Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
This weeks topic: 10 Superstitions, Traditions, and or Personality Quirks ( I don't think of myself as very superstitious so I will go with the tradition and personality quirk options here)
1. Tradition: Every Christmas we get new pajamas from Mrs. Claus for the whole family and open them on Christmas eve.
2. Personality Quirk: When drinking pop from a bottle, I always screw the cap on after taking a sip. This is annoying to me sometimes but it does save on spillage.
3. Tradition: Take the boy out for breakfast when after we pick him up from the sitters when I have been away at school.
4. Tradition: stopping for Baskin Robbins 31 flavors when we go to the city, to satiate(temporarily) my spouses need for "REAL" chocolate ice cream.
5.Tradition: I go to school out of town and when I return I pick up a pizza on my way out of town so we can have decent pizza for supper once in a while.
6. Personality Quirk: I have a song for everything imaginable. Sometimes I surprise myself with the songs I know. I think the one time I have been completely stumped was for a "poodle" but I could have sung "How much is that doggie in the window"
7. Personality quirk: I love fire. Matches, lighters, candles. If it burns I like it and I like to play with it.
8. Tradition: When I was growing up my family didn't have lots of extra cash on hand. Our birthdays were made in to HUGE "Special" days by my mom and they are still one of my favorite days of the year. We would all gather in mom and dad's room before dad went to work and everyone would sing happy birthday. We would get five chocolate bars - one for each kid in the family maybe? I still don't think my birthday is complete without my morning song from my parents and five chocolate bars.
9. Personality quirk: I love to pick. I think it is more of an obsession than a personality quirk.
10. Tradition: A few years ago I had the opportunity to go to Singapore when my nan was there. My parents are very active, they walk a LOT. My dad loves to shop (me - not so much). I think in the time I was there I walked at LEAST a hundred miles. As we would walk along my nan would call out to me in a loud voice "I love you Julie" and I would reply " I love you nana". It didn't matter if we were on escalators, at the zoo, in the line at a buffet or walking down the street. When I saw her again in Canada we picked up where we left of on this tradition of ours. Nan of course, has passed, but this is a memory of her I will cherish.
Monday, April 28, 2008
If you get something out of a vending machine, it's most likely the: Coke
A word you sometimes catch yourself misspelling: neice or niece?
You least want people to see you as: Boring
You're a little scared of: Needles
The least attractive thing you do in your sleep: Snore
The number of contacts in your cell phone: 27
How many of them are restaurants: 0
You lose your cool when someone: Swears at me
When you go to the drugstore, you often can't leave without buying: baby formula
Your dance moves can best be described as: funky
The majority of your underwear is: boxer shorts
Something you eat even though you hate how bad it is for you: cinnamon buns
You think you're really not a great: runner
How much cash is in your wallet right now: $zero
The majority of your shoes are this color: brown I think
You don't think you'll ever be able to get rid of your: extra chin
If your breath is bad, it's most likely because you had the: Garlic
You feel embarrassed when you: get my debit card declined in the line at the grocery store
The last public place where you used the restroom: work
Something you don't like to debate in mixed company: my in-laws politics
You don't think you can pull off wearing: bikini
Something you own entirely too much of: thread
Someone you would love to see in concert who might bring down your street cred: Celine Dion The last thing that you spilled on yourself: ketchup
If you were on a reality show, the producers would likely portray/characterize you as the: Funny one - or the gay one
There was this function for sponsors of an event on campus and they needed someone there to "supervise". Enter moi. They asked me to be there and gave me an official invitation. In the true spirit of the event I wore a skirt and shaved my legs.
I am not a drinker of wine, and really, I couldn't drink anyway because of the capacity in which I was attending the event, but I LOVE cheese. So I figured it was a pretty sweet deal, me and cheese. Well, what a complete disappointment. Again, I have never attented a wine and cheese function so I don't have anything to judge it by, but I expected cheese. All different kinds of it, sizes and shapes and textures and teeny tiny little sticks that you aren't supposed to use for toothpicks but I end up doing anyway. There was none of it. I don't want to mislead you and say there was NO cheese, but there was two plates, one of fruit and one of sausage and a miniscule amount of cheddar chunks. I'm not crapping on cheddar here. I like cheddar, but people, I SHAVED MY LEGS FOR THIS EVENT. At the VERY least they could have provided some Havarti.
You might think that's all I have to say on the topic, but you are mistaken. Sausage. I don't think its a good idea to serve sausage at a wine and cheese function, especially great big HUGE chucks of sausage as thick and as long as my thumb. Now I'm all for sausage, but when you are meeting and greeting corporate sponsors, there isn't really a gracious way to eat large hunks of meat, and if you do manage to get it down, and someone comes in for the hug or two cheek kiss, there's nothing like garlic breath to enhance the embrace. Someone needs to inform the people who make these trays of food, and who also have apparently never been to a wine and cheese social, that sausage is ok, just make it smaller, and please, please, please use little toothpick things. A bowl of mints in the middle of the tray isn't a bad idea either.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
This week me and the boy came in to the office to hang for a while and pass some time. When the weather is bad in our neck of the woods, there is precious little to do indoors and I was trying to be creative. (obviously my creativity is lacking)
He didn't seem to mind at all and checked out everything in his reach, white out rollers are just fascinating!
This is considered to be the "most controversial" of Dr. Seusses books, where a Once-ler comes in and cuts down all the trees, pollutes the area and leaves a desolate, smog filled no man's land.
