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Tuesday, January 31, 2006

So I finally bought...

a digital camera. I've been wanting one for years, but could never justify the expense. Now I am the proud owner of an Olympus FE-100. I L-O-V-E this camera.

Craig, my go-to for all things technical, did an exemplary job of researching camera models for me over the phone on Sunday, when I called and told him what I was doing. I almost made the mistake and bought this camera instead, but Craigers helped me to see the error of my ways. Optical zoom is the way to go! :)

Last night, I loaded the software, but was too tired to really do anything past that. Besides, the Mac had been unplugged for a few days, and needed to charge. I'll do more with learning all of the software basics this weekend. The camera, I pretty much figured that out on my own. Did I mention how much I LOVE my new camera?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Alphabet Soup...

I must have seen this somewhere on someone elses blog. How long ago, who it was...well, I don't really know. I thought it was a cute idea, and I copied and pasted into word, applied my own answers, and then never followed up with posting. Today, I'm posting it, only because I have another idea for a posting to work on, but it may take a few days to get together. So, enjoy the letters of my life. I'm not making this a meme, but if you choose to do it, just let me know. I'm interested to see what kind of soup you make. :)

A is for Age – If you don’t know, I’m not telling you.

B is for Booze – Captain Morgan and Diet Coke with a wedge of lime.

C is for Career – Payroll Professional (though I should be more HR focused)

D is for Dad’s name – I call him Dad.

E is for Essential items to bring to a party –Wait! There’s a party?!? Was I invited?

F is for Favorite article of clothing- any of my fuzzy warm sweaters.

G is for Goof off thing to do – Read Lucky and Cosmo Magazines, watch cheesy made for TV movies on WE and Oxygen, shop for handbags, read blogs of complete strangers, chat on yahoo (used to be hang at the mall with JoDee, drink coffee from Nordstroms café, and watch vain walk in and out of Louis Vuitton and Cartier.)

H is for Hometown – You couldn’t find it on a map—so no need to mention it here.

I is for Instrument you play – Trumpet and French Horn.

J is for Jam or Jelly you like - Homemade Blackberry Jelly I make with my mom during the summer.

K is for Kids – I had a fish named Ralphie, but he died.

L is for Living arrangement – Alone.

M is for Music I like – Anything on the radio, especially rock from 60’s-90’s, and newer alternative

N is for Name of your first pet – Sprout.

O is for overnight hospital stays – Three days for tonsil removal @ age 8.

P is for Phobias – Spiders……and more spiders.

Q is for Quote you like – Yeah, I’m not the type that can come up with a witty quote on the spur of the moment.

R is for Reason for Blogging – because I believe that everyone has the same voyeuristic tendencies that I do.

S is for Siblings – One younger brother.

T is for Texas, ever been? Nope.

U is for Unique trait – I’m right handed but use my mouse with the left…and wear my watch on the wrong side, too. I’m also tongue-tied, have dimples, attached earlobes, blue eyes, and cute feet. I’m confusion personified.

V if for Vegetable you love – All of them, even okra.

W is for Worst traits – curse like a sailor(though this has toned down a bit unless I'm REALLY angry), bite my nails, waste money on frivolous items, and sometimes tailgate other drivers (which I actualy don't do as much of lately either. Virginia has sapped all of the Michigan out of me).

X is for X-Rays you’ve had – Broken arm @ 6, car accident @ 16, twisted ankle @ 17, car accident @ 24, strained Achilles tendon @ 25, car accident @ 26.

Y is for Yummy food you make – the BEST baked mac and cheese, lasagna, vegetable beef soup, and homemade chicken BBQ.

Z is for Zodiac sign – Leo.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Call of the Wild...

They come every January, in packs of two or three, until their numbers overwhelm the others that come here alone. They stalk the floor, sometimes with purpose, often without, flipping their flowing tails of hair, and communicating earnestly with the others in their pack. They advance to places they can walk together, making it impossible for the loners to walk, too. Who am I talking about? Why, none other than the “New Year Resolutioners” that descend on my gym every January.

The gym is a cyclical beast. January and February, the numbers swell and every treadmill and step-machine is filled, while previously empty aerobics classes are packed so tight that sardines have more room to move in their cans. There is never a good time to go to the gym, as it is always busy.

I try to stagger my times, but no matter—I cannot escape these perfectly coiffed minions of Hell. They come in their skinny midriff tank tops and pink velour pants with the waist band rolled down to show off their fake-n-bake tans and rhinestone belly-button rings. The hair is always pushed into a perfectly placed, yet perfectly messy ponytail. Their shoes are always new, and coordinate to both the pink AND rhinestones. They always have an Ipod strapped to their arms or waistbands, the white ear bud cords attempting to establish some sort of hierarchy and sense of belonging for those who are in the first few weeks of membership.

