is good. :-)

PS, check back later, amazing story to tell...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Nerd Alert: I Want To Believe.

Okay so clearly I've been stoked about the X Files premiere for ages. I understand that this comes with a label, and this review will probably be an embarrassing reveal of how incredibly nerdy I really am.  Oh well.  Ain't no shame in it.

If you are planning on seeing the movie and don't want to know anything don't read this because basically, I'm going to spoil it for you.  Because I have no filter and though I may try, I'd ruin something.  There's the disclaimer.

First and foremost, I have to say that Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny still rock my world.  The acting was perfect, and I love the direction that they took the characters.  Even if it was more overt than normal, the relationship was still stellar.  Scully was a beast in this movie.  It was sweet.  

As I told several of you, I was slightly disappointed at first.  I didn't really grasp why they'd left out the stuff that made the series so cool, like, um, aliens and conspiracies.  The more I think about it, the more I'm appreciating it.  Was it as good as it could have been? No.  But I think at the core of the show is the search for truth, and they hold true to that search.  It's just taken on a different form.

The show has always brought Scully's Catholic faith - and lack of faith - into the plot lines.  A pedophile priest named Father Joe claims to have visions that can help the FBI find a missing agent. Scully, who now works as a surgeon at a Catholic children's hospital, is pretty clear that she's not interested in what he has to say. She sees him praying for salvation and practically rolls her eyes. The following exchange goes like this:
Scully: Do you think God hears your prayers?
Father Joe: Do you think He hears yours?
Scully: I didn't bugger 37 alter boys.
Burn.  She's "done chasing monsters in the dark", which ultimately brings her to leave Mulder at the unibomber style abode he (they? I wasn't clear on this...) is living in.  But not before they make out a little.  

Bottom line, I'm for sure going to see it again.  It's sooo not as bad as the reviews it's getting.  I just hope that a) there's another one and b) it has some aliens and conspiracies in it. :-)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Dark Knight rocked my world.

Okay so everyone has heard that the new Batman movie was unbelievable. So I'm going to skip that part. Basically, your life is incomplete if you don't see this movie. Bottom line.

What was I NOT a fan of? The INSANE old lady sitting next to me. My friends and I walk into the theater. Of course, there are 6 sold out showings of this movie at Green Hills - it's absolute chaos. We stroll in like 10 minutes before it's supposed to start and clearly, there are not 4 seats available. So we split up. This lady from the back hollers at us and points to a couple seats, so T and I head to the back. Our first sign to run should have been the look of relief on the face of the guy sitting next to us. He was entirely too grateful to have two people between him and Bertha. (Note: Bertha wasn't her real name. At least I don't think it was. That would be unfortunate. It seems appropriate for my purposes though.)

So Bertha rambles on about the movie. I mention that I'm tired. Being as it's after midnight and I have already been awake for 18 hours and worked and went to school all day. She goes "SUCK IT UP! It's BATMAN!" I was like, great okay. Then she notices that the sound is off. Obviously, it was supposed to be, as they were walking through, checking tickets, etc... the previews haven't even started. But she was upset. So, naturally, she takes her shoes off and wanders around for someone to inform.

She comes back. She overhears me telling a story to T about someone who told me to shut up. I hear "Yeah, GREAT IDEA." At this point I'm pretty sure I dug my nails into his arm and told him I was going to take the old lady out. Unsatisfied with the theater's response for her request for volume, Barefoot Bertha started wandering around again. I made T switch places with me while she was up. So naturally, when she returns, she starts talking to him instead.

I overhear something about him keeping me quiet. Bertha's plan for silencing me was to tell T to kiss me so I couldn't talk. I believe there was a lecture about keeping the phones in pockets so she wouldn't have to deal with the glow. Some cussing people out around us to shut up. The movie finally starts, and apparently wasn't good enough for her to stay through to the end - she rolled out about 3/4 way through.

Incredible. If I run into a Bertha tonight at the X Files premiere, roomie's gonna have to hold me back, because I might cry if I get kicked out.

Johnny and June

This may be one of my favorite songs.  I adore Heidi Newfield.  I was slightly disappointed in the video though.  She's like, yeah I'm hot, imma just be pretty.

Oh well.  I'm still a fan, Heidi.



Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I'm Really Boring.

No, for real though.  The reason I haven't blogged is because I'm pretty sure that nothing funny has happened to me lately.  I don't do anything anymore.  I go to school.  I go home.  I write papers.  I cook for my roommate.  I watch X-Files.  I go get the occasional popsicle.  But really, do you want to read about that?

I mean, I'm not gonna lie, Las Paletas popsicles are sooo blogworthy.  One of my friends and I had one last week, and she told me she had dreams about it.  They're that good.  But... I'll spare you that.

I've knocked out two of the four summer classes.  Finance: complete.  Management Communications: complete as of like, 7 minutes ago.  That's a lie.  I'm in class blogging.  But let me just say, we rocked that paper.  Some of the finest 22 pages I've turned in.  Okay not really.  It was severely boring.  But it's A work, fo sho.

T-17 days to graduation.  Holy crap.  I have no idea where time went.  It blows my mind.  I'm pumped though.  Bring it on.

Wanna hear something sadistic?  I'm going to get a second degree.  I haven't talked myself into a masters yet, but I have decided that at least I want an english degree in addition to my BBA. And NC State is CHEAP.  Like, we're talking 25% of what Belmont's costing me.  

So, that's about it folks.  I'm lame.  I go to school and work and eat popsicles.  Oh, and drive a lot.  The Nissan's going in this week for an oil change.  Which explains why I spent $600 last month on gas.  Good grief.

Holla.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Friday, July 11, 2008

Conversations with mom...

100% casual tone:

Me: What are you doing today?
Mom: Looking at my website. What are you doin'?
Me: I just got a popsicle.
Mom: I just got a divorce.


