Monday, December 24, 2007

Living the Questions

Lately I feel like I've lost my footing. I stumble a lot in my journey through life, but it's an exciting adventure usually. Lately I've just felt "off" and instead of catching myself after I trip on uneven pavement, I hit my knee on a proverbial brick wall to keep from falling down completely. Either way there's a sting of pain.

This weekend was awesome though. I feel like I got a bit of myself back. My parents drove up from Maryland to spend the weekend and holiday with me. We were able to put together a smashing smorgasbord for several of my friends. It was such a fun event. It was a great reminder of the many wonderful friends I am surrounded by who bless my life. (Even those who were already out of town or couldn't make it for other reasons--I am just grateful for so many positive relationships in my life.) My parents and sister went to church together and had a great Sunday!

Today I'm thinking about a few different things. My friend Seth introduced me to a great quote by Thomas Paine:

"There are certain circumstances, which, at the time of their happening, are kind of riddles, and as every riddle is to be followed by its answer, so those kind of circumstances will be followed by their events, and those events are always the true solution. A considerable space of time may lapse between, and unless we continue our observations from the one to the other, the harmony of them will pass away unnoticed: But the misfortune is, that partly from the pressing necessity of some instant things, and partly from the impatience of our own tempers, we are frequently in such a hurry to make out the meaning of every thing as fast as it happens, that we thereby never truly understand it; and not only start new difficulties to ourselves by so doing, but, as it were, embarrass Providence in her good designs."

I love this. I have been in such a hurry that I have not understood "Providence in her good designs" and may have started several new difficulties. But what I love the most is that as I realize this, I can change it. It reminds me of my favorite quote right now from Rilke's Letters To A Young Poet:

"...I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer."

I love this too. It has a way of helping me relax, let go of some of my impatience and uneven temperament. I'm excited for the new year. I'm hoping that I'll be able to live the questions, letting go of my own interpretations and meanings. Won't that be a beautiful thing!!

Footing a little bit more settled.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

My special Christmas Greeting: It NEVER Gets Old!

This will forever warm my heart and give me peace and joy. I hope it makes you laugh out loud and wish your friends and parties were just like this.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Snow Day!

I really love the snow. The last few winters in Boston haven't been that bad. This winter is already shaping up to be a doozy and I'm really excited about it. Last Thursday we had a great snow fall!

I got out of work early and 2 hours later was finally home. I live at the top of a hill and pretty much any road you try to take is steep. I had difficulty making it to my house, but finally did. I had a friend coming over too and it was an adventure to brainstorm ways to spin up hill and criss-cross to find more traction. Once we finally go to my house we decided to hike back down the hill to go find food. Silly me, I hadn't been grocery shopping in a long time and we were going to starve. It was an adventure. I love wintry hikes especially when I get back to my house and It's warm and cozy inside. Thursday after we got back to my house it was great to hear the snow and wind outside and just love being home. Eventually you have to go back outside and try to dig out cars, but even that can be fun.

Today is Sunday. I woke up and there is more snow and a lot of wind. I looked out my window and noticed none of our streets are plowed and it's still coming down. I know my bishop refuses to cancel church but I also didn't want to slide down hill and then not be able to get up (let alone trying to dig out my car...) My roommate Katy and I decided it would be best to stay in. We drank hot chocolate, made pumpkin pancakes, and decided to decorate our house a bit for Christmas. We sat down in our living room to check the weather channel and we received the greatest gift in the history of snowstorms...An Anne Of Green Gables Marathon!!!! Wahoo!!!

Which leads me to the greatest movies list for snow days and sick days when I was a kid:

*Anne of Green Gables and Avonlea: Anne with an E is one of the greatest characters ever. and let's face it, Gilbert was always a cutie. Katy and I are laughing out loud right this very second! Anne just wailed on Gilbert with her slate and is now in the depths of despair because she dyed her hair green! So Brilliant! Being smart is better than being good looking!

*Jane Austin's anything: my personal favorites are Emma and Mansfield Park. I find that for some reason I feel a connection with Emma--like I understand her foibles, they are much like my own.

*Farris Bueller's Day Off: the day we all wish we had the guts to follow through on in high school.

*Goonies: I never get sick of that one. Goonies never say die. Never.

Our Christmas decorations are coming along nicely and cheaply. I bought three fake little trees and put some lights and bulbs on them in the corner. They're small and cute. I love poinsettias, so we have a few of those. We also have more lights and garland. We're trying to decide what to do with it. Next Saturday my parents are going to be here. We're going to have a holiday dinner at my house. My mom is Swedish and my Dad German so we like to put out a great spread of European cheeses, breads, and all kinds of holiday food. mmm...m...m!! Siblings, I wish you were going to be here.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Leaf Removal 2007

Welcome to my back yard in Maryland. It's beautiful, and the colors are always amazing. The problem is that all the leaves fall down. Leaf Removal goes in several stages. Grandpa rallies the troops and then all the magic happens.
This was Max's first opportunity to "help" with leaf removal. Really it was his first introduction to just how great it is to rake all the leaves in huge piles and then jump in them. (a must experience for any child)
Amanda, Max and I were raring to go when grandpa made the call that it was time to brave the cold air.
The Key Players:
Grandpa "I'll show you how it's done" Rueckert
This here's a leaf blower.
The wee Family: Dave, Tiffany, Shmeese and Schwab
JCrew photo shoot #437.
Max "you don't need to show me twice" Rueckert
The leaf roller.

Linda "Wannabe a Chimney Sweep" Rueckert

Amanda "are we done yet" Rueckert

making it all happen.

Dave: "Look Max, These are leaves. We're going to put them in a pile and then you get to mess it all up!"
Max: "Ga!"

...and you jump in like this....
and then you roll around...
and then we throw more leaves on top of you until you're drowning in them. We continue until the laughing turns to whimpering.

and then you get out and we do it all again.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Easy Street

Oh where to begin! I was at a friends house last night and she had just purchased this movie and it had been FOREVER so I really enjoyed watching my favorite scenes. This may be the top of the list.

I dedicate this to Dave and Tiffany. We're all looking to live on Easy Street, Dave sounds like Tim Curry, we have some great dance moves, and we all want to sing! SO I propose we recreate this at the very next possible opportunity.

All the rest of you can just enjoy a trip down memory lane.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Sweet Mother of Mystery!!

(5 points for anyone who can identify the character I have in mind saying the above title.)

I recently received one of the best gifts I've possible EVER received. This weekend I had a wonderful time going home to visit my family. My sister-in-law Tiffany had mentioned to me that she was going through all of her belongings and getting rid of a lot of stuff AND she had some stuff for me. I feel the need to clarify here, for those who may not know Tiffany, that she and I have a good time together. We tend to agree on situational humor and often when one of us encounters something truly humorous or intriguing we usually can bank on the other person appreciating it in the same way.

That being said...

When Tiffany arrived with bag-o-goodies in hand I was at the edge of my seat! Tiffany has AMAZING belongings. She has a way of finding things that others could only imagine. I just hoped she had chosen to pass some amazing treasure on to me. She did NOT let me down.

Out of her overstuffed black trash bag she took out a small booklet. She then tossed it at me. As I looked to the small cover I read, How to Be Irresistible to Men: Beauty and charm guide for women of all ages." I kid you not! Brilliant!

(I also feel the need to clarify the nature of the giving and receiving of this gift. We get a kick out of this because its so ridiculous! I mean it's for pure...research purposes? I don't even think that allows for the right image. We just really enjoy things like this.)

This particular book was published in 1981, is 3 x 5 inches on the cover, and has 64 pages. This is a GEM! AND it has amazing illustrations. The back cover reads: This excellent handbook has all the secrets you need to transform yourself into a super-female, with a dynamic personality that will endear you to men of all ages.

I've only read a bit at the beginning so far. I mean, I don't want to overload myself with too much new information. But I've already come to my first worthy-of-a-blog-post point.