I would compare it to Micheal Moore's documentary "Roger and Me" where General Motors turns Flint Michingan into a ghost town.
I enjoy Dr. Seuss and I wasn't disappointed in this book. I can see why big industry would react to it, but the message is certainly as applicable today as it was in 1971 when it was published.
It is the true story of a 14 year old boy who trys to commit suicide by setting himself on fire and then his journey back to "normal" entry to high school.
The style is quick and easy to read but the topic can be difficult to get through. Basically it is Brent's internal dialogue through the year after attempting to set himself on fire. It was definitely an interesting read, but it had been reviewed in Publishers weekly as "intense, insightful, celebrating life and expressing hope." (Sept.) " Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
I don't know if I was reading something different than the reviewers were, but I didn't find it at all to be celebrating life. I found it to be depressing, and thought it showed gaping holes in the medical profession and in the rehabilitation of youth who are suicidal. It was a realistic portrayal of the frustration and the "hollowness" I think many people experience when dealing with the mental health field.
Having said that, it was an interesting read, not really motivational if that's what you are looking for, but something worth picking up if you are interested in passing the time.
Friday, April 25, 2008
2. I love to BBQ when the flowers bloom and it heats up outside!
3. Oh no! The internet connection is down, AGAIN.
4. I don't know what is the craziest tv show ever.
5. Cheese and tacos make a great meal!
6. My spouse plans and maintains the most beautiful garden.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to getting done with a LONG day of work, tomorrow my plans include getting out of town and Sunday, I want to do anything but be back at work where I have to be!
Thursday, April 24, 2008
1 Measure of a Man. Sidney Poitier
2. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Barbara Kingsolver
3. A Long Way Gone. Ishmael Beah
4. Spycatcher. Peter Wright
5. The Places in Between. Rory Stewart (completed January 19th 2008)
6. Infidel. Ayaan hirsi Ali
7. Glass Castle.
Young Adult Fiction
1. The Canning Season. Polly Horvath
2. Godless. Pete Hautman
3. Autobiography of my Dead Brother. Walter Dean Myers
4. The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Brian Selznick
5. The Burn Journals. Brent Runyon (completed April 26 2008)
Pulitzer Prize Winners
1. Middlesex. Jeffrey Eugenides (Completed January 21st 2008)
2. Gilead. Marilynne Robinson (Completed January 13th 2008)
From the NYT Bestseller list. (I don't want to limit myself to books that have already been written. There might be some good ones published this year)
1. Bleeding Kansas. Sarah Paretsky. #15 January 13 2008
Banned or "challenged" books
1. Go Ask Alice
2. The Lorax. Dr. Seuss (Completed April 24 2008)
3. The Well of Lonliness
4. Steal This Book. Abbie Hofmann
Books already on my Bookshelf
1. I am counting these three books as one. They were already on my shelf and I had never read them but they are young adult books (and totally predictable).
Gordon Korman. Island: Book one "Shipwreck" (completed February 1 2008)
Gordon Korman. Island: Book two "Survival" (completed February 1 2008)
Gordon Korman. Island: Book Three "Escape" (completed February 1 2008)
Books based on or in Africa
Books I will check out from the library
1. Saturday. Ian McEwan (completed January 27 2007)
2. Eat, Pray, Love. Elizabeth Gilbert (completed February 16 2008)
3. The Translator: A Tribesman's Memoir of Darfur. Daoud Hari (completed February 18 2008)
4. Biting the Moon. Martha Grimes (completed March 25 2008)
5. The Calling. Inger Ash Wolfe (completed March 29 2008)
6. Written in Bone. Simon Beckett (completed March 31 2008)
7. 19 Minutes. Jodi Picoult (Completed April 21 2008)
8. The Darkest night of the Year. Dean Koontz (completed May 7 2008)
This week is the first time that Thursday Thirteen has given a topic to write about. I don't think I will always follow the topics, but tonight, because I am feeling a little brain dead and not very original at all I will follow the theme. Thirteen places I have visited that I would recommend.
1. Pike Place Market, Seattle Washington.
I lived in Washington for over 2 years and I loved it. Anyone who goes to Washington needs to check out the market. I know there will be a few more Washington sites on this list also.
2. Washington D.C.
I have been to DC a few times and I love the museums and memorials there. There's a ton of history and I could have spent a lot more time there than I did. It is one place I would like to go with my spouse.
The tulip festival is worth going to even if you DON'T like flowers. It simply amazing to look at mile upon mile of fields of blossoming tulips.
One thing I never managed to do was to take a hot air balloon ride, but one day I will make it back for the ride.
4. Jurong Bird Park. Singapore.
I went to visit with family in Singapore and we travelled all over and looked at many things. I loved every minute of my time there. One of the highlights was the bird park.
5. Singapore Zoo, Singapore.
I am not typically a fan of the zoo as I don't like to see animals out of their natural habitat and all that weird freaky stuff as if I am some kind of animal lover. ANYWAY. The Singpoare zoo is AMAZING and keeps all of the animals separated by natural boundaries so you don't look at them through cages etc. I would recommend it even to non zoo lovers.
6. Alpine Slide, Park City, Utah
The Alpine slide is a fun little ride that you never really hear much about. If you are in Park City in the summer its a cheap thing to check out and lots of fun - only minimal risk of road rash.
7. Hershey, PA
I was a young teen when I went to Hershey Pennsylvania and in spite of being "too cool" for my own good I had a great time in Hershey PA. I even enjoyed the tour of the Hershey factory, and I admit, I'm not generally good on tours.