Apparently it's finally official. 

Monday, July 7, 2008

Zeb - as in Zebulon.

So I went to a wedding this weekend in Nashville, NC. Ironic, I know. So the night begins with a torrential storm. Sideways rain. Leaves and sticks blowing across the highway. Suzanne's car blowing across the highway, etc.

This was supposed to be an outdoor wedding, mind you. But aside from a flock of geese landing during the lighting of the unity candle, it went off well. Amazingly, the rain held out until 5 minutes after the ceremony, and we were all indoors for the reception. So we do the dances and eat the food, eat some cake.

Then it's time for the bouquet toss. A group of about 8 of us get up front and Ashley tosses the bouquet. All the bridesmaids stand still. Apparently the plan was that all the bridesmaids were going to step back and let Becca get it. Well, Becca didn't go for it either. So... I did... and got it. Then it's time for the garter toss.

The most awkward guy up there is a shaggy blonde guy named Zeb. So Zeb, of course, catches the garter. Suzanne goes "You know, I've been to some weddings where the guys that catches the garter has to put it on the girl that catches the bouquet..."

Before I could say that I was glad that wasn't happening, the DJ calls my name into the mic. Zeb and I head up to the dance floor and I get seated in the chair so Zeb can put the garter on me. It may have been one of the most awkward moments ever. I'm sitting in the chair in front of all these people - keep in mind I know like, 3 people in the room - and Zeb kneels in front of me and slides the garter up over my knee. Good thing I shaved, or it could have been even more awkward. 

We exchanged an embarrassed introduction and side hug... then called it a night. 

Awesome.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A 27 Dresses moment...

Dress shopping. Everyone in my world is getting married. Therefore, I shop for dresses. Some snapshots from the Roadcap/Dorn wedding bridesmaid outing...


"Adjusting" - they definitely didn't have my size in that style... Maybe if I pull it up and in? 





I liked this style.  Not in black, obviously.  Oh that one on the rack is the right color, let's try that one...


Oh they don't have my size.  Of course.  Why would they?  That would be convenient.  That's fine.  I clearly was not excited about changing anyway...


Okay let's get a close up... do I REALLY like this color? Alyssa, take a picture of us .


Yay we're done for the day... 




Decisions made: 0

Alas, we still have a year, love. ;-)

Monday, June 30, 2008

So I have a new car...

It's not nearly as cute as the bug. But it's a lot more practical. I finally made a grown up purchase. Whatever. I hate this adult stuff.

Its a black Nissan. And I have been calling it my government official car. Maybe if I put some blue lights on top people wouldn't hit me anymore? That'd be great.

... but really though, every time I get in it I feel like I should have a suit on. And be on my cell phone in pursuit of something dangerous and X Files worthy. Oh man. Can we tell I'm trying to re-watch the ENTIRE SERIES before the movie comes out next month? Pretty sure my roommates hate me.

This is what it looks like:



I chose this picture just because it's in front of the Acura sign and that made me giggle. Because it's not an Acura. It's a Nissan. Get it?!

Finance is almost done. And I'm coming home Wednesday. And I get to see my favorite person in the whole world. :-) Plus a few other people who are pretty cool... I'm gonna go get this homework done so I can spend my night watching some more X Files.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Mmm.... trash.

So today is my last day in the rental car. I was cleaning it out this morning, and let me tell you, it's amazing how much crap you can accumulate in a month. Especially if you take 3 out of state trips in that said month. But I digress.

Anyway, so I grab an armload of trash out of the car and walk to the dumpster, which is right behind my car. I heave all the junk forward, and almost all of it hits the ground. About the only thing that made it IN to the dumpster were my keys, which I'd slung around my pinky finger. Awesome.

They sat there between two bags of trash, taunting me. I stood for a second to devise a plan, cursing my lack of height, and figure climbing onto the ledge and leaning forward would be the easiest. Let me tell you, dumpsters are not easily scaled. After that plan failed miserably, I looked at my car and realized I had a stack of text books. So I stack them up and stand on them, giving me the extra boost I needed to reach my keys. I lean forward and the books slide out from under me, and I lunge forward, winding up to my elbows in trash.

Yes, I had the presence of mind to snag the keys before I ran away and dry heaved. So I'm going to bathe in bleach now.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Reminders.

The memory is an amazing thing. Somehow, with as much as we put into our brains, as many things as we encounter and process every day, every second of our lives, we are able to clearly recall events, experiences, and people forever. Everyone has moments that they will never forget. Sometimes all it takes is a small reminder. A name, a smell, an emotion, or picture can send you right back to a place or moment. Sometimes, that moment is that last place that you'd ever choose to be. But once something sends you back to that place, it is impossible to ignore. I can't even begin to pretend that I've got this all figured out. What happens when you're back in that place? Where do I go from here? I don't know.

I do know that it hurts, and that these are the moments I would normally choose to run away. I'm getting better about that. Escaping is nothing more than a temporary fix - and it usually hurts worse on the back end. Delaying the healing process comes with it's own set of problems. I don't know what God's got lined up for me, but it's becoming more and more clear that Tennessee isn't in the plan right now, and now that I know that, I want to be done with this chapter. This summer is proving to be agonizing. I think that all He asks is that we do the best we can to hear Him. The listening thing is definitely something I have to work on. I'd rather sit there and discuss things and think and read and come up with ideas than just sit and hear what He's got to say.

So right now, my prayers are for stillness. For quiet, for moments of silence and focus. For direction - clarity. And -ultimately - healing. I know that things will work out. He always sees to that.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I Hate Moving.

I hate it a whole lot. I don't think I would hate it as much if this was semi-permanent, but knowing I'm going to have to move in 2 months makes this even less fun than usual. I accumulated a lot of junk at the last apartment. (PS I have a completely unnecessary amount of Halloween stuff. This means there will be a sweet Halloween party this year in NC. Just FYI.)

