Friday, December 25, 2009

A White Christmas!

Merry Christmas!
The holidays were weird this year. My family celebrated Thanksgiving on Wednesday, and on Thanksgiving day, I went to a Cowboys game with Eileen. For Christmas, my family celebrated on Monday. On Tuesday my sister and her husband went to spend Christmas with his family, and on Wednesday my parents drove to Phoenix to visit my Dad's brother and his kids. So today, on Christmas Eve, my aunt and I went to see a movie, and then she came over for dinner and a movie. I made Christmas fettuccine (with alfredo pesto, shrimp and veggies) and then we watched The Holiday, where they eat Christmas fettuccine. And then we took these pictures. It snowed all day Christmas Eve! The day prior I wore a short sleeves.
My car covered in snow!

My and my aunt.

Who says we can't have a White Christmas in Texas?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Five

  1. My car doesn't vibrate anymore. It's amazing! Always thought it was normal because Rachel's Saturn did the same thing in common. Absolutely not normal. I had two engine mounts replaced - one bent and one broken. Yikes.

  2. Today is my last day of work until January! And today is a department Christmas party, which includes breakfast and ice skating at the Galleria. Yay!

  3. As part of our office Christmas party - yes, that equals two work Christmas parties - we had a door-decorating contest. I joined forces with the girl next door, and this is our creation.

    I'm sure you immediately guessed the "scene" on the wall, but in case you had a little trouble, Santa and his reindeer had a little accident and their sleigh crashed into a snow bank. We did not win the contest.

  4. It makes me happy that Better Off Ted is back on the air! Kudos to ABC for renewing a poorly-rated, critically-acclaimed, FABULOUS comedy. If you don't already watch it, check it out Tuesdays on ABC.

  5. I love this time of year. Yes, it's Christmas and all that, but it's also Oscar season. Several prominent critic groups, including the Golden Globes, announced their nominees or winners....and the Oscar speculation has begun. With 10 best picture nominees this year, the anticipation is greater than usual. Love it!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Five

  1. I'm worried about my car. Long story short, an 18-wheeler knocked the driver-side mirror off my car, so I took it to a dealership to replace. And of course they run a complimentary inspection to scare you into spending more money. And of course my card had six things that needed tending to. Several I've been putting off since July, and I'm still putting them off. But it looks like I might have some serious transmission issues. Old car with lots of mileage. No reason to pump lots of money into it. So say a little prayer that it's minor, and I don't need to start looking for a new car. I'm not ready!

  2. One more week of work before the Christmas/PTO break. And some of that time is set aside for work Christmas parties.

  3. Loved this Christmas tree made of Murano glass displayed in Venice!

  4. I keep returning books to the library unfinished. My most recent return was a Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of short stories. I don't do short stories. I try, but I always give up. One of the reasons I love reading is that feeling of being swept away by a story. With a short story, just about the time I'm connecting with the characters and being pulled in, it's over. I know I'm missing out on great stories and writing, but so far I haven't been able to move past my little hang up.

  5. Stealing Janie's verbiage here...Janie and I have become professional concert-goers. Since I moved back to the Metroplex, we've seen U2, Derek Webb, Third Day, Greencards, multiple bands at a bar on Halloween, and tonight, Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis! At the new performing arts center in Dallas.

Friday, December 04, 2009


Totally didn't realize it was Friday today. That makes me sound crazy, but the inconsistency of my work schedule makes me forget what day of the week it is, especially this week since I'm working Saturday morning. All that to say, no Friday Five this week.

But with the new movie Brothers (Natalie Portman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire) coming out, I wanted to put something out there. This movie is a remake of an incredible Danish film of the same name. It's a subtle, emotional drama about the dynamics of changing relationships. I loved it so much, it sent me on a Danish-film-watching adventure. And now I own the movie. The previews for the remake don't do justice to the plot, and just promote the the showdown at the end of the movie, which was not the purpose of the original film. I have not seen the new film, so I have no comment on it, other than I want to see it. But I want you to see the original Danish film. Watch it today, with Netflix streaming!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Five

  1. I watched Twilight on DVD, but I saw New Moon on the big screen Sunday. Watching the movie in a theatre full of teen girls was an experience. The hoot & hollering that occurred when Jacob (Taylor Lautner) took of his shirt was worth the price of admission.

  2. Being the faithful Cowboys fan I am, I've always wanted to go to a Thanksgiving game. Even before I followed the Cowboys, our family always watched the Thanksgiving game. This year, due to my sister's work schedule, we had Thanksgiving on Wednesday, freeing up my Thursday. Eileen and I were finalizing our plans for the Dec. 13 game when I mentioned how much I wanted to go to the Thanksgiving game. Her family celebrated Thanksgiving last week, and she could come to the game. So she brought her son, Darren, to town, and the three of us went to the Thanksgiving Cowboys game. My last year in Lubbock, I watched almost every game with Eileen, and taught Darren how to cheer for Romo and do touchdown dances, so they were the perfect people to go to the game with. Eileen went with me to a Cowboys game the final season in Texas Stadium, so it was fitting that we went to a game together the Cowboys first season in Arlington's Cowboys Stadium.