Lake Louise, AB Canada
You can't really get to Lake Louise without going through some of the rest of the Rockies which is partly what makes it so spectacular. We like to go to Banff and Jasper and every time we drive through we stop at Lake Louise. One day we may even stay there. It is fantastically beautiful and worth just a stop for a photo opportunity.
9. Disneyland, Anaheim CA
I am such a kid at heart. I think that Disneyland is one of the happiest places on earth and I love to go there and just "experience the magic". Believe me I know ALL about the consumerism and the marketing and the ploy, but I can still walk in and leave the rest of the world behind for a day.
10. Heber Creeper, Heber City, UT
The Heber Valley Railroad is an operating steam strain which travels up and down the Provo canyon and through the Heber Valley. They put on all different kinds of events, we only went on the train ride but it would be fun to go back for a murder Mystery train ride or the Christmas train ride.
11. Memphis, TN
I had the opportunity to go to Memphis for work. I took the opportunity but I wasn't all that interested in the destination until we got there. We went to Graceland and to the Human Rights Museum. I am not even a fan of Elvis but Graceland was very cool to visit. I don't think anyone needs to be a fan to go there and enjoy the experience.
12. New Orleans, Louisiana
I have not been to New Orleans since the levees broke, but I was there a few years prior and had a good time. The food was great, and the sights and sounds worth checking out. I would absolutely return if I had the opportunity.
13. I haven't put anything on here about Africa. For those of you who know me you will know that my heart is always in Africa. It will forever be "home" to me. Right now the political situation in Zimbabwe is such that I would not recommend anyone travel there, but if this lifetime grants the opportunity for any of you to go there - take it. Maybe I will be there to greet you.
This week is the first time that Thursday Thirteen has given a topic to write about. I don't think I will always follow the topics, but tonight, because I am feeling a little brain dead and not very original at all I will follow the theme.
Thirteen places I have visited that I would recommend.
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Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Now I know that you are all fascinated by this topic.
I do actually find it interesting that the lizards are evolving as fast as they have. I have recently completed some masters classes in statistics and so I have become a little more skeptical about the things that I read and this article made me laugh.
Here is the link to the article and here is an excerpt:
"Along with the ability to digest plants came the ability to bite harder, powered by a head that had grown longer and wider."
So I want to know, who was the "bite tester"? OK little lizard, bite down on this. WOW that's amazing, you bit harder than you did last year when I stuck my finger in your mouth. What? You can bite harder than that?
It gives new meaning to the phrase "bite me".
Check out some info at this link.
I am not a fan of Star Jones. When she started as a host of The View I thought she brought an interesting perspective to the table because she was a lawyer. Over the years her "law" opinions seemed to wane and in my opinion she transformed into a whiny, self righteous person with few comments I found of value.
My opinion of her deteriorated further when 1) she denied having surgery to reduce her weight and 2) used her position as a host of the View to plug for "sponsors" of her over the top, lavish wedding.
So now she has filed for divorce. I don't go around wishing that people would get divorced, but HA.
Have you ever…
(X) Gone on a blind date (K - theres a really weird story behind this. I was dating this girl - only we weren't "DATING" according to her, so she set us both up on dates with dudes. The guy I went with was a TOTAL loser, and I'm not just saying that cause I'm a homo. I am stll confused about why she needed to set us up with dudes - then again - she did get married)
(x) Skipped School (I'm pretty sure I have but it stresses me out so I can't imagine I did it much)
( ) Watched someone die
(x) Been to Canada
(x) Been to Mexico
( ) Been to Florida (but I will this summer!)
(x) Been on a plane
(x) Been lost
(x) Been on the opposite side of the country (which country?)
(x) Gone to Washington , DC
(x) Swam in the ocean
(x) Cried yourself to sleep
( x) Played cops and robbers
(x) Recently colored with crayons
(x) Sang Karaoke ….
(x) Paid for a meal with coins only
(x) Done something you told yourself you wouldn’t?
(x) Made prank phone calls
(x) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose - or other places!
(x) Caught a snowflake on your tongue
(x) Danced in the rain
(x) Written a letter to Santa Claus
(x) Been kissed under the mistletoe
(x) Watched the sunrise with someone you care about
(x) Blown bubbles
(x) Gone ice-skating
(x) Been skinny dipping outdoors
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
1. My spouse is FINALLY a landed immigrant.
1) What would hurt more: seeing your best friend make out with your ex or Finding out that your ex never liked you?
I don't think my ex ever liked me anyway.
2) When was your last alcoholic drink?
When I went for lunch with my class I had a shot of tequila.
3) Where do you live?
In a house with a 30 year mortgage.
4) What’s the weirdest spot you’ve let someone lick on you?
Lesbians don't think its a wierd spot :)~
5) How many friends do you have?
In this town? Three?
6) Did you speak to your mother today?
Not yet, but she gets to my brothers tonight and I will probably call later.
8)Star wars or star trek?
9) At this very moment what should you be doing?
Returning phone calls
10) How many months until your birthday?
a few more
12) Last person who called you?
Security phoned me at 4 am and again at 4:13 AM this morning. They are supposed to call me for emergencies. What they consider an emergency is NOT what I consider an emergency. ARG.
13) What are you listening to?
14) What color is your hair?
Half blonde and time for a dye job
15) What is the last movie you watched?
16) Are you mentally disabled?