I hate these girls, or posers, if I may. I know their type-I see it every year. Eventually, the novelty of sweating wears thin, and they flake away like peeling paint, leaving the gym to those of us who have established a long-term relationship with our favorite machines, favorite instructors, and favorite personal trainers. Those of us who come regularly don’t match our workout clothes, nor do we have bottles of water perpetually attached to our right hands. The music we listen to comes from the in-house stereo being used for whatever class is in session, as we don’t really care that we have the “perfect” song on our Mp3 player in order to focus on that burn achieved from the 5lb arm weights that were picked up and then quickly discarded in favor of the 1lb weights, which were then discarded for a healthy swig of water from the bottle, because honestly, picking up those weights was QUITE A WORKOUT.

The long-timers—we are a patient bunch. We will wait you out while you sit on a machine for 10 minutes reading a magazine between sets of reps. We will use another machine while you struggle to figure out the keypad on the machine we would use if you weren’t on it. We’ll give you time to fail at the advanced step-class, because you are a beginner and you don’t know the routines, nor do you have the stamina to last in a 45 minute class. We know that you will be gone soon. Your resolutions will soon be forgotten, and we can go back to working out in peace, far from your perfume and sparkles.

After all, we are here to sweat.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Oops, I forgot number 8...

8. Isaac Mizrahi bugs me. The first time I saw the show, I thought, "huh, this is different." The second time, I was kind of like, "huh, isn't this alot like the first show." Now, if I turn on Style Network and he's on (which seems to be ALL THE FREAKING TIME), I click right past it. His flamboyant, overly flaming language and gestures irritate me. At first it was entertaining--now it's just annoying.

Aisha posed the question of why I liked the movie Hidalgo, as she found it stereotypical of Middle Easterners (I'm assuming culture wise). To be honest, I didn't pay that much attention to the movie in that respect--after all, it was a movie about a horse.

As a young girl (as most young girls), I grew up wanting a horse. I drew horses, I dreamed of horses, and I never owned one. Even though we had a farm, I never had my own horse, but the woman on the next farm over took me on her horse once when I was about 5. It was awesome. From that point on, I begged to go to any summer camp that offered horseback riding as an activity. I was lucky that my parents sent me to camp nearly every summer with either the Girl Scouts or 4-H, so I did get to ride. Of course, I haven't been on the back of a horse since I was probably 11 or so.

Watching the movie was, honestly, all about the horse. It reawakened those long ago feelings of flying willy-nilly accross the plains, wind whipping your hair back, the galloping hooves thudding into your very soul dreams I used to have.

Personally, I thought that the portrayal of the Middle Eastern culture in this movie was much nicer, more beautiful, and rooted in history than what is usually conveyed by the cinema. Of course, this movie is a historical account of one person, and perhaps a bit one-sided, however, I would much rather see the Middle East portrayed as a thing of beauty and history than as the stereotypical image of it today, which is full of war and bombs and death.

Hope this posting doesn't cause offense to anyone!

Monday, January 16, 2006

Random thoughts for a scattered day...

Just some randomness that I've been meaning to write about since last week, and haven't posted yet.

1. I like sushi, as long as there's no fish involved. Bring on the sticky rice and soy sauce.

2. Hugh Jackman has reestablished his hotness factor for me after watching X-Men and X-Men II. He made me swoon in Kate and Leopold, and melt in Van Helsing, but I never knew the power of a mutant until now. I never understood why people were so obsesed with this storyline, but now I have seen the light. It's the British accent factor. Oh yeah, JoDee--he goes on the list!

3. My bookclub chose "Memoirs of a Geisha" for our next meeting. Everyone I've spoken to who has read it say's it's pretty good. I guess I'll find out more towards the end of February when I'll read it. Last bookclub, I read the book 3 weeks before we met, and in the meantime, I read 4 more books, so I couldn't remember alot of details about the assignment. This time, I'll wait a while.

4. Richmond weather is weird. It was so warm last week (pushing upper 60's/low 70's last week), cold front and tornado watches Saturday night, and Sunday was cold. Now the week is warming back up to upper 60's by Friday. I hate it when the weather wreaks havoc on my wardrobe.

5. I have a weather change migrain right now, since there's a warm front moving in tonight. Whenever the makes drastic temperature change (usually from cold to warm), I get these headaches. It sucks, and no amount of Excedrine migraine and Coke will alleviate the pain or the resulting nausea.