  3. Participated in my first Turkey Trot. Because of the tendinitis in my foot, I haven't been in a race in more than a year. I miss racing, even though my goal is basic: to not finish last. The weather was great, if a bit cold at the beginning. I've been running with walk breaks to protect my foot but ran the entire Trot, and I loved it! I never get in a rhythm or groove when I train now because of all the walks breaks. So it felt great to do that for this race. I also loved the residents that watched and cheered from their front yards.

  4. Monday Night Football last some of its relevance when it moved from broadcast TV to basic cable. (I will spare you my rant about that.) But I still love to watch the intro with Hank Williams singing "Are you ready for some football?" It's a perfect fit!

  5. Can't wait for Christmas to get her. I'm taking off the week of Christmas - actually having Christmas on Monday - and the following week I'm going skiing in Colorado with Eileen, her family and some friends. Bring on the snow!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Friday Five

  1. I turned my library book in on the "Day of Grace" and was charged a late fee. What? When I went to pay, I asked why they didn't have a Day of Grace. Every (American) library I've used offered this benefit. Turns out a patrol that this policy was unfair because not everyone knew about it, and he took his complaint all the way to city hall. So now the library charges late fees the first day past due. Why would anyone complain about a policy designed to give customers a break? It must take a grumpy person to wage a battle against grace.

  2. I'm only in the first chapter of My Life in France by Julia Child, and I already love it!

  3. Even though it was abrupt, I enjoyed the seasonal temperatures this week. I actually got so cold at night, I had to close my window, turn down my fan and add a blanket. It makes me happy.

  4. Plaid really is back, isn't it? It makes me feel old that fashion styles from my lifetime are cycling back.

  5. I'm Team Jacob.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Friday Five

  1. One part of my job I'm still adjusting to is the openness of strangers. You walk into a business, introduce yourself, and the stranger before you starts spilling personal details about a cancer diagnosis or recent loss. I don't always feel comfortable with the conversation, but I always enjoy telling them the many different ways the ACS can help them.

  2. I'm seeing the stage production of Sweeney Todd tonight. The trailers for the movie included the refrain, "I will have vengeance." And then I saw the movie. After that, I couldn't get that refrain out of my head! So if you see me in the next few weeks, expect that song to be in my head...and to pop out my mouth.

  3. Oscar (from the Office) speaking in a Southern accent = hilarious!

  4. I'm a little worried about my plan to run the half marathon in February. My tendinitis-afflicted foot has bothered me all week. And I'm only running three miles. Maybe this week is a fluke.

  5. Even though it sounds ridiculous, I've never successfully cooked with a crock pot (other than queso). I follow the recipe, the cooking directions, everything, but my food always burns. Last week I made chicken tacos! And I had enough leftover chicken to make Mexican stack and tortilla soup throughout the week. I did leave work early to make sure my food didn't burn.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Five

  1. Went to a Derek Webb concert in Deep Ellum on Sunday. Between him and Third Day last week, it felt like 1998. Oh, college memories.

  2. Anyone have any book recommendations? Leave them in the comments. I'm looking for my next favorite book.

  3. So I've never seen a Chorus Line, but I just watched the documentary Every Little Step about casting the revival. Anyone seen the doc? Now I just need to see the Broadway show.

  4. I had my performance evaluation today. Ouch. Got a "failing grade." Sucks to be in fundraising when the economy goes south. Because I didn't meet my money goal, I started at 65 points (out of 100.) Obviously, I wasn't perfect in every other category. At least it was a low year for everyone.

  5. Read a great advance review of Place of Execution, the two-part miniseries premiering this Sunday on PBS' Masterpiece Contemporary. It's a psychological thriller about a filmmaker and a 45-year-old murder investigation. And it's British! Can't wait to watch it.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Five: Short and Sweet

  1. Saw Oprah and Martina McBride at the State Fair of Texas!

  2. Went to a U2 concert at Cowboys Stadium! That place is huge!

  3. To ACU Homecoming I went! No pictures though. Left the picture taking to Rachel, and she had to cancel at the last minute. Had fun hanging out with Rachel and Ben, Wendy and Lisa, and Jeremy. Good production of Thoroughly Modern Millie.

  4. Saw Third Day in concert on Thursday (no pictures - I wrote this on Wednesday).

  5. Decided to run the Cowtown Half Marathon on Feb. 27 with Joe V. and Jaime A. We are all first timers and slow, and our only goal is to finish. So join us!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Friday Five

  1. Kristin Chenoweth was on GLEE this week, and she was amazing! I agree with Janie: If you own a TV, you should be watching GLEE. Although it's far from perfect, it's infectious. Even though this is the farthest thing from real life, I couldn't stop laughing when I watched this scene last week.

  2. DIY headboard isn't complete yet, so here is a photo of my kitchen, one of my favorite areas of the apartment. Second favorite is the closet, but photos don't illustrate its vastness. I've always lived in apartments with small kitchen with limited storage and counter space. Not in my apartment! It's OK to be jealous.