I went into the day with no sleep. Well, that's sort of a lie. I probably slept about an hour at a rest area somewhere in Kentucky. So basically, I was in fine form, and completely on top of my game. However, M's family was incredible and helped me a ton. Another friend came out and helped. It all got done. I even got all my new bedding on my bed and put my lamps together. At around 10pm I was pumped to go to sleep... then we thought we would get the entertainment center put together. We failed. At around midnight we called it quits and I went to sleep. This morning I get up entirely too early to move my car so the POD people can pick it up for Ash... I walk back inside and hear a weird noise in the bathroom. The toilet broke. Water was everywhere.

Meanwhile, roomie's POD was being picked up, her bed was being delivered, and the washer and dryer were being delivered. Basically at the same time. I'm in my pajamas with no make up on at all lookin' HIT, attempting to conquer the entertainment center. Dogface was locked out on the patio so he wouldn't get in the way, making the most horrendous noises you have ever heard in your life. It was a magical moment on Plum Nelly Circle.

So, with the delivery guys gone and the repair guys in the bathroom doing their thing, I manage to defeat the furniture gods and produce a brilliantly assembled entertainment center. Then I go to move it and rip the side of it off, splintering the board and generally destroying my work. There goes the brilliance. They are, however, sending a free replacement board and all will be well in 5-7 business days.

So there you have the first day in the new place. As M and her cousin decided yesterday, first day in and we had beds and a shower, really can't complain. Right?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I'm A Murderer.

I killed a squirrel today on my way back to the office. Generally they're fast enough to get out of the way. This one was just as fast... just a little dumber as it scurried out directly into my tire.

The only time I've killed another animal was when I was driving home from Alabama over the Nickajack Dam and I hit a muskrat. And true to form, I definitely made a spectacle of it. I didn't just hit it and leave it on the road. Oh no. Apparently it caught on my back tire and got airborne. I looked back through my rear view and see a muskrat spinning through the air behind me. I didn't see any subsequent accidents indicating that it landed on a windshield, so my assumption is that it landed a) on the side of the road where road kill belongs, or b) over the side of the bridge in the water somewhere.

This squirrel, however, is smashed in the alley. And I will be forced to stare at it every day. That's what I get for being a murderer, I suppose.

Recovery.

I don't think I have ever experienced exhaustion to this degree before. The last couple weeks or so has been the most horribly busy period of my life. And that's saying something if you know me. Here's a quick recap:

Moving. Oh. My. Gosh. And I get to do it again on Monday. I packed Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Stole Tony's SUV and started hauling stuff Wednesday. Thursday moved furniture. Friday Fan Fair began for me. Insanity. Saturday we did the fan fair thing during the day, I took a three hour "break", during which I moved all of my food and dishes and some other misc boxes, and went back downtown at 4 to be at Rachel's Limelight show. It was a long freaking day.



Sunday rolled around. We wrapped up at the convention center at 4. After breaking stuff down and loading it into boxes, we sat and waited for them to let the truck in so we could load up. And waited. For an hour and a half. Pretty sure we all crashed immediately. This picture sums it all up:



Awesome.

So Monday. Back to school. I woke up at some stupid hour of the morning, thinking I'd study. Which... I actually did. I went to class in pajamas, planning on going directly home after I wrapped up at school. Nope. Bossman calls and informs me that we need ink. INK. That I need to go get. So... since I only worked 7 hours last week am an incredible employee, I went and ran to office max, and returned to the office to prepare for the meeting. Then... I busted out the X Files DVDs and made some mac & cheese and sat on the couch for 8 hours and watched Mulder and Scully. Yeah, I've watched pretty much all of season 5 in the past two days. Yesterday I was so tired my body hurt. I called my mom and started crying. I don't know why. I couldn't stop. So I skipped my night class and went to bed at 8:45. It was a beautiful thing.

So now the focus is buying a car. And making Geico give me the rental until I get one. Can I just be done with this and get out of Tennessee?

Friday, June 6, 2008

Notes From A Late Night Tailgate...

I started writing this Thursday night while I was sitting on the side of the highway at 3am... and then forgot to publish it until now. Oops. Whatever.


Today started off a little rough. I stayed out past my bed time last night and was definitely draggin' a little... 3 hrs just doesn't do it for me anymore. I made it through the day. Denver helped me get the last big furniture piece out of the apartment. Progress was made. I went to both offices. Made it to a friend's birthday dinner. Then... I thought it was a good idea to go to a midnight writer's round at the Hard Rock. So I'm heading home at 2am to begin with. I'm rolling down the highway, and all of a sudden we all stop. All four lanes. I can't see anything, but the fact that people are running down the side of the highway and sitting on the hoods of their cars doesn't bode well for my quick return home.

So I sat. And text messaged. And Facebooked. And started blogging on my phone. And seethed and plotted against the idiot teenagers that were running between the cars banging on people's hoods. Mid blog, I see cars moving. Slowly. 2am had turned into 3am before we saw any movement. I made it home at 3:30am. And found out that our callbox was broken. I couldn't get into my own complex for 25 minutes.

Then, because I'm an idiot, I thought packing would be a great idea. Just load up the car one more time.

FAIL. The dog had been inside all day and proceeded to run in circles around the complex and howl like some sort of banshee. I cut myself on the picture I broke. I woke up my poor roommate sometime around 4am. However, the car is now loaded. All that is left are my clothes and dishes, and I am officially done with this apartment.

For now, I'm sitting on the couch running late for work, because I feel like a truck rolled over me.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

CHAOS in full swing.

So as I was opening this up to start typing the boss calls. I need to make a phone call to none other than cute boy that I geeked out on the other day. For business purposes, obviously. Then he asked me why I'd never called him about financial stuff. He's coming to the office on Tuesday to discuss.

... weird. I'll update you.

