Playing with another blog

Monday, August 23, 2010

Check it out:

You should be able to add it to your list just like this one. I don't know if the new one will stick or not. But it's fun for the meantime. :-)

A blog about everything you aren't supposed to talk about

Monday, August 2, 2010

Long time no post! Things are good. Summer is HOT. I could regale you with 100s of vacation pictures, but maybe another time.

I have been thinking a lot lately about how little I feel about stuff. I rarely get worked up, I have the patience of Job, and I can rationalize away almost anything that would have made a normal person angry. I haven't decided if this is a positive or negative personality trait, but as with everything, I'm sure it's both.

One thing I miss about being a teenager was being able to turn on the radio and feel like every song was about me. It was so cathartic! You know, you could have a break up and rewind Brian Adams' "Please Forgive Me" over and over and still feel each and every word. I miss that. I hear songs on the radio sometimes and think, wow I would've LOVED this song when I was younger. This is a great party song, or a great graduation song, or a great new-love song. I don't know about you, but I find much fewer songs apply to me these days than used to. The nice thing about this is realizing the theme of the songs that DO apply lately. They're the happy songs! So, while I miss how it good it felt to commiserate with every emotional song on the radio, I'm glad that my life is in a stable, happy place where I can't relate with most music anymore.

But I find with most aspects of life, I'm neutral. This realization that I don't feel songs like I used to made me think about how I don't feel a heck of a whole of anything, at least compared to other people I know. It's not that I don't feel anything, but I just choose not to care or get worked up over stuff unless it's important to me. I see the Democrats' point of view as well as the Republicans'. I can't despise anyone for holding a particular set of beliefs (not just political). If I despise someone who is very liberal, doesn't that mean I align myself with conservatives? I don't know enough to know what's right, and frankly, that makes the people who act like this stuff is a no-brainer sort of scary. It's like Twilight. I like the books and movies. (Just a fair disclaimer). But I always joke that the only thing scarier than Twilight fans are the people who so vehemently HATE Twilight. I mean, talk about hating something just for the sake of hating it, with no real reason. But people are like that. They don't like something, so they hate it. Me? I only get worked up about things I truly care about, and I only argue if I feel confident that I'm right, which is probably less than 1% of the time. I just soak up everyone's viewpoints until I feel like I have enough information to form my own opinion.

One area in which my "neutrality" has been a big concern for me in the past few years is faith and spirituality. I can live without having strong beliefs in the area of politics, but what kind of person is just like, "eh" with regard to their faith?? I'm not at all OK with this. The problem is, I have yet to perfectly reconcile the things I believe with a church. Several things have had this on the forefront of my mind lately, but I'll focus on Anne Rice's recent denunciation of Christianity. Now, when I read the headline "Anne Rice Leaves Christianity", I thought "what is that crazy lady up to now??" I definitely identify as a Christian, and I know next to nothing about Anne Rice. When I read that headline, I thought, "Oh great, more fuel for non-believers..." Because some non-believers hate Christianity just as fiercely as some non-Twilight fans hate Twilight. Why does it even matter to them? I don't hate non-believers, and I can understand all different viewpoints. Except for the viewpoint that says it's OK to spout venom with your words. There is no need for that no matter who you are. Keep your hate to yourself.

Anyway, so I clicked on the article just like I do every other ridiculous thing in CNN's entertainment section (yes, today I learned that James van der Beek got married, and I realized how enormous his forehead is!), and much to my surprise, I pretty much share her beliefs. Here is part of what she said, although being a neutral sort, I would never be so absolute.

"As I said below, I quit being a Christian. I'm out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen."

So, on the surface she probably sounds like a maniac to a lot of people, but she expresses the stuff I have had the most difficulty with. I have visited a few churches in the last year, and my grandma says I'm being too picky, but I haven't gotten the "love everyone" vibe I'm seeking in a fellowship. It makes me wonder if I'm just too neutral to go to church. I love everyone, and I have loads of tolerance. I've heard tolerance referred to as fear of standing up for Jesus. To me, it's a special thing to be able to see people wholly and love them no matter what. Not everyone can do that (or maybe they just choose not to.) I want to be part of a group that is concerned with loving and serving others.