  3. I'm going to see the movie Precious tonight at a museum film festival. Ah, culture. Love it!

  4. I've started running again, and it's going well. I'm including walk breaks to protect my foot, and so far it seems to be working. The goal is to train for a half marathon. I'm hoping the walk breaks will prevent my tendinitis from returning.

  5. Gov. Perry's decision to replace three members of a commission investigating a possible wrongful execution stinks. It looks like a cover-up when the man that refused to stay his execution disrupts the investigation two days before a critical report is expected. Perry's decision could be justified, but I still think it stinks. No marketplace of ideas for Perry.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Five

  1. I've been listening to NPR's Fresh Air podcast in the mornings when I run. Love it! The host, Terry Gross, is an amazing interviewer. She asks intelligent, probing questions, and it's always entertaining. Give it a try if you like arts and culture.

  2. Is anyone else enjoying this Fall weather? I know it won't last, that the Texas heat will return before cool temperatures stick around, but I'm enjoying it while it lasts.

  3. Here is a Before Picture from my new apartment. Boring bedroom. I decided to change my bedding, but didn't want to spend a lot of money. So I found a pillow with colors and a pattern I liked and started building. But right now, it's a boring room. Hopefully next week I will have an After Picture to share with you of my bedroom with a DIY head board I'm making with Rachel. I also need to repaint my lap because I bought it to go with my old bedding, which was black, white and red.

  4. So I visited a church last week where the singles class series is about how to date. Literally. The teacher talked about what you should and shouldn't do to make a good impression on a first date so you'll go on a second date. That was the topic of discussion in Bible class! At the end, the teacher did tie it back to the Bible, by describing the Bible as the best guidebook you can find for making a good first impression on a date. I'm not joking.

  5. I spent Thursday in one of my communities. I visited 10 businesses, had a lunch meeting and attended a Chamber mixer. It was exhausting. I'm glad the Chamber mixer included free fajitas because I did not feel like cooking dinner. I did win a free gift card to a spa!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Five

  1. Even though I'm doing the same job in a new location, it's totally different. I'm traveling much more frequently, which I like, even though it doesn't come naturally to me. Today I had lunch with a complete stranger to recruit her to be a volunteer. Mildly successful. Tomorrow I'm meeting another stranger for a similar reason. I am excited about my new assignment for October. Because it is Breast Health Month, I have to schedule at least 10 meetings with different organizations (including the mayors of all my territories) to talk about the ways we can encourage breast health among their female employees. I like this assignment because instead of asking people to help me, I am telling them what I can do for them.

  2. Went to a Rangers game this week. In the rain. And they lost. But at least it was Dollar Hotdog Night. Thanks, Jenise, for the hook-up.

  3. Many, many stories lines came out of the US Open, both positive and negative. I'm still in shock that Federer lost to Del Potro. I had that gut instinct it might happen, a la Safin's defeat of Sampras, but I didn't trust my instincts. I should always trust my instincts. They have a good track record.

  4. The new season of TV is upon us! I have a slight obsession with numerous TV shows, so this is an exciting time of the year for me. And the Oscar-caliber movies start showing in theaters.

  5. Sorry my posts have been boring lately. Other than the move, not much going on.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Five

  1. Sorry about the lack of a new post last week. I'm adjusting to life in the Big City. I've lost an hour from the end of my day. This week I've been watching tennis all night, every night. So before I knew it, Friday came and went. But this week I found my routine. Sort of.

  2. My job involves driving. That hasn't changed with my move. But I've lived in small cities with little traffic for the past six years. I'm still adjusting to the traffic and how quickly I go through a tank of gas. I've filled up three times this week!

  3. I had a good Labor Day weekend. Went to WestFest with some friends. After living so close to West, eating kolaches isn't the novelty it once was. I still came home with some. And some jalapeno cornbread. Yummy. On Labor Day, I had barbecue and spent the day in the pool with some other friends. And I didn't even have to drive in for the weekend.

  4. I have no motivation to decorate my apartment. I've unpacked everything (except books; I need a bookshelf) but I haven't put anything on the walls. I want something different than I have, but I don't want to spend money. (It's not cheap to cancel a lease.) So my apartment doesn't feel like home quite yet. Maybe I'll do that this weekend. Pictures to come.

  5. I'm eating hazelnut gelato purchased from Central Market in Plano. So glad to live in DFW again!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Five

  1. I am busy packing for my big move. I have boxes a-plenty, which I did not expect. We go through boxes quickly during event season because we are ordering so many materials. But event season ended in June, and the box surplus dried up. As luck would have it, one of the volunteers was adamant that the boxes for her event be recycled, and so she set them aside. And forgot to recycle them. So I load of my car with boxes every few days. If anything, I have too many boxes. So I will Reuse the boxes, and when I'm done, Recycle them. Everybody wins! Yes, simple things excite me.

  2. Watching the trailer for Taking Woodstock on Sunday, I was reminded how much I like director Ang Lee. His resume is diverse, and his movies are always well made. I fell in love with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in college, and remember being surprised to learn that the director also made Sense and Sensibility. He's since won an Oscar for Brokeback Mountain, and made another foreign language film. It looks like he'll be adapting the Life of Pi for his next turn behind the camera. Check out the book if you haven't read it already.