So this week is pure insanity for me. Classes started, Fan Fair is here, and I'm moving. And you know, working, trying to sort out car stuff (which has to be done by Friday when they take back my rental or I'm carless...), etc. At least it's gorgeous out. Sun puts me in a good mood.

Belmont, once again, made financial aid way more complicated than it needed to be... and informed me at 10am yesterday that my classes would be dropped, as my loan would not be certified until later this week. I lost it. I went up there, told them they needed to keep my schedule, and... they actually did. So one by one, the things that could keep me from graduating are disappearing. Just over 2 months!

I've made a serious dent in packing. Which is good, because I plan on hauling the majority of my stuff out TOMORROW. And, so far, the only injury sustained was minor (I managed to tip a bookshelf forward, and every single shelf slid out onto my foot... it was awesome).

My dog is really bitter about the whole situation. With unofficial boy roommate gone and the apartment in utter chaos, he's a bit off kilter. He was in fine form last night. To begin with, Michelle and I discovered "protest poop" under the table. I don't really get the whole "I'm mad at you so I'm going to poop on the floor" response a lot of animals have. I mean, honestly, can we just imagine what would occur if humans had those retaliation tactics? Ugh. Gosh, why did I even go there...

Anyway, so after we get cleaned up, we were packing up comforters into vacuum storage bags (which, PS, are the BEST INVENTIONS EVER), and he pointedly walks over, farts in our general direction, and promptly returns to his corner of the couch.

Then it's dinner time. M is eating in the living room. The dog wanders over, and makes this gagging noise, right over her plate. It seriously looked like he was pretending to throw up on her plate. We laughed at him, naturally, and he was seriously embarrassed. He walked around M's chair, turned his back to us, pushed his ears back, and avoided us. Generally a pretty useless creature, he is at least immensely entertaining.

Sorry this post got so gross. I'll try to avoid the bathroom humor from now on.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Twittering.

So it seems like I keep hearing about Twitter. I don't know if I completely get it, but since I have the compulsion to write about my life all the time anyway, I signed up. Any thoughts on it? Find me on there if you like...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Bug Has Officially Been Totaled.

And yes, I cried.

Random Installments: Episode 4

1. I love the beach. I need to figure out a way to spend my entire summer there every year and eat nothing but seafood. And popsicles. I don't even mind being salty and sandy and loaded up with sunscreen all the time. I kind of like it. If I start wearing Hawaiian Tropic as perfume until September, don't be surprised... I'm only sort of kidding.

2. Popsicles are incredible. I hope that these bizarre little independent popsicle places that make flavors like "rose petal" and "hibiscus" and "Strawberry Pink Peppercorn" are EVERYWHERE this summer. I know I'm covered in Nashville and North Topsail Island... do we have any places like this in Raleigh? Cary? If not, someone start one. Kthx.

3. Why is it that my entire social life revolves around eating? Seriously guys, we really need to come up with other fun stuff to do. Or I will never wear a two piece bathing suit again. We live in a fun city, I'm fairly sure we can entertain ourselves away from restaurants. I vote for kayaking on the next weekend. Who's in?

4. I am the worst procrastinator in the entire world. We have to be out of our apartment in less that 2 weeks, and I have packed like, a box. Anyone wanna help me? I'll feed you. It may even be homecooked. Please? I'll provide the fun vacuum bags and we can squish all my clothes and bedding. It'll be fun! Oh man. Even I don't believe that.

5. O.M.Gsh. I Want To Believe. I can't wait. I'm gonna die! They're totally gonna make out.

The Damage.

I hate insurance companies. Especially the ones named Allstate. I hate them a lot. And I am not nice to them. Maybe I should be a little nicer. I tried for like, a minute.. But I can't handle being treated like an idiot. I am really not patient enough for that. I understand that it's their job to make it my fault. The trouble with that is that I just don't care... it was her fault, and my car is broken, so fix it. My insurance company rocks and has taken really good care of me, so I guess that's a huge blessing.

Here are some pictures:









The Bug handled the wreck really well... I was pretty impressed. I plowed into this chick at full speed... and while I'm pretty sure lots of stuff was busted up internally, the front end just kinda rolled under her van. And I didn't die.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Yeah. Again.

So today. I babysat this morning. I had a little time before I went to the office, so I stop at the mall. Buy me some jeans and a cute new shirt for my trip this weekend. Feelin' pretty good. I'm rollin' down the road. Chillin'. Doin' the speed limit. Hanging out in the right lane.

Next thing I know I'm inhaling gun powder and my airbags have both deployed. The windshield was sufficiently destroyed. A big black van decided to turn left. I have no idea how she missed a bright blue Bug driving down an open road at noon on a sunny day. It was not an intersection. There was no stop light or stop sign for her to run. She just decided that pulling out of the parking lot into my BRAND NEW CAR was a good plan.

So I hop out. My first thought was, her insurance better get me a rental car real quick like. Because tomorrow is beach day. I definitely didn't think about the fact that someone could have been hurt. Not one of my proudest moments.

However, we all ARE fine, so I'm just gonna be angry. Seriously?! What the heck. I didn't even make it three weeks. My computer was also busted in the accident, as it was hanging out on the passenger seat. There's a line in my computer an inch wide where the screen has been busted. So uh, I'm working with it.

When I finally did decide to check myself out I found only a few scratches and bruises from the airbags, so I know I'm pretty lucky. Thanks to Sarah, my boss, who brought me a Cherry Limeade and waited for me and drove me around. So anyway... another day, another day. Tomorrow morning I get to freak out on allstate until they give me a car to take to the beach.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Hysterical. Bono vs Kirk Cameron.

So I swiped this from Stuff Christians Like. Because it's incredible.