Smile...Talk...Touch...But Keep Your Distance. The writer refers to Nancy Reagan, Farrah Fawcett, Jackie Onassis, Liz Taylor, and more and asks the reader what makes them so irresistible to men. The writer answers: in a word--aloofness.

I quote:

"what does it mean? The nations leading "beautiful people" may be exquisitely garbed but their charm originates in being aloof. They will approach you, smile, talk politely, even touch you, and then move away and off the scene. Being aloof means keeping your distance! It is not coldness. Rather, it is a "magic ingredient" that will make any ordinary woman become instantly irresistible."

Isn't this fabulous! I cannot wait to increase my level of aloofness. I'm so going to take this over the top (just for research purposes). My aloofness will shame even George! Remember that "Seinfeld" episode when George decided that he had to leave people wanting more, so after making a funny joke or witty comment he would promptly exit with the phrase, "Okay, that's it for me folks, I'm outta here." I tried to find a clip of it on youtube, but could only find ten minute best of george clips.

Some of you may be wondering, how do I become more aloof? Let me highlight from our writer:

"Be friendly, but not to the point of being very intimate. When you maintain an invisible wall between the other person and yourself, you create an aura of mystery that is the key to a super-attractive personality. The secret here is that men are attracted to what seems distant to them...it is this very polite air of formality that lends an air of mystery to which nearly all men are known to succumb."

I think I love this because of how it's written. I wish I could read you these pages! But I think for those of you who know me well, you may be able to read the bits I've quoted with the right tone of voice. I just love it.

Let me leave you with this, "Be warm, be vibrant, be an exotic personality, but try to keep an invisible wall between yourself and others. You'll find that you become irresistible through this simple device."

AND THIS IS ONLY THE BEGINNING!!!

coming soon: Intelligence vs. Irresistibility

Friday, November 23, 2007

Logical Fallacies

I'm a nerd. I know.

Lately I've been thinking about logical fallacies. I think it started with me leading a group at work where we discussed beliefs people have about the world that are wrong. Yet we function under these beliefs because in our backgrounds we have learned that either these are correct or they should be. It's rather interesting. I wish I had the paper we were reading off of and I would tell you what they were, but the only ones I can remember now include that life should be fair and that everyone should follow the same behavioral standard we hold ourselves to. Both of these leave people feeling frustrated and angry because it's never going to happen. So there is a little background for you on why I've been thinking about my own faulty ways of thinking.

I remember being in high school and learning about logical fallacies and finding them rather humorous. I remember the idea of Inductive Arguments. For example:
Premise 1: Most American cats are domestic house cats.
Premise 2: Bill is an American cat.
Conclusion: Bill is domestic house cat.

I also remember a Deductive Fallacy
Premise 1: If Portland is the capital of Maine, then it is in Maine.
Premise 2: Portland is in Maine.
Conclusion: Portland is the capital of Maine.

I remember talking with my siblings and friends making up our own fallacies. So over the weekend I tried to do that again but found that my creativity was lacking. This made me sad. But I did come up with one real life example. I have recently been playing music exchange with a few friends. One friend told me that one band he didn't care for was stellastar*. I decided recently that stellastar* reminds me of The Cure. I therefore deduced that my friend could not possibly care for The Cure either. Anxious to text my hypothesis I sent him a text message inquiring if he was a fan of The Cure. He responded "not really." I was pretty amused. I was right, but at the same time realized that my logical approach to my hypothesis may not prove accurate when tested with more people. But in keeping with my logical fallacy mode of thinking I will just conclude that one who does not really like the cure will not really like stellastar*. It will look like this:

premise 1 Tom doesn't like The Cure.
premise 2 The Cure is like Stellastar*
conclusion: Tom doesn't like Stellastar*

I realize this whole thing is just stupid. But I like breaking things down like this. Then I called my brother David because I was so amused with myself and thought he could help me come up with some more funny fallacies. He did BETTER!!!! Love is a Fallacy by Max Shulman. Check this out:

http://www1.asknlearn.com/ri_Ilearning/English/631/elang-ilearning/page3a.htm

This is only one of the funniest, well written explanations of many errors in logic. We read it on Thanksgiving as a family and laughed with delight. All through out dinner as we talked about religion and politics I enjoyed pointing out hasty generalizations, post hoc, false analogies, dicto simpliciter and hypothesis contrary to the fact.

What I think I like the most about this is that it makes me think about how I think. I am guilty of many errors in logic. I recently resolved that I want to start a new group. One that would be about thinking. I could bring in short stories like Love is a Fallacy and the Lottery, mix it up with Aesop's Fables, and throw in some proverbs. I think it would be a valuable group to discuss how we think about things. I'm excited about this idea. But like I said before: I am a nerd.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I want to be a race car driver

Lately I have been driving a lot. More than I'd like. I spend a lot of time on the freeway sitting in traffic to and from work. It pretty much sucks. a lot. I have also noticed that with all this driving frustration I feel a great desire to BUST OUT!!! By that I mean many different things. Sometimes bust out screaming at the car in front of me, other times bust out dancing to the fabulous new Top 40 cd a friend passed on to me (since I don't have any music like that), bust out singing--which I do often--loudly. When there is movement on the road, I want to bust out swerving around those people who feel the need to drive 55 mph on a freeway...it goes on.

I have also noticed that when I'm on a road and there isn't a lot of traffic I want to drive as fast as I can. I don't really think about it, I just do. I like to see how fast I can pass the car next to me. As I do so, I wonder why they aren't driving faster. I mean, we are all on the road because we want to get somewhere, right? We could all get there a little faster if we helped each other out. I love finding breaks in the heavy traffic driving home from work. Why do people feel the need to change lanes when they aren't passing a car? I find that I can actually drive faster in the far right lane then in the far left during high traffic times. I also pride myself on being very aware of my surroundings as I push 70 or 75 (here's to hoping) when cars around me are going like 60. I can time it pretty well and maneuver around them. It's like I'm a race car driver in a video game or something. What I need now is a nicer car.

I've also stopped obeying certain traffic rules. For example: lights that change when they don't need to--I've started to ignore them. If there is a pedestrian, by all means, I will stop and let them go. But if they aren't there, why should I stop for a blinking walk man on a street sign? I've also stopped slowing down for yellow and red lights. If the car in front of me goes, I don't care what color the light is, I'm going too. All those signs about not turning on red? Doesn't apply to me. I was taught to look both ways before crossing a street when I was in kindergarten. I have only perfected that since then and find it a useful tool when driving.

There are other things I laugh out loud about when driving. Like how I drive with my knees, text in my left hand as I switch songs or playlists around on my ipod in my right hand. This is pretty ridiculous. I feel the need to say here that I am not an idiot. I am actually a very safe driver. Lately I just want to push limits. This is such a lame way to do it, but it's better then some other things I could do. (and other things I'm not going to blog about)

As I write this I realize that I have some level of defiance surfacing (in a few different areas, not just driving). I sit in group therapy all day long and am pretty good at analyzing my own crap. I'm having a hard time being done in school, having a job, and realizing that this is my life. I think at times I feel that it's all wrong. I miss my previous life of rock climbing, long boarding, running in the mountains, swimming almost daily, spending time with friends that I love, and being close to my family. That was right. So until I figure out how to manage/balance/change what's happening now I have to BUST OUT!! I like some calculated risks, adventures, something exciting. Driving is just one feeble way I'm striving for SOMETHING. and that's pretty lame.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I think it's funny how sometimes a person with go to great lengths to address an issue (or ignore it) to just have all that energy wasted as an element outside of the persons control contradicts all the work being done.

an example...

I work a few times a month at a center that specializes in the treatment of eating disorders. This place is very well known for it's work and philosophy in addressing this population. The rules for being a part of the program are very specific and detailed (as are the rules for working there). All these rules and regulations allow the program participants to live in a safe environment where they are supported in working to overcome their addictions and behaviors that feed the eating disorder. To accomplish this meals, conversations, activities, EVERYTHING is monitored and redirected when eating disorder behaviors are brought up.