  3. For some interesting reading, check out the 'A Week Without...' series on the ReadyMade website. The first two diaries involve giving up plastic and processed foods for a week. Sometimes you don't realize how much you consume something until you give it up. On a related note, what is the best way you know to keep herbs fresh without using a paper towel? I followed the Rachael Ray method of folding most herbs into a paper towel and putting them into a plastic bag. I stopped buying paper towels over a year ago, so that doesn't work for me anymore. (I bought a roll a few weeks ago for a quick-fix rinse of quinoa, but once that roll is used up, I'm back to hand towels, so I need another method.)

  4. I feel sorry for Hilary Clinton. Obviously, as a diplomat and representative of the United States, I expect her to control her temper and act more professional. But diplomats are not robots (or are they?) and feel insulted like the rest of us. And the question posed to her in the Congo was insulting, especially considering the purpose for the visit was to demand the government show zero tolerance for the rampant rape and torture of women in the country. I can only imagine the outcry for not practicing what she was preaching if she had ignored the insult and acted like nothing happened. I'm glad the whole world doesn't dissect and judge all the over-reactions I've made in my lifetime.

  5. It's Blog Participation Time! As you know, I'll be living in the Metroplex this time next week, and I'm in need of a church home. I'm on the liberal side of the Church of Christ spectrum. I'm looking to make friends, so a vibrant singles group or young couples that don't discriminate is preferred. :-) Although Church of Christ is my heritage, I am open to other denominations. I'll be living in Lewisville, so I'm not looking to go to church in south Fort Worth. Where should I visit? Leave your suggestions in the comments.
* I'll be moving next Friday, so no blog post. Once I get settled, I'll post pictures of my apartment. Be prepared to be jealous of my closet.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Friday Five

  1. Everything with the move is happening so quickly. I found out I got the job on Thursday, and on Sunday I found an apartment in Lewisville. Next week I'm traveling to one of my territories and meeting my new co-workers at a staff meeting. I've been in the right job at the wrong place, so this move should make everything click.

  2. I'm going to see U2! I have always wanted to see them in concert. I knew they were coming to Dallas but the show sold out before I knew tickets were on sale. But they released more tickets this week, so I'm going with Janie and Jon! The concert is at the new Cowboys Stadium, so that makes it even more exciting!

  3. Last week I skipped a number on my list. Here is what I intended to share. The picture is amazing. Can you imagine seeing it for yourself?

  4. My computer was invaded by all sorts of mean viruses this week. Totally freaked me out because I thought I had the software to remove the viruses, but I did not. I had to purchase software online while my computer was hacked and hope for the best. So far, so good. (Knock on wood.) I called my credit card company immediately to let them know I authorized the charges but anything else was not mine; I hadn't used my credit card in more than a year so they had already sent me an email alert. Yay! I think the viruses are stalking me because they infected my work computer Thursday. By the end of today, I hope it's clean.

  5. Hmmm, usually this is the point in my process where Liz Lemon steps in and takes care of everything. Heavy is the head that eats the crayons. Gonna take a nap, see you in 10 hours.” - Tracy Jordan

Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Five

  1. Raise your hands if you watched Torchwood: Children of the Earth on BBC America? Alexis? Very gripping television. And dark. I'm talking Battlestar Galactica and The Wire dark, possibly darker. Gotta love British television. It's available on DVD, so if you have similar taste to me, I encourage you check it out. But be prepared for it to sucker punch you. I thought this quote from a British TV critic described it quite well. "Anyone who had been watching Torchwood Friday as the prelude to a “big night out” would have silently taken off their stilettos around 9.30pm and sat silently on the sofa with a large vodka, crying." Probably not the best sales pitch. :-)

  2. Seriously, what is with the Birthers? Love Obama or hate him, refusing to believe something despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary astounds me. And yet, their viewpoint keeps gaining ground. I'm writing about it! Did anyone else see the crazy lady on the Colbert Report. Check it out.

    The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
    Womb Raiders - Orly Taitz
    Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTasers

  3. I know the Emmy nominations were announced weeks ago, but I just can't let it go. No Kyle Chandler or Connie Briton from Friday Night Lights? No Mary McDonnell from Battlestar Galactica? And as much as I love 30 Rock, it was nominated for all but one of the slots for comedy writing. Seems a little extreme.

  4. So a few weeks ago I hinted that I might have exciting news to report. And I do. I am moving to Dallas! I am staying with the American Cancer Society, just moving to the North Texas Region. I'm super excited. My new jobs starts in month, so I have lots of packing, moving and apartment locating to do.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday Five

  1. After traveling three straight weekends, I used last week to be lazy, which is why I didn't blog. I slept in, read books, watched DVDs and relaxed. I'm traveling again this weekend, so it was much-needed.
  2. After reading the biography of the Duchess of Devonshire, I'm ever-so happy I don't live in the 17th or 18th centuries. Women were completely dependent on their fathers or husbands. Even giving birth to a female was not greeted with enthusiasm. The Duchess' influence in political matters was unheard of and amazing.
  3. Even though I've been in Central Texas since December, I'm still shocked when I walk outside and instantly start sweating because of the humidity. Crazy.
  4. What exactly is the point of Supreme Court confirmation hearings? The candidates never say anything new, at least Roberts and Sotomayor didn't. Senators just get to grandstand, which is nothing new.
  5. Overall, underwhelmed by the new Harry Potter movie. It felt like a teenage love story with a little Fighting Evil thrown in.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Five

  1. I love watching movies or TV shows and reading books that make me think about subjects that don't come up in every day conversation. Can we ever overcome our true nature, if there is such a thing (A History of Violence)? What is the best argument for supporting gay marriage but not polygamy (Big Love)? How do we live in a world where the bad guys can't lose (Gomorrah)?