6. I finally made it back to the gym on Saturday after an almost 6 week haitus. I was able to get back into my weight training/cardio routine with just small modifications to build back up to where I was prior to the holidays. My calves and thighs are slightly sore, but otherwise, I feel pretty good.

7. I watched Hidalgo and Christmas with the Cranks over the weekend. Hidalgo was very good, although I was afraid I would cry because I was sure that the damn horse would drop dead when he hit the ocean. He didn't--which I'm very happy about, because a dead horse is not a laughing matter. Christmas with the Cranks was funny--but the book was funnier.

7. (cont) I also watched Stephen Kings' 'Salems Lot and Dreamcatcher. When I was 14, I read 'Salems Lot (against the wishes of my mother who believed that Stephen King was evil), and though it did not stop me from reading his books (as my collection will show), I did sleep with a crucifix over my bed for the next 4 years (because you never know when a vampire will show up). In the made for TV movie starring Rob Lowe (king of the Lifetime mini-series), the story line isn't as scary as I imagined it to be. Dreamcatcher was stupid. I did NOT like it at all, even though it had that guy from Chasing Amy--not Ben Affleck, but the one that outlined the comics. You know who I mean. Is he that Earl guy on TV now?

Okay, I think that's enough ramblings for today. I hope that this week at work goes faster than last week. And that it rains soon so that my stupid headache will go away already.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

I "borrowed" this from Aisha...

And it was actually pretty theraputic. I'd be interested in seeing what some of my friends have to say for the same answers. If you decide to post, let me know so I can read you.

25 years ago: I was 4, and was happy and secure. I was also in my second year of pre-school at the Catholic Church, and thought that Father Tom was this elusive foreign giant with his black outfits and weird shirt collar. I had a pet chicken named Blackie that I carried around under my arm, wore bibs emblazoned with Hee Haw, and was never without a pair of cowgirl boots. I loved riding the tractor with my PawPaw, and was afraid of the big red bull named Curly.

20 years ago: I was 9. I played Little League baseball, was in the Glee club, played trumpet in the school band, and began the transformation into shy and overweight.

15 Years ago: I was 14, and in my freshman year of high school. I was in band, played softball, struggled with Algebra, and my great-aunt had a stroke right before Christmas. The next two years were spent helping my parents to care for her, along with dealing with the angst of normal teenage life. Life sucked, and I hated everything—including myself.

10 Years ago: I was 19, and was almost done with my Associates Degree. I came out of my high school shell, and became an awesome student. I worked as a tutor, and generally had a lot of fun with my two friends, Chris and Lisa. I was also clueless about who I was, or what I wanted out of life. This is also the year I discovered the Internet, and realized there was a WHOLE WORLD outside of the tiny area I lived in. Both of my grandparents died, and I began making plans to leave.

5 years ago: I was 24, and had been out of University for about 2 years. I was living in Michigan, visited my parents 2-3 times a year, had a rather kewl apartment, and was in my first full time job. Life was pretty good—I had great friends I met in college, a little bit of money, and independence. I had reinvented myself, and was pretty happy with the results.

3 years ago: I was 26, have moved two more times, and was living in Belleville. I liked it there, after the initial adjustment. I was losing weight by going to the gym A LOT. I was working on an MBA, and excited about being in JoDee and Craigs’ wedding. I was also laid off from my job of three years. Six months later (still unemployed), the depression started setting in.

1 year ago: I was 28, and had been living in Virginia for about 6 months. I had a job, but no money, and no one to go anywhere with. I knew how to get from work to my apartment and back. I wasn’t planning to be here very long, so I never unpacked from the move, preferring to live out of boxes to eliminate packing in what I thought was the very near future.

This year: I turned 29. I hung curtains in my apartment, and I bought a rug. I put up pictures on the wall, and began to accept that no wonderful magic job offer would appear and sweep me away from Virginia and put me back in the lap of my friends. I joined some social events, and am making an effort to find a niche here. I let go of the anger and hatred, and began to embrace the good things about living in Richmond. I might not belong here, but at least I can almost find my way around now.

Yesterday: I worked late. I ate healthy. I spent $40.00 at Target, and watched “How Do I Look” when I got home, followed by Full House, Fresh Prince, and Roseanne. I slept.

Today: I got up and came to work. I sat in traffic for about 10 minutes at a stoplight (this is Richmond rush-hour). I’ve solved problems, surfed some Internet, drank a CF Diet Coke, and composed this posting. I don’t know what else yet, as I still have quite a few hours to go. I'm supossed to meet with the book club tonight, and there will be sushi involved.

Tomorrow: I’ll be at work (small scheme). Tomorrow (grand scheme), it’s too soon to tell. I’ll let you know when I find out myself. Hopefully it includes travel (to Europe *fingers crossed*), a highly satisfying career path, and love. We’ll see…:-)

Monday, January 09, 2006

Weird things about me...