Have you ever thought what it would be like if Kirk Cameron and Bono got into a street fight to see who is the best famous Christian? Just a no holds barred, anything goes donnybrook? No? It's just me then, huh? Well here is what I think it would look like:

Kirk Cameron:
"Look Bono, even before I became really well known for my Christianity I was providing nice, appropriate laughter to millions of people on the hit show, 'Growing Pains.'"

Bono:
"Was that the one with Tony Danza? I get those all confused. Well, while you were making sitcoms that paved the way for 'Two and a Half Men,' I was touring the world singing songs with hidden Christian meaning to millions of people."

Kirk Cameron:
"Fair enough, but I have a powerful ministry called 'the way of the master.' Not only do we have an official crest and a series called "Hell's best kept secret," but my partner has a mustache and everyone knows there is something inherently spiritual about mustachioed men."

Bono:
"Ha, that is hilarious. I touched more hearts than you'll ever reach with my Super Bowl performance after 9/11 and I've allowed Christian musicians to cover my music for years. I didn't even gripe when my songs were covered and suddenly deemed acceptable for Christian radio just because a Christian band was doing them. And don't forget my work in Africa."

Kirk Cameron:
"Oh please, you have a guy named "edge' in your band. Who changes their name to 'edge?' And didn't you swear at the grammy's one year?"

Bono:
"Whoa, low blow, Mike Seaver, low blow. Don't you have a photo shoot you need to be doing with the Jonas Brothers for the magazine Tiger Beat?"

Stephen Baldwin:
"Guys, there's no need to fight. I'm the best famous Christian."

Bono:
"Bio-Dome's Stephen Baldwin, what are you doing here?"

Stephen Baldwin:
"I have a skate ministry and since Stuff Christians Like refuses to give me my own entry I had to crash your entry."

Kirk Cameron:
"None of this matters. I've just been toying with the both of you?"

Stephen Baldwin:
"Why do you say that?"

Kirk Cameron:
"Simple, I was in the movie version of 'Left Behind.'"

Bono:
"You win."

Stephen Baldwin:
"Thanks for having me. Good game. Jon give me a call. I'll give you a free Rob Roskopp old school skateboard."

Friday, May 16, 2008

Listening: Part II

Okay so a few weeks back I posted about how I was shifting my focus to listening instead of deciding. Well let me tell you, it's pretty incredible. I feel like everything is coming together. Things don't seem as impossible as they did even last week. For the first time I actually feel like this whole graduation/move back to NC thing is going to happen... and not only that, but it's the right decision. I have a peace about it. Even if it changes again, for right now, I need to be there. The obstacles that seemed insurmountable are falling away one by one, such as living situations, which church to go to, etc.

God does absolutely amazing things all the time. Paying attention works wonders.

My roommate is cooler than yours.

This voicemail is probably the best voicemail ever. So I had to illustrate it a little.

video

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Sitcom Moment...

Okay so you know on TV when a girl is interested in a guy... they meet in a professional setting, guys gives girl a business card, and girl says something really smooth like "So how about you tell me more about this over drinks?" And the guy invariably says "Great, pick you up at 8 tomorrow."

Yeah, right now I wish I was that smooth. I'm just sayin'.

Fine. I'll give you the story. Cute Guy walks into the office for a meeting like 30 minutes ago. Boss man is late. Of course. So I have a chance to talk to Cute Guy. Definitely from a town 15 minutes from where I grew up. Really sweet. He's a finance guy.. we start talking about stuff I know nothing about. I tell him I know nothing about it. He gives me his card and says he'll show me how to get set up with IRAs, etc...

Now if I was half as lame as, say, any sitcom actress, when he walks out of that office, I would be like, "So this sounds really interesting... tell me more about it tomorrow night?"

But I'm so not cool enough to pull that off. Instead... I'll put on some lipstick and smile really big when he walks out of his meeting. And watch him drive away in his Lexus. *sigh*

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Can I just say...

... that my life rocks?

Stuff is starting to pull together for my move. Yay!! I don't know that I could be much more excited to be out of school. And um, I have fans. They made tee shirts. :-)

You wish you had kids that cool in your life. :-)

Meanwhile, it's raining. I feel like a 5 year old, staring out the window wishing it was sunny out. I'm having a Cat In The Hat moment right now... I'm envisioning Thing 1 and Thing 2 running around, being scolded by a goldfish while running through the office with kites.



The only thing to do on days like this is sit on the couch with a huge bowl of mac and cheese. With Lifetime on TV. And only Lifetime. From 7am when the Nanny comes on and kicks off my morning until she closes it out at 1:30 AM, with a little Golden Girls, Reba, Frasier, and Will and Grace in between.

Granted, in this scenario I will be passed out wayyyy before 1:30. Are you slightly distressed that I know Lifetime's programming schedule so well? It makes me a little sad. I should probably be more embarrassed than I am. Meanwhile, this sums up my weekend:



I love my life.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

My car is the girliest thing in the world.

And I love it that way.  Leave it to me to make a BUG even more girly.  You've already seen the outside but I'll post it again.  Sorry, I haven't taken a new pic of the outside. Yet. That'll change this weekend I'm sure.


I even Nashvilled it up with the rhinestones.  Yes, I went there.

And here are the cherries and cute sea animals. PS - that's a dolphin and sea turtle.


And to top it off they gave me a flower vase.  :-)

Friday, May 9, 2008

Things Franklinites like.

In the tradition of Stuff White People Like and Stuff Christians Like, I have decided to compile a list of stuff people in Franklin like.  Because it seems that no matter how many houses I go to, there are a ton of things that I can pretty much count on.  Feel free to add to this list:

1. Two refrigerators.  Everyone feels the need to not only have a huge side-by-side in their kitchen, but since that cannot possibly hold the amount of food an average family or 4 can eat, they have to put one in the garage or sunroom.

2. Organic everything.  I forreal just ate some organic fruit snacks with little Jack.

3. Sonic.  I think there's one just about every 100 feet.

4. Hanging their kids names on the walls in their bedrooms.  Nearly every child's bedroom has "E L L A" or "A U S T I N" hung in bright letters.