  2. As I mature and continue to solidify my views and opinions, I keep coming back to how the church heritage I grew up in seems so at odds with the person I am today. The limited role of women is one of the areas where we disagree. You can find a great conversation about this issue at Rude Truth, a blog I just discovered. It's nice to know you aren't alone in your frustrations.

  3. I'm traveling for the third weekend in a row, this time for work. Enough already! I just want to spend a lazy weekend at home doing all the things I haven't been able to do with all the traveling. And really, having to work on a hot weekend in July is cruel, don't you think?

  4. I finished "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" (still unsure about) and moved on to "Grace Eventually" (did not enjoy) and now I'm reading "Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire." My to-read list just grew exponentially with recommendations by Newsweek and Nick Hornby. I think I'll start where they overlap.

  5. Why is it so hard to find five things to write about every week?

Friday, July 03, 2009

Friday Five

  1. Four-day weekend! Those don't come along too often, so I'm looking forward to it. Have a safe weekend!

  2. Had a fun girls' weekend in the Metroplex with Lubbock friends last weekend. Ate a hot dog and garlic fries at a Rangers game; saw a chick flick (The Proposal: cute); ate fondue; chased fireworks in Grapevine (can't really say watched because we drove toward them and when we finally found a place to pull over, goodbye fireworks); had relaxing pedicures. All in all, a good weekend.

  3. I might have some exciting news in a few weeks. Stay tuned. :-)

  4. Watched Oscar-nominee "Waltz with Bashir" this week. Extremely moving film. The final images take your breath away. Wasn't sure what I thought of the film when it started (it's a foreign-language animated documentary about Israel's invasion of Lebanon and a specific incident) but as the movie concluded, I noticed I was leaning toward the TV in anticipation. Haunting images. War if awful. Highly recommended.

  5. "Witty movies directed by Woody Allen" is one of the categories suggested by Netflix. I'm hit and miss on Woody Allen. Never see "Melinda and Melinda." The acting is so awful, I can't believe I watched the whole movie. I expected it to improve.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday Five

  1. I keep thinking I'll get tired of the song "Gives You Hell" by the All American Rejects, but I haven't yet. Every time it comes on the radio, I turn up the volume.

  2. Here's a photo of my beautiful sister and her husband. For all you ACU readers out there, Melanie's sister took her photos.
  3. So I went from the shocking violence of the book Gomorrah to the surprising gore of Jane Austen with the book Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Austen's prose stands up well; the portions of the book written by her are superior to the additions by the new author. In case you are curious, a plague that turns humans to zombies is ravaging England. Mr. Bennett sends his daughters to the Orient to become trained warriors, and they are well trained, particularly Elizabeth. Mr. Darcy is also a skilled warrior. The plot is the same with much of Austen's writing, but with embellishments. Probably wouldn't recommend this book for the Austen purists. I haven't even made up my mind about it.

  4. So the big entertainment news this week is the decision by the AMPAS to nominate 10 movies for Best Picture next year. Initial reaction: the "big prize" just became less prestigious. Hopefully more foreign films and documentaries will get nominated for BP this way, in addition to critically-acclaimed blockbusters. I will say this. My goal to see all films nominated in the major categories (picture, director, acting categories, foreign, documentary) just became more challenging.

  5. Pete Sampras is my favorite tennis player. Federer surpassing the record set by Sampras for most Grand Slam titles is inevitable. I do not want him to set a new record at Wimbledon. Come on Roddick, Murray or Djokovic! Also, go Venus!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday Five

  1. Here are some pics to prove Rachel and I went to Denver for Brent's wedding.

    Me and Rachel with the mountains behind us.
    Me and the groom minutes before the ceremony.

    The ACU gang that came to the wedding.

    Me in the mountains, being adventurous. :-)

  2. Country music has changed since the '90s, at least the country music endorsed by the radio stations. Can't stand most of it. I do like Lady Antebellum. They have an old-school country sound. And great vocals. And their lyrics aren't about drinking ... or whatever Kenny Chesney sings about.

  3. I'm just about finished with the book "Gomorrah," the expose on the Italian organized crime network more powerful and violent than the Mafia. Crazy brutal! If that title sounds familiar, it's because the book was made into a movie. It's on my Netflix queue. What should I read next? Leave your suggestions in the comments. I think I've had enough murder and corruption, so send me in a different direction. I just want a book I can't put down, one with well-developed characters, good plot and excellent writing.