So funny story...

I worked this weekend and I was pondering the severity of these many rules and regulations and debating the importance of them all (in my head) because these ideas fascinate me. We have carefully monitored all words and behaviors so as not to stir up someones issues. We go to the movies and sit down. Each person has their previously bagged snack to eat and are excited to get out of the house. As soon as we sit down the screen is showing those interesting pop-up facts and trivia which are always interesting. We are sitting for about thirty seconds and reading these facts (I did know that the name Wendy was created for Peter Pan and there were no records of a Wendy prior to that). So like I was saying...sitting for 30 seconds and guess what pops on the screen:

On average, a human will take in 600, 000 pounds of food during a lifetime. That's the equivalent of 6 elephants.

There was a quiet hush among our company, and then laughter. At least we can laugh about the absurdity. Seriously. True story. I love stuff like this!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

My New Route

I'm pretty excited about my new running route and so I wanted to show it off. I now work on the South Shore and I decided to pack my running stuff and go to the beach after work. It works out great because by the time I get home it's dark. So today, after my run, I decided to take some pictures: It's darker obviously because It's after my run, but the beach is nice and there is a paved sidewalk along the beach too so I can choose my surface!
There is even a little park at the end of my run that leads to a lake! How great is that?!?!



So yeah, a road goes along the sidewalk but on the other side of me it's the ocean, and on the other side of the road some fantastically quaint houses! So New England!

Now all I want is a good running partner. No one at work will run with me. The other day I met up with a friend and we went for a good run together. It's so much better when I can talk to someone and I forget how long I've been running or when I'm done or how much my foot hurts or whatever it is. For now it's just my ipod and me...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

wish i was a screamer

Last night I went to my friends house. We enjoyed taking her roommates cookies, eating sorbet and talking about our latest stories of triumph or woe. Eventually we found ourselves laughing and video clips on Youtube (thanks America's Most Stupidest Model). As we were loading our next video SCREAMS shattered our peaceful evening. This wasn't a single lonely scream. A woman outside was screaming--like in a horror movie. I find a few things interesting about this.

1. Have I become so desensitized that I didn't automatically spring from my comfortable place on the couch to see what was happening?

2. It took both my friend and I about 20 seconds and 4 lung-filled, silence shattering screams before I turned to my friend and said, "Is this normal for your neighborhood?"

a. My question implies that if this is normal this person does not need assistance.
b. But I think my first reaction was that this was a playful scream or something which also doesn't make sense.
c. What is wrong with me?!?!?!

So we go to the window and call out to see if she is OK. The girl is standing on her porch across the street and calls back to us. She explains that there was a man walking toward her with a gun pointed at her. There were people out on their porches finding out what was happening now. The girl had been walking home and just as she turned to her porch she saw the man coming with the gun so she screamed. Bloody loud I might add. She had a brilliant scream!!

This also has me thinking. I'm not a screamer. Granted I've never been in this situation before (or one comparable) but I know I'm not prone to screaming. The man bolted when she started screaming. What would I have done? I have a ridiculously exaggerated startle response. I've been known to automatically punch or react in some way when startled. But again- I'm not violent. I'll punch to prove a point (it's mostly people I know laughing at how easily startled I am) otherwise I just get really quiet and my heart pounds. I'm like DEFENSELESS!!! So I'm thinking about this. If I saw a guy coming toward me with a gun...I've decided by now I'd probably run. We were pretty close to Mass Ave, close to Harvard Square. I could've run up there-better lighting, more cars and people. I guess I'm bothered that I have no clue what I would've done in that moment. Probably run...probably. I wish I was a screamer.

Monday, October 15, 2007

All Good Things!

1. Americas Most Smartest Model--I hate that I get sucked into such shows. It's not one I'll go out of my way to watch like The Office or America's Next Top Model, but if I am killing 20 minutes and it's on, I am HIGHLY entertained.

2. Salt-N-Pepa-- As I was watching AMSM there was an advertisement for the Salt-N-Pepa reunion show. How great is that?!?!?! Again, I probably won't watch it, but I had a great time "educating" one of my roommates on the duo. She'd never heard of them or heard any of their stuff...how is that possible?!

3. En Vogue --As I shared some S-n-P songs for my roommate, I was able to reminisce about other great music. Favorite song of 9th grade? Free your mind, En Vogue. It's still a good thing.

4. Border Cafe in Harvard Square - Although I miss Cafe Rio more than I should, I love this place. It's atmosphere beats Cafe Rio, I just really want a good salad.

5. Elder Holland - I guess I should say here that these things are NOT listed in order of importance. I LOVED hearing him speak so many times this weekend. It felt so personal and I really needed the pick-me-up. There is no way to do justice in explaining how much his words and presence effected me.

6. Good Friends - I know it's vague. But one thing Elder Holland mentioned in his first keynote address was the idea of looking to the right and left and learning from the people around us; Learning together. Throughout this weekend I was able to get some great new insights and ideas from wonderful friends that I really value.

7. Burdicks Hot Chocolate - Dark hot chocolate European style...sweetened yourself? mmm good.

8. New England Fall - apple picking, pumpkin festivals, head of the charles, foliage, jackets and sweaters, Salem, Halloween....

9. Hour Long Office Episodes

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Such is the Life of a Boston Social Worker

This weekend my brother left me a voicemail. I keep listening to it because that is how happy it makes me:

Hey Linda-What's up? Haven't talked to you for like a month--since you've been working in the professional world for a month as a ROMANTIC Social Worker. You probably spend additional hours volunteering at a local good will--wearing second-hand sweaters--eating oatmeal--maybe even adopted a stray cat--picked one up from a shelter...Such is the life of a Boston Social Worker! Give me a Call!

I wish I could communicate his voice-the intonation. So So Great!! Sadly, I haven't had a moment to call him back yet. I will today!

But I've decided that it may be a good idea (and cheaper for me) to embrace some of these ideas. I don't think volunteering at a good will is really my thing, but there are So many other great places to volunteer! Get involved in the community=eat and shop less=pay my bills. Don't think i want to adopt a cat, but hey-volunteer with children and it's kind of the same thing. Two things-DONE! Second-hand sweaters? I have a lot of sweaters already, how about i just don't buy anymore? I'm also going to throw in fan like, floor length skirts with funky patters. The louder the better--with Birkenstocks!!! ooh-I just got excited. Everyone will know just how much I CARE!!! Oatmeal...OK, well maybe cream of wheat. (sensing a theme here) Embrace my new poverty...Such is the life of a Boston Social Worker!

and my goodness isn't it Romantic!!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

This made my weekend!

My sister-in-law shared this with me on her blog and challenged her readers to try this out. Play a song and change your pose every second. I think it's a fabulous idea.