This is why my grandma (someone I consider a spiritual model) says I'm being too picky. I didn't go back to one church because he made fun of skinny, pale vegetarians. I get it, it was meant to be a joke. And I'm sure it was funny. But all I could think was, I love vegetarians! LOL I wish I could BE a vegetarian! And something about his remarks rubbed me the wrong way, and I didn't go back. Like, in my last church (which is really far from my house), my friends introduced me to hummus. In this church, they probably make fun of people who eat hummus! This sounds really ridiculous, I know, but I did not get the impression that this was a church full of diversity loving open minds. LOL Now, I can't really blame anyone but myself for my absence from church because the last place I visited was perfectly fine, and its lobby practically screamed "opportunities for service!" I have been lazy about going back... But, that's not the point of this post.

Now read this. These posts are from Anne Rice's Facebook page, by the way.

"My faith in Christ is central to my life. My conversion from a pessimistic atheist lost in a world I didn't understand, to an optimistic believer in a universe created and sustained by a loving God is crucial to me. But following Christ does not mean following His followers. Christ is infinitely more important than Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been, or might become."

Are you talking to ME!? This is exactly how I feel.

I can't be one of these renegade Christians who study and serve alone because the church is so corrupt, though. Because guess what, I love Christians too, and I know there is no perfect church family because there isn't a perfect human being on the face of the planet.

Don't worry, this isn't going to be a post about the accident. But these are the parts of my faith that I feel confident in. I believe Tom nearly died last year and the fact that he recovered fully with no "hitches in his giddy-up" can be attributed in some part to prayer and divine intervention. I believe someone hears me when I pray, and I remember when it used to be a two-way conversation. I know that in my darkest hours, I desperately want to have that spiritual connection I used to have much more strongly.

But, when my Hindu friend tells me she pulls out an idol and prays before she drives (clarifying that she doesn't believe the idol is God, just a token), I don't see the difference between that faith and my own. I think that will always be my biggest struggle as a believer. And it's certainly not something I can work out in a blog post!

I'm not sure where my place is as a "neutral" Christian, but that shouldn't stop me from trying to find it. I think I will come to understand my spirituality more readily than my political beliefs...LOL.

Politics...check! Religion...check! Sex...oh, that's lacking. Sex sex sex sex sex. Now everyone can be fully uncomfortable since I have covered all the non-socially-acceptable topics of discussion. :-) Have a great week, friends.

168 Hours - Day 1

Monday, June 14, 2010

So, this probably isn’t the blog you are waiting for, the big vacation blog. I don’t know when I’ll get around to that! But soon, I promise. Actually, I’m leaving Thursday to go to Colorado with my parents, so I’m just going to be even more buried in pictures when I get home. Hopefully I’ll make time for it this week.

I've been reading a time management book called 168 Hours, written by Laura Vanderkam who also writes a gifted blog I follow (Gifted Exchange). I really like it so far. She also has a blog for this book you can find in my blog list to the right. One thing she encourages is to spend a week (168 hours) keeping track of everything you do during the day, and this week, her blog followers are all doing this. I’m glad, because I’ve tried keeping track and kinda let it go by the wayside, so now I feel motivated to follow through and actually record what I do in a week. So, here is my day today, for better or worse:

7:00am – hit snooze

8:15am – wake up, watch the news

8:25am – get a coke, go to computer room, unproductive online time (facebook, personal email, etc)

8:45am – shower/dress for work

9:30am – Leave for work, run through whataburger for coffee I didn’t make time to drink

10:00am – arrive at a middle school to pick up data for work. Finally find office at other side of campus, trapse back to car with a heavy box. Was so hot and sweaty by the time this was done I couldn’t bear to drink my coffee.

10:30am – arrive at university, illegally park so I can carry the box upstairs, repark super far away, and walk to my friend’s office

11:00am – return something to my friend, chat with old advisor for a bit, get suckered into tutoring statistics for the rest of the summer, and leave to walk to my office.

11:45am – emails (probably with a little facebook and chatting with co-workers mixed in)

12:30pm – finalize article revisions (my first journal article was accepted with revisions last week!), with co-worker chatting, facebook, and an unrelated work crisis sprinkled in.

4:00pm – submitted new article draft, emailed to co-authors.

4:20pm – played on internet – facebook and blog catching up. Found this blog and started logging my time for the day.

4:45pm – walked to car and drove home

5:10pm – say hi to Tom, get my rubbermaid tub out of the attic so I can pack it for my camping trip next week.