  4. I finally saw John Michael Montgomery in concert! I've loved JMM since his first single, "Life's a Dance." He performed at an ACS charity event. I dressed up like a cowgirl for this event. It was fun! I now own a pair of cowboy boots. Here is a picture back at home after spending five hours outdoors on a hot Saturday. Luckily my job was in the shade.

  5. I've blogged before about my buckwheat pancake recipe. The pancakes are small, about the size of the palm of your hand. The recipe makes two servings, pictured below.

    Can you believe that is only two servings? I eat two pancakes for breakfast, topped with strawberries, and served with yogurt. I can't imagine eating seven of these dense pancakes in one setting. I make this recipe and it feeds me for two weeks (Monday-Thursday). (I don't know why this text is formatted as a link.)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday Five: Soapbox Edition

  1. I'm mad at Kelly Clarkson. Get your eye-rolling out of the way now, Rachel. I like Kelly. I love the song "Breakaway," and it's the reason I have all her albums, except the most recent one. I've been resisting buying it because of the hit single, "My Life Would Suck Without You." I do not like the message this song sends, in particular the line, "Either way, I found out I'm nothing like you." I can't listen to that song without shaking my head at those lyrics. What kind of message is that to send to all the 13-year-old girls that love her? And what self-respecting female would release a song with that message in it? It's the whole "You complete me" messaging again. The idea that we are incomplete, pathetic, or nothing without another person infuriates me. And it doesn't matter if the other person is a boyfriend, parent, sibling, etc. And the song is about a dysfunction relationship, which makes the sentiment far worse.

  2. Miss California USA Carrie Prejean. Enough already. I don't care if she lost her title because of her stance on gay marriage or for violating her contract. I will say this: freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences. Just ask the Dixie Chicks. And they don't represent a company with an image and brand to protect.

  3. The uproar over Judge Sotomayer's "wise Latina women" comment. Yes, as the nominee for a vacancy on the Supreme Court, she is accountable for her opinions, public comments, etc. No problem questioning this comment. But man, it would be nice if people factored in context and background before making assumptions. I've read the entire text of the lecture this quote came from. Very interesting thoughts on the role our backgrounds, heritage, culture and experiences have on decision making. A good read. Here is the context.

    "Justice O'Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases. I am not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor Martha Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life.

    Let us not forget that wise men like Oliver Wendell Holmes and Justice Cardozo voted on cases which upheld both sex and race discrimination in our society. [Holmes ruled to sterilize a woman against her will because "three generations of imbeciles is enough."] Until 1972, no Supreme Court case ever upheld the claim of a woman in a gender discrimination case. I, like Professor Carter, believe that we should not be so myopic as to believe that others of different experiences or backgrounds are incapable of understanding the values and needs of people from a different group. Many are so capable. As Judge Cedarbaum pointed out to me, nine white men on the Supreme Court in the past have done so on many occasions and on many issues, including Brown.

    However, to understand takes time and effort, something that not all people are willing to give. For others, their experiences limit their ability to understand the experiences of others. Other simply do not care. Hence, one must accept the proposition that a difference there will be by the presence of women and people of color on the bench. Personal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see. My hope is that I will take the good from my experiences and extrapolate them further into areas with which I am unfamiliar. I simply do not know exactly what that difference will be in my judging. But I accept there will be some based on my gender and my Latina heritage."

    Whatever you think about Judge Sotomayer after reading that is not important. What is important is that you read it and came to a conclusion. Based on the dialogue we've been reading and hearing in response to her comment, how many TV, radio and print media personalities do you think looked into her comment before decrying her a racist or unfit for the Supreme Court? Very few I would guess. Get the facts before making a decision. I encourage you to read the entire text. You can find it here.

  4. I don't have a lot of patience for other people's emotional instability. Maybe this makes me a bad person, but I can't help it. Whatever your emotional issues and needs are, don't bring me into it. I won't indulge you because it is not good for you. Get yourself together! (Can you tell I'm an extremely rational person, which could be considered my issue.)

  5. I ran out of soapbox topics. I'm about to walk out the door and head to a free outdoor concert along the river. Fun times!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Friday Five

  1. I'm going to Denver this weekend for Brent's wedding. Happy for Brent. Ready to escape this Texas heat for cooler mountain air.

  2. Now that my schedule is back to normal, I'm home at night to cook dinner. I bought a Williams-Sonoma "eating by color" cookbook at Marshall's for $5, and I've been cooking from it this week. I've only made four recipes, so I'm not ready to recommend the book, but it's fun mixing-and-matching recipes to eat five colors a day.

  3. I'm sure you are all wondering what I did at work on Thursday. I practiced my hula-hoop skills! One of the guys in the accounting firm down the street stopped by the office to socialize. When he gets bored, he comes down to our office. A lady in my office is married to one the partners in his firm. Today he noticed a stack of hula hoops in someone's office. So he wanted to know who could hula hoop. If you said you could, he made you prove it. I said I wasn't very good, and he still made me prove it. After he left in disgrace - he was the worst one- someone picked up a hula hoop again and found the secret to keeping it going. We all tried again. And we called the guy back to the office to see our new hula-hoop skills. She wanted to have a "hula-off" between our offices in the street. I work for the American Cancer Society, and we take time to hula hoop.