I am memory challenged. I don't remember things I should
17) Who’s bothering you right now?
Surprisingly, no-one, but it won't be long.
18) What makes you happy?
My son, my dogs getting excited when I come home. Nyx sitting on my lap and purring. Music, Good T.V. , Winning a PS2 game, when someone comments on my blog.
19) Would you kiss the last person you kissed again?
20) When was the last time you talked to one of your siblings?
I spoke to my brother Sunday and I will probably talk to him again today.
21) Are you happy?
22) Do you miss someone?
23) Have you ever dated a cheerleader/football player and for how long?
I dated a football player and we were engaged for a while.
24) Do you think you could last in a 3 month relationship
I am currently in an 11 year relationship so three months is NOTHING.
26) How good is Coca-Cola?
Not so good recently. Everytime I drink coke recently it tastes like diet coke. Something is seriously wrong because I am not finishing any coke I start. Maytime to give up?
27) Do you drink alcohol?
Since I started in my masters program I have a tequila shot when we all go to lunch every few weeks. Can't say I am a fan of the tequila shot.
28) How old are you?
Over 13,000 days
30) Do you have a dry erase board in your room?
I have a dry erase calendar in my office
31) What does it say?
It has the days of the month on it
32) How was your day, what’d you do?
I got up early, let the dogs out, gave my son a bottle and changed his diaper, drove to work...
33) Are you hungry?
No, but I am eating blueberries
34) What is on your desk right now?
Binders, a laptop, keys, holepunch, stapler, desk calendar, day planner, APA format book, Wrestling posters, pens, forms I need to fill out..
35) When’s the last time you cleaned your room?
Yesterday I picked up the clothes next to my bed
36) Last compliment you received?
I was complimented TWICE on the shirt I am wearing today and that it brings out the color in my eyes.
37) What’s your favorite animal?
38) Are you mad at someone right now?
39) Are you taking anyone for granted?
I'm trying hard not to take anyone for granted.
40) Where do you keep your money?
In the bank
41) When was your last kiss in the rain?
Why kiss in the rain? It's cold and wet.
42) How did you wake up this morning?
Zuva woke me to let her out to go to the bathroom.
43) Which is more romantic: sunrise or sunset?
Sunset, since I like to be sleeping when the sun is coming up and me asleep is not very romantic.
44) Quick say a verse from any song:
I'm gonna wrack my mind one last time until I cannot think,
I'm gonna dip into my memory and take a good stiff drink
and when I'm drunk on the last thoughts of sadness about how we went wrong
I'm gonna play this song
drink some coffee black and strong
give thanks for healing time
and finally make up my mind
these are the last tears Im gonna cry for you
my cryings through
Im moving on
45) What’s the last bone you broke?
46) How many letters are in your last name?
47) What book did you read last?
19 minutes by Jodi Picoult
48)What are you excited about?
My mom coming to visit, the summer.
50) Do you have any tattoos or piercing?
Both, and the newest piercing is not healing nicely and it hurts right this second.
51) How do you walk?
Apparently on the outsides of my feet because thats where my shoes wear out. My spouse says I have a very distinctive walk.
52) When was the last time you danced with a boy/girl?
I danced with my son in the kitchen this weekend and in the bathtub last night, yeah the bathtub.
53) When was the last time you were so drunk you threw up?
54) Do you curse a lot?
55) Do you hate your ex boyfriend/girlfriend?
Not as much as I probably should for being DUMPED
56) Do you drink bottled water?
57) Are you happier single or in a relationship?
I don't think I am exceptionally good at being alone.
58) Do you believe everyone deserves a second chance?
59) Most hated food?
Creatures from the ocean.
60) What is the status of you and your first love?
She is married, well she was married when I saw her in 1995 or 6. I haven't seen/heard about her in a LOT of years.
62) What’s your favorite song?
I LOVE lots of songs. Right this second I would have to say..... Come on Home by the Indigo Girls
63) What’s something you wish you could understand better?
Right now I wish I understood Stats better because I will be needing them for my classwork.
64) Would you say you date smart people?
I have dated some DUMB people but I try not to make a habit of it.
65) Have you lost friends in the past years?
66) Is life over for you?
Hopefully not. I'm only 13,000 days old
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Before I start this months letter to Max I just want to give a shout out to a friend.
I know a lot of people don't read this blog. In fact I think there may be three people who read it with any kind of regularity. One of those people is a friend from high school who is currently going through the process of adopting a child with her husband.
First of all , she and I had a great friendship in high school and for a few years following high school until we lost touch. We have recently reconnected (YAY FACEBOOK!) and I am loving having her "back" in my life.
My spouse and I know some of the pain of wanting a child and not being successful and now that we are going through the process of adoption I know the frustration of not having things work out in the way and in the time that we want them to. We went through a situation once of having a child "offered" to us and then everything fell through after we had made a mental and emotional commitment. It was rough and we still have some sadness over the incident. Having said that, we are EXTREMELY blessed that we already have Max in our lives and are not waiting for any more than paperwork (which we HOPE will come through without problems!) I just wanted to say to my friend, in the words of the Indigo Girls " I know love will come to you", you are in my thoughts and everytime that I sit to write a letter to my son, I think of you and pray that your child will arrive speedily, and that until that day comes I pray peace for your heart.
You turned 19 months old and it has been a crazy month. Earlier this week I was folding laundry with your mom and I couldn't believe how big your clothes are. You aren't the little baby who was too small to fit in anything we could find anymore. Your shirts are already sizes two and three and your feet are gargantuan.