5:20pm – eat a snack and relax for a bit

5:50pm – put away the mountains of clean clothes we’ve had piled up in the bedroom for longer than I care to admit.

6:30pm – did a few dishes and got out the leftovers for us to eat, eat dinner, watch a Buffy episode on Netflix.

7:30pm – put away one more load of clothes from the dryer.

7:50pm – a little more internet time, now I’m updating this time log and posting it in a blog.

8:30pm – about to curl up on the couch with a book and some water. I’ll probably read til 10:30 or 11, then go to bed. But if not, I’ll come back and tell the truth tomorrow. :-)

11pm update - stopped reading at 10:30, and I just took some time to make a to do list for tomorrow, realizing my vacation is sneaking up on me, and I need to get on the ball. Night night.

Somewhat productive day with lots of time wasted, and not necessarily in the name of rest and relaxation. Will be interesting to see how the rest of the week pans out.

Promise to update eventually...

Monday, June 7, 2010

Been so busy! Not just work, but lots of fun, too. I promise to update with our vacation and other interesting things SOON.

Everything blog

Friday, April 23, 2010

I guess it’s only been 3-4 weeks since my last post, but it’s been cram packed with good times and hard work.  Commencing categorization of updates.


I have 3 classes this semester, 2 online and 1 face-to-face.  They are going well, but I’m not a big fan of the online classes.  I’d rather be taking them in person.  My face-to-face class is statistics, and it’s pretty easy but I’m relearning a lot that I’ve forgotten since I first took a stats class.  The exams in the online classes are 3-4 hours long each, a mix of essay (I mean, full length essay) and multiple choice questions.  They’re brutal!  I’m doing OK in them.  I should pull out A’s in all my classes.  I have the 2 online finals the weekend of May 8th, which is two weeks from now, and my stats class final is a write-up, so I can turn that in anytime and not have to take any exams during finals week.  Which is good, because….

Florida road trip!!


Tom and I are driving to Kennedy Space Center as soon as he is done with finals May 11th or 12th to fulfill a lifelong dream of ours to see a shuttle launch.  If you don’t keep up with this sort of thing, there are only 3 launches left before the shuttle program is retired.  I’m sure it will come back one day, but who knows when, so many people are treating these launches are their “last chance”.  For many, like us, viewing a shuttle launch is a bucket list thing.  I have been interested in this stuff ever since we studied it and visited NASA in Houston with my GT class in 4th grade.  Tom is way more into it than me.  I’m thrilled that we get to go!  We have tickets through a tour company to view the launch from the causeway, which is the closest unobstructed view of the launch a layperson can get.  We are still hoping to get tickets directly from Kennedy Space Center, which go on sale Monday and are half the price as our “private tour” tickets.  But, they sell out within a few minutes, so I’m glad we have the other tickets as a backup plan.

The launch is scheduled for the 14th, but we will wait around on it if it’s delayed.  Other things on our Florida agenda are touring Kennedy Space Center (duh) and spending some time on the beach.  We will stop in New Orleans for a few days on our way home.  I am REALLY looking forward to the trip!!

San Diego Pictures

I went to the SITE conference at the end of March and had a good time.  Here are a few pics from there, although I didn’t get out that much. 


The hotel was next to a marina, and the views were great. 

CIMG6813 CIMG6818










I still dream of this seafood cobb salad I had at the hotel.  I could eat it daily. 










coronado coronado2

I did go with my coworker Okyoung on a tour for a few hours on our last day there.  Here I am in front of the famous Hotel del Coronado, and Okyoung and I on the same beach in front of the ocean.

I’d love to return to San Diego for more pleasure than business sometime, and especially with Tom.  I think he would love it there.  :-)



Here’s what we have sprouting this year. 



Topsy Turvy tomato.  It might look OK in this pic, but I won’t lie, the leaves look like crap!  I don’t know if it has some kind of disease or pest?  We are going to do some research about it, but our other tomatoes look far healthier than this one.  :-O







Herbs.  Left to right: basil, parsley, cilantro, and oregano.  On the bottom shelf, I’m experimenting with some garlic.  Only 2 of the cloves I planted are sprouting.