  4. Nadal lost his first ever match at the French Open. It's been a shocking French Open hasn't it, tennis fans? Anything can happen, but it looks like Federer is going to equal Sampras' record of Grand Slam titles in a few days. Most people will concede he is the Greatest of All Time if he wins this tournament, but I don't agree. How can you be the GOAT when you can't consistently beat another player (Nadal) in your generation?

  5. Does anyone else enjoy the categories Netflix creates and provides recommendations for on the Netflix home page? So specific. Here are five categories I've seen recently, a little bonus Friday Five.
    • Critically-acclaimed romantic thrillers
    • Suspenseful space-travel TV shows
    • Dark political documentaries
    • Feel-good teen musicals
    • Visually-striking dramas with strong female leads

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday Five: iTunes Top Five

What are the most played songs on your iPod? Here are my top five.
  1. Chocolate (Edinburgh Live Version) by Snow Patrol. Several years ago, before Grey's Anatomy made Snow Patrol a household name, I bought a couple of their songs after reading a recommendation in Newsweek. I don't know what I expected to be the most played song in my iTunes library, but it wasn't this. I have added it to seven different playlists, which probably explains why it comes up in the rotation often.
  2. My Savior My God by Aaron Shust. I can definitely understand why this is a top-five song. I usually play songs from my "Favorites" playlist or "All Songs by Artists" and Aaron Shust is the first artist list in both playlists.
  3. You're Worthy of My Praise by Jeremy Camp. Before Jeremy Camp ever released his first album, he traveled to Cork, Ireland, as part of a mission trip and performed at the end of the week. I loved him! When I started hearing his songs on the radio in Lubbock, I couldn't believe he found success so quickly. I love to rock out to this song! Laugh all you want.
  4. Be Near by Shane and Shane. Love Shane and Shane. Thanks, Janie, for introducing them to me. B Near is from my favorite Shane and Shane album, Carry Away. It's not my favorite Shane and Shane song though.
  5. Lubbock or Leave It by the Dixie Chicks. My dad calls me a traitor and a communist for liking the Dixie Chicks. I will always like the Dixie Chicks. I like this song and this album, but I don't know if I would include this song in a list of my favorite Dixie Chicks songs, and yet it rotates through my iPod regularly. My favorite Dixie Chicks song, Top of the World, has played 22 fewer times than this song. Go figure

All in all, I'm a little surprised by the songs on this list. I guess this is what you get when you listen to your music on the shuffle setting constantly.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Five: Catch Up

  1. I've resisted writing about the two weddings I was in - my sister's and Elisabeth's - due to the lack of pictures I have to add to this post. I didn't have my camera at either wedding and neither photographer has released photos. But ask and you shall receive. I was maid of honor in my little sister's wedding almost a month ago. Amanda's wedding was similar to what I would want. Simple but full of personality. Her lingerie shower/bachelorette party was one of the best ones I've attended: barbecue, margaritas and close friends only, no parents. May aunt and uncle from Arizona and cousin and his family from Alabama attended, so it was a minor family reunion.

  2. Wedding number two was for college friend Elisabeth. Gorgeous wedding in an old, downtown church. Very classic and traditional. Great to see my Lubbock friends again.

  3. My busy season at work is finished. I haven't known what to do with myself this week. The evenings seems to last forever. Plenty of time for cooking and cleaning, exercising, watching Netflix movies, anything I want to do.

  4. My apartment complex is offering a recycling program, and by program, I mean a recycling dumpster on the grounds. Works for me. It's much easier than driving to the drop-off center in town, and I don't have to sort anything. I had the exciting privilege of being the first person to use the the shiny new dumpster.

  5. It's been an interesting season finale season hasn't it? Jim and Pam are having a baby! Did Jack and Co. change the future? Does Booth really have amnesia? Chuck knows kung fu?

Friday, May 08, 2009

Friday Five: Movie Magic

It's not secret I love movies. For this week's installment of Friday Five, I am going to list five moments of movie magic. What is movie magic? It's when you walk out of a theatre thinking you've seen the best movie of the year, or get on the phone and call everyone you know and tell them to watch a movie you've just seen, or a scene in a movie that movies you. These aren't my all-time favorite movie moments, just five recent ones. I do have that memory issue.
  1. Once - The "Falling Slowly" music number. What a great scene.! The music is great (the song won an Oscar!) and everyone - the directors, actors, musicians and editors - gets what happens when people connect for the first time.

  2. Moulin Rouge - The "Elephant Love Medley" number. I saw this movie with Janie, and halfway through this song, I turned to her and said, "I love this movie!" The eagerness of Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman's complete dedication to her role won me over. The whole movie is fabulous, but I still remember my reaction to this moment in the movie.