We had a few days of really nice weather last week which turned out to be a curse because you apparently LOVE being outside and you don't care now that it is snowing with a windchill making the temperature dip below -15 degrees. You want to go OUT. That has made life a little bit hard on your mom these past few blustery days. Thank goodness you haven't yet figured out how to open the front door (not for lack of trying). I have had to rescue you already from some puddles which were a bit deeper than you realized before plunging in, but you remain undaunted. I just hope its a short and relatively mudless spring, but looking out the window tonight I think resistance is futile. (That was a science fiction reference for your mom's sake).
You have learned to zip and unzip, which means you are taking your clothing off a bit more frequently. The weather has made this a bit of a problem also - as illustrated by your BARE FEET in the photo above.
Which brings me to something I wasn't going to mention but here goes. When we met with the adoption supervisor she said that she understood our "hurry" to adopt you because we wanted to "start parenting you OUR way". I don't know exactly what that means, because we have parented you OUR way since the day we picked you up, and we will continue to do so until long past the time when you want us to anymore. That means I will be putting those shoes on everytime we leave the house, no matter how much you scream!
We are counting down the days until you meat your Granny Byrne. You did meet her once when you were three months old, but you haven't seen her since. Because we are taking a LONG road trip to pick her up we are VERY happy that your early negative experience in the car (translate: SCREAMING) seems to have passed. If not, granny can sit with you in the back on the trip home!
This month seems to have been one filled with a lot of good things. Mom figured out you like sweet pickles - HURRAH! - feeding you takes up a lot of time still as we try to negotiate around your allergies and your preferences. You are feeding yourself with both hands and doing WAY better at keeping the food on the fork or spoon as it heads to your mouth. For some reason you have decided that drinking babyfood is much more fun that using a spoon. We'd like to take you off the babyf ood but buddy, you don't eat ANYTHING, so corn casserole it is until we can figure out something else.
You are fascinated with all things electrical and related to the pets. I'm pretty sure you'll be hacking into computers before you can talk because you seem to know exactly what button to press to freeze everything or to start all kinds of programs running while I am trying to read email. Thanks for that. Now if only you could download some good movies for me in between moving the dog water back and forth across the kitchen floor and turning the dishwasher on and the lights off.
You still are having night terrors and while I hate that you wake up crying, I LOVE that you want to snuggle with me when I come to see what's happening. You are just SOOO big, but still my baby. Rest your head close to my heart, never to part, baby of mine.
- Questioning :: identity
- Immunity :: survivor
- Online dating :: fake photos
- Calcium :: strong bones
- Dressing :: Blue cheese
- Bucket :: There's a hole in my bucket
- Stain :: You left a stain on every one of my good days.
- Advanced :: degree
- Dramatic :: entry
- Self-medication :: Ibuprophen 800
Friday, April 18, 2008
I really feel as though my time working with youth changed me. Partially I think I matured just because I was getting older, but I learned some things while I was working in a facility with troubled youth. The actual work was something that really challenged me.
I was assigned to advocate for kids I didn't like and had to learn to put aside my personal feeling to be the best advocate I could be for them. I had to work with a team whose strategies were not always my own when it came to dealing with issues. I had to apologise when I was wrong and sometimes when I didn't think I was wrong. On one occasion I got into a huge fight with someone who I now consider to be a very dear friend - and it brought us closer. I wasn't the boss or in charge of anything - other that serving dinner, or supervising clean up or occasionally dispensing medications. I learned more about drugs and sexually transmitted diseases than I think I need to know to live my life.
I experienced the consequences of other peoples poor choices (being punched a few times by a kid MUCH larger than me because of another staff's poor decision) and I knocked the wind out of myself horribly sledding down a mountain trying to "keep up" with the kids on another occasion.
I laughed a LOT and even cried once or twice.
I had to learn to not take things personally, which was a huge challenge to overcome, but somehow I "got it". I was able to become a trainer for control techniques to use with out of control kids and there are some strategies I actually learned to apply to my life.
I certainly left feeling as though I had gained something from what I was doing, even if I don't know that I ever made a difference in any of the kids lives. It feels like I learned a lifetime worth of lessons in what now looks like such a short time spent there.
I got to be pretty good at ping pong.
I watched the twin towers fall with a room full of kids.
I saw Sunny Al Roker filming the weather at the Winter Olympics.
I had a chair thrown at me.
I had poo thrown at me.
I threw a massive tantrum on the floor in a bedroom and calmed down a kid who had been out of control for hours.
I once told a kid it was better to just go ahead and do drugs than to drink the bleach he was drinking to try and cover it up.
I played football.
I played basketball.
I went to comedy nights.
I folded a LOT of laundry.
I ate gross food.
I played a LOT of card games.
I taught anger management.
I taught positive control.
I went to conferences in cool locations.
I loved a boy who no-one else loved.
I heard of a youth dying a young and tragic death after "aging out" of a system which failed to meet her needs.
I gave a lot of lice treatments.
It became a huge part of my life and I am glad I was able to spend the time there when I did, with the people I did.
1. The last time I lost my temper I saw red, I saw red and then I closed the door! (thanks to Warrant for this song)
2. Cold freaking weather and windchill is what I'm fed up with!
3. The next book I'd like to read is The Lorax by Dr Seuss.
4. My mom coming to visit is what I'm looking forward to.
5. If you can't get rid of the skeleton[s] in your closet, nail the door shut and walk away!
6. The best thing I got in the mail recently was Curve Magazine that actually is my spouse's subscription.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to finishing my homework, tomorrow my plans include watching UFC and Sunday, I want to nap and hang the bedroom door!