Left to right: cherry tomato, bush tomato, blackberry vine, and lime tree.  The lime tree is Tom’s pet, and we don’t have a clue what we’re doing.  We’ll get to the blackberries later…



Can you see our first tomato?  Sorry the pic is blurry, I was using my new cheap camera, not my lovely Canon.  It’s almost dead center in the photo, but a little to the upper right.  Yay!!





In my beds, I have bell, jalapeno, and banana pepper growing, but something is munching on them and I’m gonna have to get some pesticide of some kind.  I also went crazy and planted about 100 onion…LOL.  Red onions in the bottom bed and yellow on top.  :-)




This was going to be a trellised cucumber, but Sasha dug it up 15 minutes after I planted it.  I was appalled.  I think I’m going to try to trellis that blackberry vine here instead. 




Other Misc. Fun

Tomorrow, we are going to GermanFest in Muenster.  Somehow we got an “in” to judge in their BBQ contest.  Hilarious!  We are judging sausage at 12:30 and ribs at 3:30.  LOL   The best part is that Mark Chestnutt is playing there at 10pm tomorrow night.  Isn’t that great?!  Should be a good time.

And in keeping with the cultural diversity theme of 2010, we will follow up March’s Irish Festival and April’s German Fest with the Scottish Festival and Highland Games in June. 

Did I blog yet that I’m going with my parents camping in Colorado in June as well?  Tom can’t go because the class he needs to take this summer is only offered during the trip.  But I’m looking forward to it!  I have never been to Colorado with a digital camera – I’m gonna go crazy clicking away!  It’s the season of Colorado trips – I’m leaving Friday for a conference in Denver, then there is another conference in Denver at the end of June that I am probably attending. 


Hope everyone is well!  :-)

They've been workin' on the raaaaail roooooad

Monday, March 29, 2010

People have been working on the train behind the house everyday for a few months now. I think they figure the more noisy they are now, the less we will care about a commuter train coming through. I've made peace with the situation but we are still concerned about property values. In addition to the train, they are extending Corinth Parkway out behind our house to make it a full loop that connects to 35 on both ends. And they're putting a new industrial area on the other side of the train. Lots of changes coming!

I've been getting into a more productive groove, as far as school goes. The house suffers, but I think that's a lower priority right now. Nothing is worse than being as behind as I was in work last week!

I'm headed to San Diego tomorrow for the SITE conference. I'll be there til Friday night. I'm definitely looking forward to it, but I'm not sure how much extra time I'll have. This conference has activities in the evening, so my schedule will be pretty packed. But, hopefully we will find a little bit of sight seeing time! I've never been to California. I'd like to find a beach. We'll be on the water, but it's not a beach, it's rocks. I also need to find a good shopping area. I know they have a trolley tour. Need a cheap way to see a lot in a short amount of time. I think my coworker and I will take some time Friday to get out before our flight home. Even if I don't get out much, this is a fun conference. Heck, they have a cash bar set up at the poster sessions. LOL

Today is our 1 year TBI anniversary. We're not making a big thing of it but I can't totally ignore it either. It's been a long, important year. Lately we've been so consumed with school and work, planning vacations, figuring out how to manage my schedule, always thinking ahead about starting a family - I feel like the TBI situation defines us less and less. I am thinking one day it will barely be a blip on the radar of our lives, which is a refreshing thought.

So there ya have it. I hope everyone is doing well! :-)

A lengendary update 2 weeks in the making

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Wow, I gotta admit, spring break was almost entirely a bust for me! I'm not complaining, it just wasn't anything like I expected.

We were supposed to go camping the first weekend of spring break, but the camper was all screwy, so we bailed. We're taking it to the shop this week.

I was supposed to get a lot of work done this week (you know, like work I get paid money for), but instead, I worked in the garden a few days. Luckily, I did not plant my veggies on Friday as planned so they aren't frozen right now. I think I'll wait til April...

We planned to take the boat out Thursday since we didn't get to go camping, but no, the trailer lights weren't working, the truck battery needs to be replaced, and the fuel pump on the mustang isn't working right. :-O It just wasn't meant to be.

I wanted to get a lot of school work done, too, but no. We watched Dexter and Weeds on Netflix and drank wine the whole week. Aside from the garden, this has been the single most unproductive 9 days in history.

And I don't even have a menu plan for this week. gasp!

Don't worry, I'm going to a Time Management workshop on Wednesday. Wish it would've been the week before spring break! Part 1 of my time management workshop? Don't buy box wine!

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