What I'd really like to do is recruit some friends to do this for a talent show or something. Wouldn't that be great! I can see it now...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

US Open

So a few weeks ago I did have the chance to go to the US Open in New York. My pictures aren't so great (I'm not the best photographer). Our seats were actually on the very last row of the stadium, but surprisingly I felt like I could watch the match fine and enjoy it thoroughly. We saw the two men's semifinal matches: Roger Federer (1) def. Nikolay Davydenko (4), 7-5, 6-1, 7-5 Novak Djokovic (3) def. David Ferrer (15), 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 I wouldn't have minded Federer's match going to one more set. It would have been nice to watch him play more.
That's roger. No, not on the court. He's over by his chair getting out another tennis racket. It really was great to see him play. At one point I recall sitting in my chair getting a little sad. I all of a sudden realized that I was there, in person, watching an AMAZING player who I had a BIG FAT crush on and he was NOT going to call me!!! I wasn't going to see him after the match. No smile, no side hug, no high five, no NOTHING. So as I sat there, and this was sinking in, I realized just how unhealthy my crush was. I needed to invest this energy into someone real. Like someone I see in real life (and talk to). So I decided to start working on that. I'll let you know how it goes. (not much to share now)
I just want to say that it was GREAT to see the Fed play live. He's so good! I spent the day with two fantastic gals and it was just a beautiful day! Roger's great, but I think I'm over him now. But I will always support him in his game. :)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Violation

It's almost 9am. I am at work. I usually don't eat much this early but I like having some tea in the morning. Last week I made the HUGE error of leaving my mug in the kitchen while I was dealing with a client. This morning I hoped I would find it in the kitchen, be able to wash and sanitize it, and then still use it. As I walked in the kitchen there was an interesting man there. Not one from my program but an overnight program that uses the kitchen in the morning. I said hello and started searching for my mug. I looked on the mug shelf-nope. I looked in the draining board-nope. I looked on the dishes shelf-nope. I looked on the counters- NOPE. Saddened I turned around to go back to my office when I saw that scary man had my mug!!! He had it filled with some horrible looking liquid. I think I just stopped and frowned, not sure of how to deal with my disappointment. Actually I was horrified. He can have the mug.

Monday, September 17, 2007

my life

I have no idea who reads this blog. My family may discover that I've finally posted something, but other than that, I'm not sure. It's kind of fun to try to explain certain things to different kinds of audiences. For example: my life as a part of a singles ward. Friends in Boston will understand because many are part of such a world. My family, however, may not fully comprehend the magnitude of what this world involves and for that I offer the following:

An email arrived in my box today (a special email address set aside for ward spam and other business advertisements) along with 4 emails regarding emergency preparedness, 1 for dinner groups on Oct 21st, a few regarding political candidates, one looking for a nanny, a reminder for FHE (same time/same place), a birthday party (two actually), and one telling people about an education conference coming up. I LOVE our ward list serve. These were actually all pretty standard. I want to share this one specifically that recapped the announcements from RS on Sunday. I worked on Sunday so I really appreciated the recap, but as I read I laughed out loud. Here is why:

This week:

Monday-FHE
Wednesday- Opening social for institute (you're only as spiritual as your last spiritual experience, shared over the pulpit I hear to recruit for institute)
Thursday- New sisters Dessert
This Weekend- Cambridge Reunion get your tickets NOW

Next Week:

Sunday- Bishopric Fireside
Monday- FHE
Wednesday- Institute
Fri, Sat, Sun- Ward Camp out in Sharon Vermont But if you're not going to that: Sat- Cambridge Stake enrichment, and the general RS broadcast

Next Month (plan now) The education conference

Just in case you need more things to do:

Tuesday- Books and Basketball
Along with your regularly scheduled temple shift, volunteer for the cleaning shift our ward is responsible for.
Be sure you are up to date on our ward emergency preparedness plan-we are on week 8 and you should now have your 72 hour kit, 2 weeks of food storage and cash and all critical documents stored, but you do have until the 27th to secure all that if your behind. (but fill out the survey so we know what areas need to be improved)

So I'm reading all this and I start to sweat. I had just finished a long, PAINFUL, email exchange about visiting teaching this week. Tuesday night is set, but we want to see another girl too and maybe Thurs? But then I'd miss the new sister dessert...But WAIT!!!! I was actually planning on spending time with some school friends I haven't seen lately...because, well, this is my best attempt at sharing the gospel (which I'm also supposed to report because the Elders are coming over for dinner next week and they are going to ask me!)

I really love my ward because everyone IS so involved. These things (all of them) get done!!! My problem is that I have no idea how to balance all these things. Guilt creeps in as I skip FHE. I've now worked 8 days in a row for at least 8 hours a day and I'm pretty tired and drained. At the same time, I love this! I love being busy, trying to balance. I haven't been to the grocery store since I bought muffins and orange juice for my friends who were helping me move at 1am on Sept 1st. I have, however, filled my gas tank 3 times since then, gone to a byu football party, attended ward temple night, brought my mozzarella cheese to last Sunday's dinner group, made soup with friends at my house one evening (visiting teaching!), had dinner with a friend, gave a co-worker a ride home (twice), and bought a new outfit for the US Open. As I type my arms and hands are shaking slightly thinking about it all. (I think it's just because visiting teaching isn't settled yet so I'm not sure if I need to cancel with my school friends for Thursday dinner)

I don't write all this to complain-not at all! I just thought my family would find this new insight into my world interesting (at least). And for those of you who live this life as well, a moment to pause and brush it off. I mean, super-cute Sunday is over, the pressure is off!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Something to note

Today a question came up at work. I thought I'd share the answer with all of you because I am so easily irritated at poor grammar, written or spoken (not that I think I'm that great--don't get me wrong, but there are some things people should know). This is one I wasn't sure about. Check it out...

A traditional rule holds that in behalf of and on behalf of have distinct meanings. Accordingly, you should use in behalf of to mean “for the benefit of,” as in We raised money in behalf of the earthquake victims. And you should use on behalf of to mean “as the agent of, on the part of,” as in The guardian signed the contract on behalf of the child. But as the two meanings are quite close, the phrases are often used interchangeably, even by reputable writers.

I just found it interesting.
You're welcome.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Update

I have so many things I want to blog about but I need more time to do these items justice!! So instead i thought I'd update people on what my plans are (since I don't think I have).

I start my new job on Monday. I'll be working at a day treatment program in Quincy MA (that's on the south shore) So there will be a little commute, but it won't be too bad. I'm really excited about this job. I'll be working with severely mentally ill adults in group therapy each day. There are a lot of different groups currently running: dealing with anxiety, depression, personality disorders, groups on anger and emotions, psycho-ed groups on communication and assertiveness, DBT, and more. So I'm not sure which ones I'll be leading but I may even get to start some. I was thinking of a music group or a creative expressions group with a CBT slant--there are so many possibilities!!!

I am also moving. Nope, not to the South Shore (that'd be the smart thing to do). I'm actually moving so as to add 15 minutes to my commute. Further north is Medford and I'll be living in a really cute house with two girls from my ward. I'm also excited about this. I do wish it were in Cambridge or Somerville, but if it were it'd be twice as much. I get my own room, a huge almost walk in closet (such an improvement) and my own bathroom and I'm paying less then I am now!! So I think it's worth it.

So for now I'm packing up my apartment, trying to clean, and praying I can get my deposit back from this house. I don't think past tenants have cleaned it at all!! So it's pretty bad. Plus I'll still be working at the eating disorder clinic one weekend a month (this weekend). So there is always a lot going on. I'm excited to get through the next two weeks!!! I hope I'll be more settled then.

And this is why I don't have time right now to sit down and compose my thoughts and musings on my observances. (is that a word? I like it!!!)

Monday, August 13, 2007

I was tagged...

Places I've worked:
1-Fountain Green Swim Club (paradise)
2-Friendly's (best two weeks of ice cream EVER)
3-Stats recorder for Ricks College basketball games (don't trust the 99 stats)
4-Heritage RTC

and now FINALLY.....Discovery Day Treatment and the Laurel Hill Inn!!

Movies I can watch over and over:
1-Waiting for Guffman (and the like)
2-An Ideal Husband
3-Bedknobs and Broomsticks
4-Goonies

Places I've lived:
1-Nurenburg Germany
2-Bel Air, Maryland
3-Provo, Utah
4-Boston, Massachusetts
Favorite t.v. shows:
1-The Office
2-LOST
3-So You Think You Can Dance
4-Flight of the Conchords
Places I've been:
1-pubs in Northern Ireland
2- Bolliaden in Sweden
3- relatives in Germany
4-Disneyland
coming soon: The US Open
Favorite foods:
1-My mom's ANYTHING
2-Indian food
3-Thai food
4-chips and salsa!!! mmm, good!