5. Naming their kids Ella, Austin, or any name that should really be a last name (i.e. Brady, Jackson, Walker, Parker, etc).

6. Having TVs everywhere.  I think the average Franklin household has about 19.7 televisions in their home.  We're talking bathrooms, sunrooms, etc.  I was startled to find one in a kitchen cabinet last week.

7. The rustic barn star. It's everywhere.  Above fireplaces, in stairwells... anywhere there is blank wall space to be filled.

8. Super complicated cable/TV/DVD set-ups.  The universal remote helps nothing.  At all.  I can count on screwing up everything when I play DVDs.  Pretty much every time.

9. Brick homes.  Just about every house is brick.  With hardwood floors.

10. Bibles.  And random religious children's books.  This includes Veggietales and any fairy-tale style Bible storybook.  I went to a house yesterday and didn't notice any, and was strangle unnerved.  Although that could have something to do with an abundance of African tribal masks lining the walls.

11. Stopping completely before they turn.

12. Going to church.  There are roughly 46781246 churches in this town.  And they all get out at the same time.  Do not try to have lunch in downtown Franklin.  Unless you are a heathen and go to the Irish pub we go to every week. Then you're golden.


This will most likely be a work in progress. :-)

Backyardigan Battles and Popsicles. For Jen.

So uh, Jen brought it to my attention that I haven't updated recently. Holy geez, 5 days. That's because I have been working every second I am awake. And like, real working, not pretend working like I usually do. When I'm pretend working I find time to blog.

I'm exhausted. And still have like 7 hours to go. Before I get to go home, pack, and do laundry. My poor puppyface. He hates me right now.

So just to bring everyone up to speed: School's out, yay God. I passed everything. Which is a small miracle in and of itself. Because I'm still not entirely sure how everything got done. But... most of it did. Enough of it did for me to be still enrolled in school.

Now for the next few weeks I juggle my time between sitting in offices and playing with children. Which brings me to my adventure for today.

I showed up at 7:45 for this job this morning. Which is ridiculous. And had this kid alllll day. Anyone who watches children knows what it's like keeping a 4 year old entertained all day. Especially when they don't like TV. So we start off the day by playing Barbies. Entirely his idea, I promise (much to the chagrin of his father, who was at home working for part of the day). Barbies are a completely different experience with 4 year old boys. There was no hair brushing involved. No dressing them up for "weddings". We sent them on rocket rides. Dropped houses on them. They pooped every 30 seconds. Babies were put in the oven.

We read about 756 books before my voice gave out. We ate. We played the most dysfunctional game of Kerplunk ever. I began to run out of things to do about 4 hours in. So I resorted to the balloons I bought that I keep in my car just for these occasions. We head out to the bug and make balloon swords and hats. I take him on an adventure. The enemy was not a monster. Not pirates. None of that. We were fighting off the Backyardigans.



Our attack brought us in circles around the pond, through "tree covered caves", and into "bat" territory. They chased us endlessly. Until he decided he wanted a red popsicle. Then there was a ceasefire of sorts, and we made balloon elephants and monkeys. We were in full battle attire, about to brave the jungles to deliver the monkey to his natural habitat when mom came home and broke up the fun.

He told her to leave.

This is the third job in a row where the kids have told their parents that they didn't want the babysitter to leave. That's good, right? ;-)

It's probably because I am getting entirely too good at acting like a 5 year old.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

A day in the life.

Wake up at 7. Go to church - nursery duty. I had the tinies today -0 to walking. I'm handed Timothy - the crier. He cried for 30 minutes. We walked, we bounced, we rocked... to no avail. Finally, Timothy's mama comes. I enjoy my Route 44 Sonic drink and play with Ben the rest of the time. The easy baby.

Then I had a clown gig. Since I'm perpetually overbooked, I had to get ready at the church. I'm standing in the bathroom getting plenty of stares as I paint up my face.



I'm just finishing up and look over to see Pam Tillis beside me. Anyway, yeah so I'm pretty embarrassed. But I laugh it off, then jump in my Bug and head over to another church to twist some balloons.

I get there and Jo Dee Messina and her mom were sitting there. I was like awesome, this is a fun game. Let's see how many celebrities I can run into dressed like a clown.



At least the dogs enjoy my skirt.



Sorry about the wall shot at the end. I uh, didn't realize it was still recording.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Random Installments: Episode 3

1. Somehow the concept of being in 2 places at once still seems possible to me. Which, being an intelligent woman with a reasonable understanding of the laws of physics, doesn't make much sense. Yet I continually overbook myself. I'm going to start keeping a planner. I'll let you know how this works out for me.

2. I should be a 5 year old boy. I enjoy poking roly-poly's and chasing animals way more than I should probably admit. And I don't even mind the dirt under my fingernails. I seriously considered buying a creepy crawler machine after playing with one a while back. SO FUN.

3. Summer makes me a happier person. The sun comes out - I love life. Maybe there's a direct correlation between the amount of ice cream I consume when it's hot and my elevated mood? Maybe it's the obnoxious yellow purse? Who knows. But it's workin' for me.

4. I want my car. In case you haven't heard yet... meaning, you've had no contact with me this week, I'm buying a car, which is on it's way from Atlanta and will be in the same city as me by tomorrow. Meanwhile, my useless machine is overheating constantly, spewing fluids everywhere, and generally being an eyesore. This is my new car:


Tell me that I don't belong in a Bug. I'm breaking her in on a trip to NC. Very soon. Next week if I can scrape the gas money together... Because um, gas home is going to cost me MORE THAN MY FREAKING RENT. But, this time I don't have to rent a car!

5. Since it seems that I always close these out with a YouTube video, I'll keep up the tradition with a little flashback from Keith Urban and Patty Loveless... from when Keith was "on the verge"... yeah he'll never make it. March 2001.