Thursday, April 17, 2008
For all intents and purposes I am an indoor person. I like to read, sleep, watch tv and cross stitch, surf the web and do other things that keep me indoors.
My spouse on the other hand is an outdoor person. She would spend all day, every day outside if the weather permitted (I had to say weather permitting because some days where we live it is -50 degrees!)
This summer we are spending the first summer in our OWN (bank owned) home and 5 plus acres. I have been getting excited about all there is to do outside. Here are some things I am looking forward to doing this summer.
1. Planning my rock wall. I have always wanted to build a rock wall and never had anyplace to put it.
2. Planting bulbs, flowers, and a vege garden.
3. Pruning. I have enough trees to keep me pruning for a lifetime. I want to take a chainsaw safety course so I can bust out a chainsaw and so some serious cleaning up of deadwood on our property.
4. Mowing. We have a LOT to mow, and my spouse likes to do it also. I think we may need to get another mower because of all the stuff we have to mow, and to be realistic we need a ride on mower but I don't know if we will get that this year.
5. Painting the barn red.
6. Researching and installing a windmill for our dugout.
7. BURN PILE.
8. Just north of the barn there is a building which has collapsed. Currently there is a PILE of wood, tin, nails, and who knows what else. I want to clean up this pile.
9. Plant trees
10. Fix up the fire pit.
11. Start cleaning up the underbrush.
12. Starting on a fence around the dugout. We need to do this because of the little one we have who is FASCINATED with water and the fact that we are foster parents dictates that we have to have some kind of barrier around the dugout.
13. Underfilling the cement pad around the barn. Our barn used to be a dairy. There was a place where trucks could back rught up to the doors to load and unload. When the dairy closed they "backfilled" the holes but it was not done well and is a bit of a hazard.
2. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? no
3. What is your shoe size? boat sized
4. If you were a flower, What flower would you be? lilac?
5. What is your fave smell? I like a lot of smells. Fresh cut grass, BBQ, after the rain, vanilla
6. Which do your prefer scary movies Or happy endings? I don't even watch scary movies
7. Last movie you watched? Juno - LOVED IT!
8. Do you prefer hugs Or kisses? kissing
9. Favorite Dessert? probably biscuit pudding or vinegar pudding or milk tart. (My mom is visiting soon and I am regressing here to my childhood)
10. Look to your right, do you see a yellow color? no yellow to my right. Wait, which is my right?
I am doing this this week for the first time, if you are interesting in doing it for yourself, link to it here.
When we lived in Utah we were very spoiled because I worked within blocks of where I lived and even my spousal unit who had to travel to another city for her job was only on the road for 15-20 minutes. I have always lived and worked in close proximity and so having to drive was a turn off for me when we were looking for places to buy outside of town.
Time certainly changes perspective though. When we first arrived here and were looking at properties, we would follow the realtor to the various locations and all the way there and back we would comment on just how FAR away these places were. Our current abode (where we are paying a mortgage for the next 30 years) is FURTHER than some of the houses we declined because of "distance".
Now from my front door to my office takes me about 20 minutes if I am honoring all the traffic laws - by that I mean coming to a full stop at two stop signs. ( HA! To those of you who thought I meant speeding!)
One of the things I LIKE about my "commute" is that I get to listen to the radio at top volume and rock out. Unfortunately I have a limited choise of radio stations, no CD player and no tape deck and I don't listen to country music which further limits my options. We do have some pretty decent radio stations up here though and I flick back and forth between them.
I pride myself on knowing, and liking, a WIDE range of songs but yesterday when I got into tinkey winkey a song that just annoys me was playing which made me think this was a good topic to blog about.
Here are a few songs I just cannot stomach listening to, do you have any?
"Say" by John Mayer
Honestly, I wish he would have said what he needed to say in the first refrain and then STOPPED repeating himself. I want to say to him "QUIT IT".
"Tattoo" by Jordin Sparks
Sometimes the lyrics of a song just annoy me. This is one of those cases. Like a tattoo on my heart. Does that seem wierd to anyone else? I KNOW it's a metaphor, but it's a dumb one. You can't tattoo a heart people.
I don't really have a reason for hating this song. I just do.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
When I got home from work S asked if I would take the baby out so she could make supper and we could get some playtime in. We went outside for a while and played and shovelled more melting snow away from the house. Puddles have some kind of magnetic pull on the little man because he gravitates to them like moths to a flame. Of course I was wearing sandals again so I just "supervised" him in the water and didn't try to retrieve him.
We had supper, called and sang happy birthday to my niece, bathed and got M into bed. This is the time of day when I usually vege out. Once M is in bed I consider my day to be pretty much over. Not last night. Maybe S put something in the bacon?
I cleaned the bathroom (sans floor and tub), put some loads of laundry in, folded some loads of laundry, put together some lamps we bought for our very dark living room, put together the lamp shades (and spent some time wondering who comes up with the designs for these things anyway), and I hung a shelf in the living room for one of our plants. Seriously now. What came over me?
Oh RIGHT - I have a major paper due Saturday!
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Ten favorite Comedy movies. Here are mine in no particular order.