Majors I had considered:
1-physical education
2-dietetics
3-communications
4-teaching
Places I'd rather be:
1-the beach (any beach) Mexico would be nice
2-on a yacht
3-playing tennis
4-in a French Village
Weird things about me:
1-very sensitive sense of smell
2-when i get snappy and irritable my friends know to ask about when I last went running or swimming.
3-I think the song Downtown by Petula Clark is the answer to everything.
4-I'm addicted to music...love it love it and love people who share it!!
Friends I'd like to tag:
1-Allison
2-Johnson (rosotto-whatever)
3-Peg
4-Chris and Tiff

Thursday, August 9, 2007

something real

I saw something amazing tonight. When I say something real, I think I mean something that breaks real life down into basics, like a simple form, and the result is being grounded. Moments like these are so precious. They occur often, I believe, but it's not often that they can be witnessed by an outsider.

I have a job working with eating disorder patients. It's a small, private, residential setting. Tonight I found myself sitting on the front porch while a client called her father. This particular client is a bit older than the rest of the clients right now. She's in her 40's, and had just checked herself in for treatment. I sat far away from her so she could have some privacy, but in the quiet of the night it was not hard to hear her conversation.

Can you imagine the struggle? She checks herself into a residential center to get help with a disease she has struggled with for years and years. Her father is in his 80's and does not understand what she is going through. Although it's obvious that he loves her and wants to support his daughter, he doesn't really understand the problem. To hear her explain to him where she was and why...it brought tears to my eyes. I have NEVER been moved to tears while working. She asked him if he would come visit her. I could hear her shame and embarrassment, being unable to take care of herself, but now trying desperately to take care of herself.

As I talked with her after her call and thought about what I had heard and seen, I thought about the challenges that we all face as we try to take care of ourselves and deal with the struggles of life. This woman hit a low. She's now surrounded by girls half her age, wanting to leave, but longing to stay and get the help she needs. She has support in her family and friends, but that doesn't mean it's easy to ask for it.

I don't know what my point is exactly. Just that we can be so distracted by things that aren't really important. I worry. Worry about what? It's never worth the effort I put into the worrying. I love these moments of being grounded. It makes me think of the choices I am facing and simplifies the process a little. I am inspired by this woman. Her courage to admit that she needs serious help, to put herself in a setting with people who have little in common with her but one disease, and to admit her struggle and seek help from those she wishes she could help instead, show her desperation and desire to be cleansed. Although I don't share her disease, I have moments of desperation. I'm grateful to know I am never alone.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

When it rains

they aren't kidding. It pours!!!

So for the last few days it's been raining, but that's really not the point. Less than a month ago i had no clue what I was going to do. I had no job, I had no plans, I had no ideas.

My status hasn't changed: still no job and no set plans. But now I have lots of ideas. I have had a ton of interviews lately and new things continue to pop up. So this is good!! Yes!!!

But I still don't know what I'm going to do. I had an offer today. I'm certain I'll get another one before the end of the week. I have two more interviews coming up and a woman just emailed me from where my per diem job is to see if I want to work there full time. WHAT DO I WANT TO DO?

?

Some places I'm for sure more interested than others. The pay scale is so low at some of these places I'm interested in, I'm wondering if it's worth it to work somewhere I know I'll like and fret about finances...

So anyways, all these new possibilities are pouring in and I do have a much better idea of what my career goals are, so what next?

But I love that opportunities are pouring in now. (my mom's fasting brings about miracles!!)

Saturday, August 4, 2007

St. Lawrence River

I just got back from an amazing trip to the St. Lawrence River on the border of New York and Canada. My sister and her family vacation there every summer with her in-laws. They all gather at their homes there and go swimming, boating, skiing, wake boarding, and spend time with each other. My sister and her family live in California and this was a great chance for me to drive to meet them. It was also my birthday. We had so much fun together and I can't even express how beautiful it was there!! Here I am as they gave me a little tour in their boat around the different islands there. There are some castles on a few islands that have now become tourist attractions. This is the biggest one. There were bigger cruise/tour boats around these islands.
Here are all my adorable nephews. They are the sweetest cutest boys! They were all so nice to me and didn't want me to leave. We played hard everyday!!
I am kayaking with Jonathan and Eric while Danny and Mark canoe next to us. The island is called Ozone (where my sisters house is) and we would go around the island. It's small; the perfect size for these boys to go around.
This is the dock where I was picked up. I parked and then waited to see the boat coming towards me. I couldn't believe how it was so hot yet the water and breeze made it so comfortable. It was a little paradise.
Then I saw Elise and two of her boys coming to claim me. I never ever thought Elise would drive any kind of boat. She is becoming a very seasoned river-goer.
The first day I was there we spent some time helping the boys ski a little off this boat. It worked great because It went slower and helped ease the boys into the idea of being pulled by a boat. They were a little nervous at first, but thanks to a specially designed ski/wake board for children, they experienced success!
Here is their house. It was so beautiful. A part of it was a cabin that was built in the earlier 1900's for some rich guys lawyer. When my brother-in-laws parents bought the island years ago, they designed the house to incorporate the cabin. My pictures don't do a good job of showing that off. I love how the dock is right at the house! It made for incredible dreams as I heard boats fly in the distance and the resulting waves crash by my window.

This was my birthday party! It doesn't get any better than that. Brownies and ice cream and four fantastic kids who really like me!! Danny made me a bracelet that I wore the whole week and it never came off! One of the best presents ever!
Cheesing it up!! Jonathan wanted to take a bunch of pictures, so here I am with the present I just received. My nephews are all trained in the art of taking pictures. There is a chorus of "cheese" held out for a long time. It's hilarious because they'll say it yet they need to be convinced to stop what they're doing and look at the camera.

We BBQ'd on the tip of Atlantis (where Dan's Brother's house is) and all of their cousins came to play. There was a great swimming area and a beautiful sunset.

I have to include this!!! This is Dan's Brothers boat. Doug's brand new boat as my nephews called it. This cigarette boat is made for racing. The day I got there Doug was out in his boat with an instructor teaching him the correct way to drive it to optimize the boats capabilities. He took us for ride the next day. We went flying down the St. Lawrence River going over 100 mph!! It was insane!! Some of my hair came lose and it hurt to have it whipping around my face!! When we got back to the dock one of my nephews was fast asleep--how is that possible?!?! This was a definite highlight!!

This is my sister Elise and me. She is my oldest sister and I really enjoyed the chance to sit and talk with her and her husband Dan after the boys went to bed. They were so willing to help me come up with new ideas in my job search and the interview process. We talked about so much and it was truly enjoyable!!


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Good Things

I'm leaving in the morning to go to the St. Lawrence River in upstate New York to stay at my sisters vacation home. I'm really excited!! So that's a good thing!

My birthday is really soon. I wanted to have a party on Saturday but a church activity has been rescheduled for Saturday and I have guilt about doing something at the same time. The good thing is that I'm choosing to not care about guilt--I'm done with that--and It's OK even if nothing happens for my birthday. I know I'm still special.

I had a new job possibility surface on Friday which sounds really interesting. So I feel hopeful.

I went to a friends birthday dinner tonight and really enjoyed sitting with 10 other women laughing about so many things: dream analysis, horrific clothing we had to wear as children, horrific clothing we chose to wear as teenagers, crazy things our parents did to us as children, and many more wonderful things. It's been a while since I laughed that hard!!

I visit teach some incredible women. Today we had a really interesting conversation about the tribes of Israel. It bounced to so many topics and it was nice to be able to talk about spiritual things. and it's OK to not understand everything!!

The best thing I've been thinking about today is how I can choose. I can choose anything. I choose how I want to feel! I know there may be some who disagree with that, but I stand by it. If something occurs and I feel upset or down about it. I can choose how long I'm going to feel that way, then I can act and do something to change it. And I think this is where the Savior comes in for me. My understanding is that he suffered so I don't have to. He's promised to help me and, again, I have to choose to allow him to.