I know that I already posted the five "weird" things about me, but this weekend, I realized that I missed some things that I do so often, I don't even CONSIDER them weird.

For example--

I ALWAYS shake the milk before I pour a glass. I'm afraid it separates, and if I don't shake it, it's like ketchup--I'll just get this horrible milk water instead of milk.

I always do things for the right side of my body before the left--like putting in the right contact lense before the left, or putting on my right sock before the left.

I am right handed, but I use my mouse with my left hand and wear a watch on my right.

After seeing "The Ring" when it came out, I was unable to walk past a turned off TV set without kind of getting a running start--just in case I had to outrun the freaky dead girl. Even now, if I'm at home, I have the television on (usually muted) just to keep evil from using it as a portal.

Friday, January 06, 2006

It's been a while since I've been tagged...

but Tee has placed the crown on my head, and encouraged me to show my true self to all of bloggerdom.

"The first player of this game starts with the topic five weird habits of yourelf and people who get tagged need to write an entry about their five weird habits as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose the next five people to be tagged and link to their web journals."

1. I love striking matches for the smell of burning sulphur. When I was a kid, I had a tiny little problem of liking to light things on fire. Nothing serious like pyromania, I just like fire.
2. I am addicted to Bonnie Bell Lip Smackers. I have them everywhere, and buy them in the 3-packs. I can't stand for my lips to be dry. I don't like Chapstick, because lip gloss should taste good.
3. I am a water snob. I do not drink tap water unless it's been filtered, and I prefer name brand bottled water like Deer Park and Evian (and Fiji if it's available). I do NOT like Dasani or Aquafina--disgusting. If I am forced to purchase water other than Deer Park or Evian, I would rather have a store brand over Dasani or Aquafina.
4. I constantly apply hand lotion during the day. Everytime I wash my hands, the first thing I do is slather on lotion. I keep hoping that at some point my hands will look nice, soft, and manicured, but they still look big and rough.
5. I will not wear sandals unless I have nail polish on my toes and my heels have been scrubbed free of callouses. I have a bit of a foot fetish for my own feet, and honestly, sometimes I think they could possibly be my best physical feature. I treat my feet better than my hands, as I never polish my fingernails.

Ok, I know, I know--I'm a Super Freak, right? Yeah, well, whatever. I can't help it that Tee posted 4 weird things about herself that also apply to me and MY weird habits. I couldn't repeat--what fun would that be?

Anyways, I guess I have to tag someone to do this now. Hmmm....Looking at my sidebar, not many to choose from, so I guess Craig, JoDee, ummmmmm....well, okay, how about this....IF you want to be tagged, let me know, and it will be done. Honestly, I don't know many people in bloggerland, so feel free to steal from me and post your own weird habits. And don't rat me out that I didn't tag 5 people.


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Reflections of 2005...

As 2006 begins, I'm tempted to look back at 2005, and see the things I accomplished, the things I didn't, and how I generally feel about it. All in all, 2005 wasn't the best year of my life--nor was it the worst. On the grand scale of 0(sucks) to 10 (yay), 2005 has garnered a 5 (meh) rating.

Here are a list of my 2005 accomplishments:
1. I finally hung curtains in my apartment. This is itself is monumental, as I have had numerous apartments over the past 6 years or so, and I have never put up curtains before.
2. I took my first trip by plane from Richmond to Detroit. I have fallen in love with air travel.
3. I have renewed and strengthened my relationship with my parents, since I moved from 10 hours away to a mere 3 hours away. My brother, on the other hand, is still a work in progress.
4. I lost a little over 5lbs of fat and gained muscle mass. I can also run 3 miles in 30 minutes at level 4 on the eliptical machine at the gym.
5. I have discovered that anger takes alot of energy, and have chosen to make the best of my circumstances. I sleep better, I am more calm, and I accept that change is good--whether we want to change or not.

Although I am not a resolutioner, I am setting forth my expecations for 2006. As people recognize, they are pretty much the same expectations I set forth at the beginning of every year. Sometimes, I make good, sometimes I don't--it's all in the effort to achieve them that counts.

In 2006, I will:
1. Attempt to eat healthier, and maintain a regular gym regimen of 4x a week.
2. Continue to try to meet new friends through the joining of extra-cirricular activities like the book club I joined, the social club of other Richmond transplants I met, and expanding my Letterboxing endeavors.
3. Take at least one trip by plane to somewhere.
4. Become less of a packrat and eliminate clutter from my life (and apartment).

It's not alot to accomplish, but I think that these are all attainable goals.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2006!