1. So I Married an Axe Murderer.
2. Happy Gilmore.
3. Dumb and Dumber.
4. Waynes World.
5. Tommy Boy.
6. Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
7. Princess Bride.
9. Austin Powers.
10. Monsters Inc.
Monday, April 14, 2008
What is your superpower?
Who are you most like in life?
I think I am a lot like my dad. I would in the past have said my mom because she is more expressive with her opinions etc, but recently I have been told I am "quiet" (who would ever have thought that word was used to describe me - I've come a long way from brownies where I was called "chatterbox"!)) and that I turn inward to deal with stress which is a lot like my dad. Both of my parents are workaholics so I get that from both of them. I watch tv like my dad and read like my dad. I also have a sense of direction like my dad. I don't like to shop like he does though.
Do people ever tell you you look like a celebrity?
When I was skinnier and had long hair people would tell me all the time I looked like Steffi Graf. That was a LONG time ago.
What are your views on weddings?
I have had one. They cost a lot of money and they are very stressful. I think the idea of gathering friends and family to celebrate a union is a cool idea. Someone should come up with a way that is less expensive and more meaningful. Weddings shouldn't be an "industry".
What was the last book you read?
The last book I read was by JA Jance and it was forgettable. I just finished "19 minutes" by Jody Picoult. I typically enjoy her books but this one for me was a downer. The topic was a school shooting. I don't know if I've just watched too much of that on tv or what, but it was extremely predictable and even the "twist" at the end I saw coming for days. I was disappointed in it.
My parents are my hero's.
What are five songs that would be on the soundtrack of your life?
I'm going to have to think about this for a while and get back to you.
Have you ever been burned?
What is your worst habit?
What is the best lesson your parents taught you?
I can do anything I set my mind to.
What are three things that hang on your walls?
Clock, Africa batik, too many mirrors.
Who do you think will actually WIN the presidency? Will it be the right choice?
I have a feeling it will be McCain but I wish it were a democratic nominee.
Is your bed made right now?
Yes, and there are probably at least two cats asleep on it
Do you do anything creative?
I used to draw, I have had some of my poetry published and I love cross stitch. None of which I am doing currently but I should start up again because I enjoy it.
In five years I will have my masters degree. If I could be anywhere, doing anything I would love to be running a bed and breakfast with my spouse and teaching.
Actually I don't do anything on Craigslist.
What is really the greatest thing about meeting someone new?
The potential of making a new friend. ( that was a cheesy answer. I don't really like meeting new people and when I do meet them I am not likely to make a new friend!)
If you didn’t have to work, would you?
Yes. I would work at least part time. I like working.
What are you doing to make less of an impact on the earth?
Probably not enough but my spouse recycles like mad and I married her so does that count?
Sunday, April 13, 2008
- Silence :: "Sounds of Silence" by Simon and Garfunkel
- Wall :: "Another Brick in the Wall" by Pink Floyd
- Killed :: "Video Killed the Radio Star" by the Buggles
- Wishful :: "King of Wishful Thinking" by Go West
- Poodle :: apparently noone has sung a song about poodles. I can't imagine why.
- Sullen :: "Sullen Girl" by Fiona Apple
- Do not disturb :: "Do not Disturb" by Bananarama
- Philadelphia :: "Streets of Philadelphia" by Bruce Springsteen
- Anticipation :: "Anticipation" by Carly Simon
- Sidewalk :: "Sidewalk talk" by Jeallybean featuring Madonna
Friday, April 11, 2008
2. Eggs over hard with the yolks broken, OJ, or a bacon egg and cheese mcmuffin are foods I love to eat for breakfast.
3. It seems I'm always searching for television remote controls.
4. Going to sleep is a great way to end the day.
5. I think I didn't get enough sleep last night!
6. Mexican food is what I've been craving lately.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to going to bed early, tomorrow my plans include getting out of the house and Sunday, I want to take a nap!
You can check out friday fill ins here.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I like to watch tv. I watch a lot of tv. One of the things I hate is watching a show, typically a pilot, which you watch just long enough to get into and then it all of a sudden disappears with no word from the network. No letter to my house saying, "We appreciate your support of our show but we will no longer be airing it. You will never know what happens to the characters or to the plot." Right up there on things that annoy me is when networks decided to change the night and time of a show I am following with the same lack of information about the change. Sometimes, just to REALLY get under my skin, they will end a season and not tell you that the series is ending. I think there's a room in hollywood, where producers meet to consider ways to mess with my mind. It works. Whoever they are I'd like to send them a letter....
Here are some of my favorite "disappearing shows"
1. Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip The writers from West wing write this GREAT script. I know that there was a lot of mixed reviews of the show, but I just appreciate good writing. West Wing was another loss (in my opinion) from the tv lineup.
2. Life I don't actually know if this show has been cancelled or if it has just moved to another network. My hope is that it has moved to another network and that I will be able to track it down.
3. Freaks and Geeks If you have a chance to ever see any of the episodes of this show I would highly recommend it.
4. Smith Smith had Ray Liotta as a main character. I could watch Ray on mute and enjoy him.
5. Journeyman This show was one from this season which just "vanished". Maybe the writers went back in time and didn't return.
6. The Education of Max Bickford
7. Boston Public Boston Public for me was like "Fame" for others. I love shows set in schools. (see Max Bickford and Freaks and Geeks) and this cast was excellent.
8. LAX I put this in as a shout out to my partner. I was not as huge a fan of this show as she was, but I would suffer through it.