It's so great to know that I am never stuck. That's a good thing.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Gloomy Mood

yeah, I don't really have anything to add to that. It sucks!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Martha's Vineyard

Last Saturday I went with a group of friends FOR THE FIRST TIME to Martha's Vineyard!! I was so excited because I'd heard so much about this place and I knew it was going to be an amazing day. Taking pictures has never been a priority for me and this weekend was no exception so I only have a few but here it goes:


Suzy and I got up really early (too early) and left my house at 7:30. We drove down the coast and parked at Woods Hole where we would take the ferry to MV. Suzy and I decided to get some breakfast in the little town and I wish I had a photo of my muffin--pure cake! I think there may have been a berry or two=breakfast! Then we met up with Brenda, Laura and Robin, got on the ferry and were on our way.
I was pretty giddy and just wanted to stare at all the gorgeous houses and boats along the way. I now have big plans for a house on the coast. The summer home. When we got to MV we took a taxi to Edgartown and met up with the other ladies. We found South Beach and proceeded to our beach activity for the next few hours.


Here we have Brenda and Laura at South Beach. The beach was crowded, but the sun was warm and the water refreshingly cool! The waves were so fun to play in--it was amazing!! Then we decided to go to lunch, then rent some bikes and go the SHARKFEST!!! WaHoo!!


So there was this huge Shark catching tournament on MV this weekend. We took the scenic route (not entirely on purpose but totally worth it) and made it through the island to where the sharks were being weighed in. There were so many people and we saw many a shark carcass displayed by the proud competitors. Sick eh?

Our bike adventure was perfect! After the shark extravaganza we decided to bike along the coast (since we somehow went through the middle of the island on our way up the coast) and were able to see the most amazing sunset!!


I love it when you get strangers to take pictures and they have no vision of what works. There was a fabulous little pond and sunset just to the right of Suzy here--hoping for a different angle. Thanks anyway man!


We had to bike back up the coast and return our bikes. We then got back on the ferry to start the trek home. It was such a beautiful day!! I can't wait to go again (when I get a job and have income) and Nantucket (I might need to wait to go there until I have three jobs).

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Check this out

I'd never seen this before and am so glad my friend shared it with me. I actually usually don't like stuff like this but I thought this was so funny and well done! and it reminds me a bit of some people I used to know.

we got a couple of squares here!!

(check out bad-boy Todd's belt buckle)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

creepy landlord tale #1

There are many many tales I could tell of my creepy landlord. He's just an odd guy!! So to preface my first official landlord tale I must say that he is a nice guy. He tries to be very helpful and yet not too involved. Overall, not a bad landlord but there's just something about him that makes me avoid him in any way possible. (perhaps it's the way he looks at me and my roommates--poor Devon became his best friend...JUST SAY NO, DEV)

I arrived last night after driving back from Maryland. I found two notes on my kitchen table from my landlord. All of the current tenants are looking to vacate the premises at the end of August and so he wants to get a key so he can show the place to prospective tenants.

Note 1:

Hello Ladies:
1. I had hoped to show someone your apt. yesterday; but, no one was home and I don't have a key--can I get one?
2. It is the 12th and I am still missing one rent check
thanks

(that'd be my new roommate who I've spoken to twice, conversation consisting of Hi, How's it going (me), Hi (her). So don't get me started on that girl).

Note 2:
(received yesterday)
Hello Ladies--
could you leave me a key to your apt to copy or leave the back door open and let me know good times to show the apt. to future tenants
thanks

Reasonable notes considering none of my roommates responded to the first one (i was out of town). I've found from previous experience that he doesn't bother much if you respond when he has a request or concern.

Amazing Creepy part kicks in here...

THIS MORNING 7AM
BANGING on our door. I'm still in bed, I know it's him, and there is NO WAY I'm answering that door. I hear my roommate let him in and then I hear them talking for a LONG time. I understand you need a key dude, but one of us was in the shower, my roommate answered in a bathrobe...I mean, It would have made me angry but I wouldn't have been surprised if he opened my bedroom door. I was watching it carefully!

So my roommate took care of him, BLESS YOU! Now we just need to watch out cuz he could walk in any time (he did once before when our back door was open--that was fun).

***he just knocked on the door and is now inside...

Saturday, July 14, 2007

accomplishment/fulfillment

Today I was thinking. I was driving my younger sister, Amanda, to her friends house and we started talking. Since I've been home this week in Maryland, I had the opportunity to go with her to her swim meets, to go running with her in preparation for lacrosse camp, and to even bake cookies in our kitchen. (I can't tell you when the last time I baked cookies was...not since moving to Boston that I can remember) We've had fun. As I watch my 12 year old sister, almost 13, I notice some similarities and differences between us. Watching her swim and run, I couldn't help but wish she'd push harder, train more diligently, and make it more of a priority in her life. As I started to become a little frustrated with her "lack of drive" I had to stop myself from judging too harshly. I am my own worst critic, even enemy perhaps. How can I put the harsh judgements of myself onto my sweet sister. We are not the same.

Today as we were driving I asked her a few questions. What do you look forward to? What excites you? What gives you a feeling of accomplishment or fulfillment? It was a short conversation but a lot of fun. She looks forward to lacrosse camp and is excited about that and she feels really accomplished after an orchestra concert, after working so hard. It was really fun to hear about some of the things she's interested in. I also realize that my own transition from graduate school to finding a job to figuring out where I am going to live and all that jazz is effecting my own feelings of accomplishment and fulfillment. At least my education has paid off some and I am able to notice my own cognitive distortions and projection.

For now I'm heading to the grocery store. My Mormor has just handed me a 20 with a post-it that reads: Smickers (Snickers), Baby Ruth, Sundae (Sunday), and Fudge Track. Yes, my dear sweet Mormor. I will go on an ice cream run for you. Perhaps this will add to both of us feeling more accomplished today. Me for doing something for you, and You! You have successfully financed the restocking of our ice cream stash. Then my dad will feel accomplished as he rewards himself with a huge heaping bowl after mowing the lawn, my mother will feel accomplished as she rejects all offers of ice cream, and we can all laugh at the ice cream smears that will appear in the morning on the kitchen light switch: The fulfillment of things as they should be, coming full circle.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

How much is your dead body worth?

Today I read a friend's blog which was about her addiction to blogging. She's a champion blogger...really. I took her quiz and I was at like 40%, so I'm really not that addicted, Thankfully.

But this site had some AMAZING quizes to take! Check this one out:

$5275.00The Cadaver Calculator - Find out how much your body is worth. From Mingle2 - Free Online Dating

Mingle2 - Free Online Dating



I mean...That's important stuff to know!!

Sunday, July 8, 2007

modesty wars

I'm not sure why, but today I found myself thinking back to one of my very first arguments (that I can remember) about modesty with my parents.

Well, I guess I kind of know why. I was in church today and I wore flip-flops. For some this is not a big deal, but I come from a family where there are things that are Sunday wear and things that are NOT. Flip-flops are on the not side. My father (I love him dearly) has very strong opinions about what's appropriate when we dress to worship. I love that they have taught me to try to look my best. I had a late night last night, and an early morning. I wore my flip-flops today because I wanted to be as comfortable as possible, almost sleep-like. And all day, felt slightly guilty because I knew my father would be disappointed.

So as I sat in my meetings today I kept thinking about my flip-flops and looking at how others were dressed. I was surrounded my many do's and don't's of my upbringing. As I sat I remembered my emerald green skirt.

Picture this: 6th grade. That's like 11 or 12 right? Me going shopping. I some how convince my mother to buy me this black and emerald green plaid skirt. Thinking back now, my mother should have said no because it was ugly, nasty ugly. This is like 1990 people. But somehow I got this skirt home. I LOVED this skirt!! I was so excited to wear it, so I tried it on for my sister Elise. Elise was probably 16 or so and immediately chimed in that it was too short and that dad would never let me wear this. In fact, I believe Elise was going to make sure Dad wouldn't let me wear it. Because I vividly remember this conversation (if you could call it that).