I love love love both of them.

Reason #732 I Shouldn't Drive...

Before I start this, I need to say, in my own defense, that I haven't hit ANYTHING in 2 1/2 years. I'm just sayin'.

So there was a situation at work, and the short story is that I needed to get a check in the mail... like, yesterday.  After a not-so-nice phone call from the company, which I handled with complete grace, I assure you, I cut the check and leave a message with one of my bosses to please make arrangements with me to get it signed ASAP, so I don't get any more angry phone calls.  

It was decided that I would run the check over to his house to get it signed and the drop it in the mail.  I roll up, as hectic as usual because I had 5 stops to make on my little adventure, and circle the cul-de-sac to his house.  And promptly knock over his mailbox.

Do not ask me how I managed to do this because I don't know.  I walk up to his door, and he goes "Um, did you just knock over my mailbox?"  I was like uh, yeah... about that... he was like "how the hell did you do that?" 

I HAVE NO IDEA.  He laughed at me.  Refused any offer to replace it, telling me that would be silly.  Then wished me a safe drive back to the office....

And no, I didn't hit anything else.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

"Um, why is your face painted...?"

So... today.  I have a clown gig.  Except, it's not just the run of the mill birthday party or church function.  Oh no.  Ms. Mary E. wanted me to deliver a fruit basket to her husband in the nursing home.  Now, Marty has dementia.  He does not know who anyone is.  I thought it was such a sweet gesture.  I go pick up the fruit basket and then drive out to Mary E.'s retirement building and meet her in the lobby to pick up a card for Marty before heading over there.  All the little old ladies sat in the lobby and cooed about how cute I was.  Of course I was cute.  Anything painted with pink hearts is cute, right?

They inform me that Marty loves the ladies.  Several times.  I assure them that I'll be cute and give him a hug goodbye, and then call Mary E. for a report when I'm finished.  So, mission initiated.  I arrive at Marty's nursing home, feeling pretty good about all the old people smiling at me.  It was by far one of the more rewarding clown experiences thus far.  I arrive to find Marty getting his nails filed by a a woman.  Obviously not a nurse.  The conversation went something like this:

Me: "Hello! How are you doing, Mr. Marty?" 
Marty: "Doing pretty good, whatcha got there?"
Me: "Ms. Mary E. sent this for you! Isn't it nice?"
Marty: "Yeah that's great! ... my ex-wife."
Me: *awkward pause*
Other Woman: "I'm what you would call the other woman."
Me: *another awkward pause* *forced laugh and obscenely large smile.*

What. The. Heck. Who introduces themselves to a stranger as "the other woman"?  Especially when said stranger looks like this:


Meanwhile, I run late for everything, so I didn't have time to change before class. Period.  I didn't even have time to pee.  So... I most definitely attended my last class of the year like this.  In addition, I was rockin' striped tights, a polka dotted skirt, hot pink tank top, and black patent shoes with bows on them.

Yeah. You wish you could be as cool as me. 

... and I wonder why I don't have friends.

Kidding.  

I have amazing ones.  Who even choose to walk around campus with me dressed like this.  Yeah, Ashley you're awesome.

Now... I will finally go remove paint from my face. 6 hours after I gave Mary E. my report.  

PS - She's fully aware of the other woman and asked me about her and talked trash on the phone afterward. Awkward. 

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Epic Fail.

So today we decided to go for a hike. Just me and R dub and our three beautiful matching puppies. Despite Chelsee's warnings of a thunderstorm rolling through around - okay, exactly - the same time we were planning on going. We get there around noon. About 40 minutes in we're doing good. Aside from the whole Deliah rolling in poop thing. But... these things can be corrected.
It starts to rain. Now, last week it rained on our hike. That's fine. Whatever. I can handle a little wetness. Then it starts to rain. And we know my dog is a pansy. He starts shaking. We're not even halfway through the 5 mile trail at this point. We get to a road. Finally. We're both completely soaked at this point. It's cold. There's no one else in sight. Because they all have brains and have chosen to leave the park. Mentally healthy people don't go play in the thunderstorm with 3 dogs.

We decide to take the road back. Because two and a half miles of muddy rocky trail does not sound like it's going to work at this point. Our dogs are beginning to resemble drowned rats. We set out on the road, completely unsure of where we're going. But there! There's a shelter! A park map perhaps?! A car is parked, and we see two people in the shelter.

We approach said shelter slowly, an eerie music floating through the air and slowing our approach. Who are these people? And why are they on top of the picnic table in lawn chairs? We tossed around several ideas. KKK? Satanists? Polygamists? Naturally, we look for the best in people.

Choking on smoke as we approached, I asked them if they minded if we stood under the shelter for a minute, and explained that we were lost and hoping to find a map. She explained that we should take the access road we had passed coming off the trail and head to the right to get back to the road leading to where we were parked. So we make a quick exit and walk up the nasty gravel road. We make it to the end and find ourselves on the highway. Obviously we can't walk three dogs along a main road with no walkway. So we turn around and try to plan another course of action.

Passing back by creepy polygamist people, I suggest turning off the main road again in the direction we needed to go. We begin winding around into nowhere, discussing being chased by polar bears. Then Rachel injured herself. I threw her around my shoulders to protect her bum ankle, all three dogs pulling on my arm as I walked 7 miles uphill. Then came the earthquake.
Okay not really. But we really did walk forever down the windy wet road, and eventually come to our trail. I made the call that we should pick up the trail there and take it back to where we began. Again, epic fail. We walk a ways into this trail and have the deja vu feelings. Not entirely okay with this. Finally, we sit on a muddy rock on the hill and plan our course of action. I call some people and have my roommate look up the number for the park ranger. No dice. No one was available to help us. The recording suggested calling metro. So... we did.