9. Life With Bonnie Bonnie Hunt makes me laugh and this show was completely enjoyable even if it was a bit simplistic.
10. Blind Justice This was one of the best new shows (in my opinion) of this seasons pilots. Really, if writers can come up with years and years of a show called "24", then they could write a poop load about a cop who has lost his sight. It was great.
11. American Dreams This in one where the season ended and then it just never came back.
12. NYPD Blue I have to include these last two because they were both shows whose ending was announced in advance, but in my opinion they never should have been taken off the air. Really. If we can make year after year of stupid shows like "the apprentice" can we not keep GOOD tv shows on air?
13. Third Watch
I absolutely LOVED this show. The only thing worse than the show being cancelled was the last episode. The way the story was "concluded" was a total letdown.
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Well, this meeting was as frustrating as the first one. We knew before we went in that the supervisor was likely to defend her employee - as a supervisor that's what I would have done - but we certainly didn't expect what we got.
I think, in their defense, that social workers tend to be listeners. It takes a certain kind of person to be a social worker. I am not criticizing people who listen, however when I want solutions and answers, talking to a listener is not likely to produce the kind of results I am looking for.
One of the first things she said to us was "I haven't looked at your file." I wish I would have clued in at that minute and said, "Ok, CAN you look at our file please?" It doesn't make any sense to me that when a family calls to say they have a problem that you wouldn't pull the file and look at it.
The meeting did not unfold as we expected. The supervisor DID defend the new worker and say she was overworked and had too many files and that some things were being done to eliminate the burden she is under. She didn't do anything or offer any suggestion as to why the worker didn't ask us for the paperwork that was missing (that we found out from a foster worker). She didn't offer us any idea on when things would be moving forward on our file.
I've been to training sessions over my years in youth work and in the position I hold currently that teach the importance of listening. I think it is a valuable skill. I didn't want to be "listened to" today. I wanted some solutions, some information, some idea of what was happening to move our file forwad. We got nothing.
This process is HUGELY frustrating.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
1. Dame Judy Dench
2. Angelina Jolie ( I bet that was a shocker)
3. Frances McDormand
4. Tyne Daly
5. Morgan Freeman
6. Wilson Brothers (A bit of a cheat to include them as one!)
7. Kathy Bates
8. Tim Robbins
9. Giovanni Ribisi
10. Neve Campbell
Monday, April 7, 2008
Graduate :: Tom Cruise
Tonight! :: tonight, tonight (song)
Located :: found
Weapon :: of mass destruction - HA!
Jumper :: movie that I want to see
Collectibles :: dust collectors
Dennis :: Hopper
Hostile :: takeover
Vivid :: imagination
On Saturday afternoon I got my ear pierced again. I am getting a spiral put in, but in order to have that done they have to make three holes and they have to heal first before they can go in and put the spiral in.
Friday, April 4, 2008
2. Music makes me wanna dance!
3. Splitting a few appetizers between friends doesnt last long when they only bring me two mozza sticks.
4. I don't know anyone I'd like to get to know better.
5. The smell of mud reminds me so much of springtime!
6. I fell asleep and that made it all better.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to going to a movie, tomorrow my plans include piercing and Sunday I want to take a nap.
Thursday, April 3, 2008
My dad is not one to hand written notes or emails, so when something arrives from him it is always exciting.
He sent me an email this week.
Here it is (in italics), I copied it right from the email and did not just write it here.
Julie, Julie, Julie,
I love you
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
I absolutely loved it. I read so many books in a year, even in a month, that once the book is completed and put away it is easy for the topics, the stories and the characters to run into one another. I enjoy murder mystery books and I read a lot of them but they all seem to have a similar format:
Murderer on the loose, search for clues as to who the murderer is, figure it out just in time or just too late, murderer discovers he/she is being followed, murderer turns on people who are following.
This book by Beckett has some good plot twists that left me right at the last page saying outloud "No WAY!"
This week the topic was "Ten things you would fix in your home (if you had the time and money)"
If I had the time and money I would probably gut the whole house and just rebuild completely but I don't think that was the point of the question so here goes:
2. Extend kitchen/living room to one area
3. renovate downstairs bathroom
4. build a wrap-around porch
5. expand each bedroom to include CLOSETS
6. build up the second floor to include a bathroom and another bedroom
7. paint the submarine grey walls
8. install new kitchen cabinets
10. take down the cottage cheese ceilings
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
On Sunday afternoons one of my all time favorite activities is to take a nap. In fact, ANY afternoon one of my favorite things to do is to take a nap. This past Sunday I was indulging in my favorite pastime when I was woken suddenly and violently by a cat, swatting me in the face.
I was dozy but indignant, my spouse thought it was hilarious. Apparently my cat Nyx, was laying at my face just watching me sleep for about five minutes. I happened to be snoring while she was watching me and I guess she had enough of my snoring because she just swatted me right in the face.
Sheesh. And I was sleeping so peacefully.
I participated in the NaBloPoMo in November blogging every day of the month and loved it. I was REALLY looking forward to doing it again in March when I realized I could do it every month and that the peeps at NaBloPoMo were posting monthly themes. Last month the theme was "lists' (which I LOVE) but I missed the first day and since I have a "touch" of obsessiveness, I decided that it was pointless to start a daily posting when I had missed the first day.
I am now starting on day number one of APRIL, with a letter which I have scanned from a boy in elementary school. My mom kept the letter. If it is too hard I will write down what he wrote under the picture. I hope you can read it.