My dad comes home from work. We eat dinner, Elise and my mother bring up the infamous skirt and I am made to go try it on to show my father. I remember standing in our living room, which is right off the kitchen, my dad still eating dinner, my sister sitting on the couch in the living room, (looking but not), and me pleading not to return the skirt. I was so upset! so angry that this skirt was like 3 inches above my knee. It was going back. I don't even think they gave me the option of doing "what I thought was right." It was going back. I was devastated. I totally blamed Elise.

There have been many such wars to follow. Formal dresses, swim wear (honeymoon and not), shorts, cap sleeves--ok or not ok, form fitting blouses...it goes on and on. I'm happy to say that we are able to laugh about some of these situations now, but I know we ALL (Sarah and Elise) remember the strong feelings evoked in those discussions/debates.

I also want to add that I LOVE that I was taught that there are right and wrongs when dressing modestly. I am not one to tell someone else that they should do what I do, or think the way I think. But I am very grateful that I have been taught to have respect for my body, and to find the reasons to be more modest instead of the many excuses not to be. I am by no means perfect in this category. It's actually something I still struggle with at times. But it's now an easy struggle. I want to be modest, not just the way I was taught, but the way I believe NOW that I should.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Tennis Prom

Last summer I participated in a tennis tournament that some friends were putting together. I really love tennis and when my friend announced he was organizing a mixed doubles tournament a friend and I quickly signed up.

Now let me say here that I LOVE LOVE LOVE tennis. Loving tennis does not necessarily mean that I have ever participated in competitive tennis. I play for fun with friends whenever they can play with me. I don't have a powerful serve, I don't really have a powerful arm or fantastic angles, but I can play. I know the rules, I can serve in the box and return serves and rally. So I consider myself decent, but not good, with me?

So my partner last year was MUCH better than I was. And the first people we played were really good. My partner was probably better but because he was playing with me, we lost. It was kind of fun, but I do hate losing just because I suck worse than someone else.

About a month ago the emails began again for our tennis tournament. This time when I got the email, I thought that if someone really wanted to play with me then I was willing. But I wasn't really eager to be a part of the tournament again. I never responded to the emails, Never. I swear. A few of my tennis friends were pretty excited to play and began frantically looking for tennis partners. I sat with one friend (a really good player) as she sent text messages to any potential partners. When she got one and they arranged to play together she immediately started to wonder if he was going to help her win. She then started to plan a way to assess the skills of this partner and what other options there might be (We're all pretty competitive people) Another friend reported to me her efforts to find available partners reporting that many had been recruited already.

With all this going on, a few friends and I now refer to this event as tennis prom. It just seems kind of silly. I sat back observing thinking how glad I was that I decided previously that I'd play if someone wants a partner, but I'm not asking ANYONE to tennis prom. NO WAY!!

So imagine my surprise when a few weeks later an email went out identifying the registered pairs for the tournament. On this list was 20 or so pairs ready to play and then it identified the "solo" entries. There I was. I read it and wondered how that happened because I know I never responded to this email...let alone without a partner. I was listed as going stag to tennis prom!!! What!?!?!

There were four solo men and four solo women registered. We were encouraged to team up and play. By now I really wanted nothing to do with it, but then as I thought a bit more about it I found it funny. This isn't the first time I've been "signed up" for something unawares. I was also recently signed up for a beach trip that I didn't sign up for. I was out of town...PROOF that something weird is going on.

So now I'm playing in this tournament. It'll be fun, but now I have to deal with my competitive nature again in a sport that I'm not really good at. It'll be good for me. Learning to lose graciously!

Friday, June 29, 2007

My First EVER Race!!

Yesterday I participated in my first ever fun-run/race along the Charles River. I am not a great runner. I am a swimmer. BUT I like to run on occasion and so I thought it would be enjoyable to participate in this 4 mile race. While doing so I discovered a few things...

1. I am more competitive than I think.
2. Tree roots can be dangerous obstacles!
3. It's a lot more fun to run with someone than run alone.
4. It is really hard to try to grab a cup of water as you run (and drink it? or do most people just pour it on their heads or faces? still trying to figure that out)
5. The Charles is BEAUTIFUL!!
6. I feel bad littering and carried the stupid plastic cup instead of throwing it on the ground.
7. There are a lot of cool young adults in the Boston area and this was a great way to meet some.
8. I really need new shoes!!
9. Although in the process I knew I was running at a faster pace than usual, and I was getting pretty tired and just wanted to walk the rest of the way, I kept it up and finished in like 38 minutes...not too bad for my first ever, right?
10. I still don't think a half or full marathon will ever be something I'll do--well, maybe a half...wait that's like 13 miles? NO. No I won't. But good for all you people who dig that kind of thing.

I will however be participating in the breast cancer research mile open water swim on the cape again this august. Anyone can swim with me if they want! Just something to think about.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

My Poor Car

One of the glorious things about being home is that I don't have to pay for much! I don't have to drive much either. It's so nice. This week my brothers car was having some trouble so I told him he could take mine one night if it would simplify his life a little. He took me up on my offer. He's been building his deck on his house. Poor guy! It sounds like really strenuous work. (sure glad I could offer my car and not my pink princess hands)

Two days after my brother borrowed my car I drove to his house with my mother to return his child (we'd taken him a few days) and to pick up my car. When I was leaving and got in my car a very foul odor emerged from somewhere. It smelled so so so so so bad!!! I think I'm kind of sensitive to smells. My first thought was my brother was out working all day, smelly, gross and took MY car to go get lunch!!! Sick!! My whole car is contaminated with his disgustingness!!! I rolled down all my windows and hoped my car would air out a bit on the way home.

To my huge disappointment, the next morning I left to go swimming and my car did not smell any better. Again, I rolled down all my windows and hoped air would flush the horrific smell outside. When I got home later I decided I needed to do more for my little car. Her name is Ruby and there's a story behind that, but another day. Ruby deserves more!! So I emptied everything out of my car, removed the floor mats and started cleaning out my car. I thought maybe some food was under the seat baking away---I had no idea what could smell so bad. There was no food under the seat, although I found ten bucks!!!!!!!! I needed that!

When I removed the rear floor mats I noticed one of them was damp. Gross. What could that be from? I had no idea. Go on cleaning. Car still REEKS!!!! I open the trunk. Hmm, the trunk. Not a lot in there. But this time there was something in there. A few weeks ago I went to play tennis with a couple of friends. One of the boys who came to play with us brought with him a gallon jug of water filled almost to the top. I remember after tennis, when I got my racket out of my trunk, that he had left this jug in there. I remember thinking, "I should move that." Let's call that a prompting...which I ignored.

As I looked into my trunk I discovered this jug of water on its side, cap off, and trunk very very wet. I also recognized the source of the stench. Not knowing how to really fix this problem, I grabbed a towel and tried to dry out what was left to dry out and I left all my windows down and trunk open for two days. I also took a special trip to the store to see if maybe fabric fabreeze could help me out.

Four days later, the smell is much better, but not entirely eliminated. I'm still working on it. But I have confidence that Ruby will recover. It was so bad!!!!

and I'm sorry Dave, for blaming you.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Arranged Marriage

My parents called me a few weeks ago and told me (half-jokingly) that they met my future husband and they'd be happy to arrange it all for me. Not sure how to respond I think I said, Thanks. Then we went on to talk about other things. The next time I called they brought it up again. This time coming right out and offering to bring back arranged marriage. I laughed and wished them the best of luck in their adventure.

I drove home on Saturday. I always love coming home because it is a chance for me to break away from a lot of the pressure I put on myself in Boston. I really needed this break. On Sunday my parents again, told me about this boy and that they'd invite him over if it was OK with me. I said that I'd be happy to meet him. They had already called him and he was going to come over for dinner on Monday night and have family home evening with us. Hmm, I thought, not quite the meeting I had in mind. I was thinking later in the week when my sister was here (flying out on Wed!!) and my brother could be here (wedding on Monday) we could invite a lot of our friends over and have crabs...we'll probably do it anyway. There are some people I haven't seen in a while in DC who I wanted to invite anyway and then it would be like a social and not so awkward....BUT NO!!!!