An hour later we still hadn't gotten a response from metro. We were cranky, cold, and our girly puppies were horribly miserable. Desperate, we call 911. To be hung up on because we were not in a life or death situation. Whatever. We call Kim and Susan, and they agree to rescue us. Of course, several minutes later, Metro finally returns our call, and we cancel our ride, choosing instead to let the cop pick us and our drowned rat dogs up.

We wait, sitting on a big rock, letting the dogs hang out. The rain has begun to let up and we're freezing but relaxed. Then Laney jumps into the creek and emerges covered in mud. At this point all we can do is laugh at how absurd our situation is.

The cop arrives, we load all our mud and stench into his back seat and accept his ride back to our vehicles. Drenched, cold, and tired, three hours later, we headed back to Kingston Springs, where Kim and Susan took us to get some Chinese, then made us brownies. Here I sit on the couch, finally completely warm and comfortable, 5 dogs cuddling on the couches and chairs with us. All in all, we came out unscathed. We just looked like this:

Here They Are...

A few more pictures from the photo shoot... 





Saturday, April 26, 2008

Don't Let The Weasel Pigs Bite!

I love kids.  I love babysitting.  Seriously.  Quitting serving to chase babies was one of the best moves I've made in a while.  No, I don't have as much money.  But I have my sanity.  Shut up, I do.  I am a lot meaner when I'm hustling tables.

I actually think I'm going to miss this gig when I have to get a big girl job.  I can handle the digging for worms, playing endless games of Dora Candyland, watching obscene amounts of Disney channel, and even changing diapers.  Pretty sure I've developed a mom-like tolerance for bodily fluids at this point. 

I can even handle juggling dozens of bedtime routines.  I like reading stories, or letting the older kids read to me.  I don't even mind getting showed up at Xbox or various sports by 5 year olds.  Being able to have picnics in the yard, eat mac & cheese and hot dogs, chase butterflies and bunnies, throw balls straight up just to see how high I can make them go, and listening to 5 year olds play songs on the piano that they have picked out themselves is worth the occasional awkward family or baby that won't stop screaming.

 It keeps me in check.  It's hard to take yourself too seriously when you're making caterpillars out of Floam or hiding out in a castle of couch cushions and blankets.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What. The. Heck.

So somewhere within the past few months I got really stupid. Now, those of you who have been around me longer know that there is a general spaciness that I have always owned up to... I like to think it's endearing.

This goes into an entirely new realm. I'm going to blame my recent bout of idiocy on the stress of doing 837 things at once, all the time. Just because it'll make me feel better about myself. Just a brief sampling of a few shining moments...

1. "Losing" my camera. I spent hours looking. Tore apart my disaster of a vehicle, looked under every seat. Called Belmont's lost and found, campus security, filed a report with the school, etc. Resigned to purchasing another camera, I return to my apartment... to find it on the couch. Where I left it after I uploaded the last set of pictures a couple days ago. Still attached to the USB cable.

2. I stop to get gas this morning. I remember to return the nozzle to the pump. Doing good. I get in the car and get on the highway, and realize that my computer is no longer on the seat beside me. I fly into panic mode, pull over... to find it under my purse. On the seat. In all it's bright blue glory, right where I'd left it.

3. Yesterday, I'm leaving the office to go to a meeting. Apparently, I left the door unlocked, because I most definitely got chewed out this morning by bossman because a songwriter was sitting in the lobby hanging out when he got here. Luckily said songwriter friend got here shortly after I left... or we might be out a few more beers.

The list goes on and on. M has referred to it as "pregnant brain"... I only wish I had that solid of an excuse. So please forgive me for my stupidity... if my theory holds, they will decrease in frequency come August.


Monday, April 21, 2008

Mud, Sweat, and the Mafia...

I hate working out.  A lot.  Basically it's the process of going to the gym.  Probably because it's outside and I don't have to be in the presence of those "gym people".  Or the bacteria-ridden equipment.  However, hiking I can do all the time.  I get to be outside and be with friends and my dog and spend as much time as I want playing in the woods.  Four of us hiked Saturday morning, pit bull and basenji pulling us the entire way.  The last 2.5 miles were definitely in the rain, and basically, I didn't care. It was still fabulous.  Even though I had mud up to my knees and both dogs had a panic attack.  Apparently they melt in the rain - must have some gremlin in them.

Yesterday was even more perfect.  Nicole joined us for our incredible Sunday morning routine, which was followed by Tony's senior recital photo shoot.  Here's a preview of the results...
Mafia much? Godfather style rings and all...  

And there might be nothing I love more than Sunday afternoon cookouts.  My life is good.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Is it strange...

... that I have to fight my dog for my pillow every night?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Snakes, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails...

From A 5 Year Old Boy's Mind: Wildlife adventures in suburban Tennessee.

1. Lifting up every single rock in your yard and your neighbors yards to see what lives under them is clearly the best way to start outside time. (PS, Tennessee has some of the largest critters you've ever seen.)

2. Big black birds sit on the other side of the fence and plot attacks against unsuspecting robins.

3. We HAVE to put birdseed all over the lawn and in bowls on the deck or every bird will starve. 

4. Sitting on the deck and screaming "TWEET TWEET!" to the tune of Mary Had A Little Lamb will make the birds come join our picnic.

5. Planting a feather in a pot will grow birds.

6. All "big orange bees" (aka wasps) can be defeated with daddy's hat.

7. OBVIOUSLY holly bushes are too prickly for robins to make nests in, so it doesn't make sense to look under them for robin eggs. Duh.

8. Hot dogs in ranch dressing and a peanut butter sandwich is the best lunch ever.

9. The big black bird with a bluish neck is a nickel. Definitely not a grackle.

10. Striped plastic dinosaurs must have an afternoon snack of hanging ferns before you can lay down for your rest.  Which by the way, is "stinky".