Monday night I found myself sitting at my dinner table with my mom and dad, this boy, my younger sister Amanda, and my grandmother. It was difficult because this is not something my parents do. Forget playing anything cool, it was interrogation time. Both my parents asked him tons of questions, things I know they already knew the answers to, just for my benefit. It was so funny to me. A few times I even laughed out loud. He was a great sport though, kind of funny. I think he's probably been in this situation before. So he talked to my parents and I sat there eating my dinner.

(side note, my grandmother just came out of her room, humming the wedding march song...think I'm paranoid?)

After a while my brother and his wife came over and we all played bocce in the back yard. It was actually fun. During this time I was able to talk to him a little, so that was good. It's hard when you know your parents are probably going to give you feedback later, like why didn't you..., or why did you say....! This did come out later when it was obvious that my mother was not pleased with how I presented my undergraduate education at UVSC. That's what I said. I got my bachelors at UVSC. Then my mother proceeded to talk about honors and achievements and my choices of graduate schools. I love my mother. I was proud of myself for just smiling and saying, yes, that's true. Slightly awkward.

We also had scripture reading and analyzing time. I mean, this was FHE!!! Overall, it was a surprisingly pleasant evening. This guys was nice, funny, kind of charming. I can see why my parents were so excited about him. I've also had a lot of fun with some friends telling them about this and playing our new favorite game...Bringing Back A.M. Sometimes other people do see things we don't see.

end note: After he left my mother did say, "When he asked you how long you'd be here why didn't you say until the end of the month!!" I said, "I said this weekend, maybe Monday or Tuesday because that's the truth... when I got here I was planning on leaving Sat. Now that Sarah's coming I was thinking Sunday or Monday...don't worry mom, it'll be OK." she says, "well i just think you could have made yourself more available............." and it goes on!!!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Contributing Member of Society

I don't have a job right now. I graduated less than a month ago and at first it was fun. I went to lakes and ponds and beaches, went for long runs and played tennis. Life was beautiful!! After a while this kind of life gets old. And I've been watching LOST. I don't have a TV, nor do I watch a lot of it, so for me to tackle the first two seasons of this show is a huge big life change for me (maybe it's just that it's been a cold, cloudy week and playing outside isn't my favorite option) but nonetheless I have started to feel like I am a consumer, an absorber of resources, that I offer nothing.

This morning I decided (after watching like 4 episodes of LOST--kill me!) that I don't want to be a consumer any more. I am a productive, contributing member of society!! So I will get out of bed before 11 (decided at 12:30 --slight lie) and that I KNOW there are other things that I contribute although unemployed...

1. I can speak properly, read and write
2. I don't add to the obesity problem in our country-yet
3. I keep the environment clean by not smoking
4. I dispose of my trash in proper trash receptacles
5. I pile all my recycling near the trash can, but not IN the trash, so my roommates can take it out when they can't stand the piles anymore.
6. I try not to horrify others by avoiding such combinations as: jean shorts and loafers (with socks), open toe shoes with nylons, 90's plaid flannel with anything, and other such goodies.
7. I provide others with fun things to do on their days off.
8. I decided to pretend I don't have a car this week so I've been walking more (see #2) and using less gas (more because I don't want to pay for the gas, but I'm counting it)
9. I'm a potential risk for skin cancer so I can help out with scientific advancements in that area.
10. I'm available during the day to do such things as: watch landlords animals and plants, drive friends to and from the airport...when I'm not pretending I don't have a car
11. I'm great company!

This is valuable stuff!!

Friday, June 8, 2007

One of the best songs EVER!!!

In my humble opinion. I remember jumping on my trampoline as a kid listening to this song! It still makes me smile and dance around. I'd never really watched this video, but do NOT miss the guys head twitch/bob thing at the bell chime. Classic dance move!

Lately I've been on a quest to find these old songs that I've forgotten. I'm wondering what other songs I should be looking for...suggestions?

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Fancy Bird = Evil Bird


I am not a fan of birds, not sure why, but I think most are ugly and diseased. I was attacked by a huge white swan-like bird as a kid (not a swan) so maybe that has something to do with it. I was asked in a game of loaded question, if I could rid the world of three things what would they be. I'm not sure what my brilliant answer was completely but I know I included birds, but not the fancy birds. I remember this because this was later made a recurring theme in future loaded question games. Fancy birds.


Fancy birds meaning really beautiful rare birds that I had perhaps seen in books, nice colorful pictures...they're beautiful! But I take it back now, I'm taking it all back.


This weekend my landlord went out of town and asked if I'd feed his bird while he was away. I have told some people this before but I would rather clean someones bathroom than watch their children, plants or animals. I think it's just a lack of experience, but I'm just not one who likes to do this. I said I would.


He showed me through his disgusting apartment (I don't think I'd clean his bathroom...ever) where I found this large parrot-like bird (not a parrot). He told me that his bird doesn't really like women, but as long as I approach the bird with authority it won't question me. (What the H does that mean?) At this point I'm thinking, I don't like birds, but I'm certainly not scared of them.


So he leaves. Fast forward, 1st visit to the bird: There is a small food dish and a small water dish hanging on a wire at the front of the cage. I reach my hand in and the bird comes right over to where my hand is and flaps its wings and squawks at me. I quickly pull my hand back but yell at the bird "back off I'm getting you food" and then I go again. The bird repeats annoying behavior but I grab the food and do what I'm supposed to do as fast as I can. AND YES I WAS SCARED OF THE BIRD!!!


Next day, forgot, sorry bird.


The next day I remember the bird. I go upstairs and its food dish is empty. This time it allows me to get the food dish without any problem. As soon as I fill it and put it back its there eating it and I can't get to the water which looks really really sick. So I figure I'll come back. Hours later I return and now the bird is back to its usual annoying self, squawking and flapping at me. Its making this very difficult but yet I feel like the bird needs better water. So I go quickly to grab the water. As I do the bird lunges at me and I spill some of the delicious contents of the water/regurgitated food mixture on my clothes. NEVER have I smelled something so sick and disgusting. The strong stench of vomit is way too much for me. I quickly dump it in the sink and refill it. Want to throw it at the bird, but put it back and go back to my apartment.


I wash my hands about three times and throw the shirt i was wearing in the washing machine. Yet the smell still won't go away!!! I then change my pants and add them to the washer. Then I took a shower. Finally the smell went away.


I hate ALL birds

(except woody woodpecker)

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Where I am

Life seems really challenging right now. I feel like I have so many decisions to make and think I keep screwing that up making the wrong ones. I also don't feel like I have too much control over certain parts of my life. So, I try to combat those thoughts with lines like, "I can make hard decisions!" , "This is not out of control or too much", "Jesus loves me, this will work out!", "I am capable, talented, smart, I need to be patient" and other don't-freak-out-Linda messages.

My favorite part is my difficulty sleeping. Last night I don't think I fell asleep until like 2:30 or so. Wouldn't be a big deal if I wasn't really really tired. So I lay there. THINKING!!! That is the worst!!! Too much time to be harassed by my own thoughts. But I'm proud of myself. I remember thinking that I have so many blessings, trying to focus on those. Honestly, I get kind of dramatic if it's 2am and I'm really tired. Everything get blown out of proportion and productive thinking stops. Hence my pride in wanting to recognize my blessings and not focus on everything that sucks. Problem was that when I tried to think of my blessings not much came...enter my dramatic limited productive thinking in the early morning hours. Luckily, I fell asleep (although I had some crazy dreams!!! Jeez!!)

So I was thinking I'd start out this morning with some of the blessings I should have recalled last night...But now I don't really think that I want to.

See where I am!!!