  3. Before Sunrise - The opening train scene when Jesse and Celine meet for the first time. I was freaking out when I started watching this movie because I experienced what I was watching. Well, not exactly. I didn't get off a train with a guy I just met before telling him my name, but I did ask a guy to eat dinner with me before I knew his name. Many Americans watching this movie probably rolled their eyes at how far fetched this scene was, but it's authentic. Backpackers are a sub culture in Europe. If you meet someone on a train or in a hostel that speaks your language, you pursue the relationship, even if it's only a two hour train ride. You share personal things and exchange travel stories. And sometimes, like Jesse and Celine, you ask for more, and have a great experience. I actually like the sequel, Before Sunset, better than the original, but it was the opening train scene that stayed with me.

  4. Little Miss Sunshine - The pageant scene. I have never laughed so hard at a movie as I did while watching Little Miss Sunshine. The whole movie is funny, but Olive's performance in the pageant tops it all. Once I started laughing, I couldn't stop. I was laughing so hard, I started to sweat. I walked out of the theatre laughing. I got on the phone and called Rachel, Janie and Megan (I think) to tell them to stop what they were doing and watch this movie. I couldn't go so sleep that night because I kept playing parts of the movie over and over in my head and laughing. If that isn't movie magic, I don't know what is.

  5. The Constant Gardener -The entire movie. The performances were great (Oscar awarded to Rachel Weisz), the method of jumping-around-in-time story-telling technique was effective, the "liberal" message of giant corporations covering up wrongdoing was timely, the visual style of the movie - all of these things combined to make a movie I loved. I walked out of the theatre thinking this was the best movie I'd seen all year. I later found out the director also directed City of God, one of my all-time favorite movies.
I did not list these movies in any particular order. I had this idea on my drive back from Lubbock last week. When I thought of a movie, I would write it down. When I looked at the list, I realized I owned all the movies on it. What would make your list of magic movie moments? Share in the comments!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Friday Five: Oh Me, Oh My

  1. Work is really picking up. I worked three nights this week - in addition to my normal day schedule. But I also feel like I'm finally getting in a groove with my new job. One of the reasons I took this job was because I thought it would be a good fit with my strengths and interests, and this week proved I was right. Tuesday was my rock star day: I delivered a presentation that resulted in two new volunteers and a new patient. I also got word that my event chair recruited a volunteer to handle advocacy, a focus area because the Texas legislature is in session right now.

  2. Saturday I'm walking in the Komen Race for the Cure. I've never participated in a Komen Race in the spring before. I hope it doesn't rain.

  3. I found this great, high-intensity workout on Exercise TV On Demand. It's a boot camp aerobic workout, and it wears me out! Any exercise routine that involves burpees and mountain climbers is hard work. If you have Exercise TV On Demand, give it a try. I think it's called BootCampCalBurn.

  4. I know this is old news, but was anyone else shocked when South Africa not only denied a visa for the Dalai Lama to attend a peace summit but announced they were awarding Castro with an honor they've also awarded to MLK and Gandhi?

  5. My sister is getting married next Saturday. Crazy, crazy, crazy. A week after that, my college friend Elisabeth is getting married. So I'll be spending the new two weekends in Houston and Lubbock. As a result, please do not expect regularly-scheduled programming. I've barely kept up the last few weeks.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday Five: Picture Perfect

I have a strange assortment of photos on my external hard drive. I've picked five of my favorites to share with you today.
  1. Rachel interprets the look on Joe's face as "Why I am surrounded by all these crazy white people?" It's a valid question. Me, and the gang, in all our silliness.

  2. The reason I started this blog was to document my trip to Prague in 2006 (?), so I'm including a picture of the chandelier made from every bone in the human body from the "bone church" outside of Prague. Fascinating place.

  3. I couldn't speak Italian, they couldn't speak English, but these nice Roman police officers were kind enough to take a photo with me.

  4. I had to provide a childhood photo for a United Way retreat two years ago, so this is the only photo of me as a child in my possession. Aren't I adorable? :-)

  5. And of course, the blurry photo of me and John Corbett, the actor from Sex and the City. My shirt reads "Sex my city." I wore this tank under my "normal" clothes. He was greeting everyone after the show, taking pictures, so I told him about the tank I had on. He made me show it to him. Then he made me take a photo with him. And he made me hug him no less than five times. And he slapped my butt for good measure. Ah, encounters with tipsy famous people.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Friday Five: Things You Should Know

Another late Friday post. I was in Austin all last week for a training, so I didn't have time to write.

Today I'm listing five things I think you should know about me. My guess is that most of you already know these things, but, hey, I have to come up with five things to write every week.
  1. I keep a Happy List, and I have since my junior year in high school. It's a list of things that make me laugh, I feel blessed by, I am grateful for or I appreciate. You get the idea. I have seven or eight journals full of happy thoughts from the last 20 years, which I think is a great way to track my life. I have a blast reading through old happy lists from college with my ACU friends. All it takes is a simple phrase, and we're laughing and reminiscing. Thanks Janie for the idea!

  2. I love the Dallas Cowboys. Always have, always will. Not sure why. I really don't remember when I started following the Cowboys. It's almost like I woke up one day and decided to be a fan. Growing up, we always watched Cowboys games on Thanksgiving, but that was about it. And I started watching before the first Super Bowl of the 90s, so I wasn't jumping on the bandwagon. You know where to find on Sunday afternoons during football season.

  3. I love movies. My aunt dragged me to see the movie Spitfire Grill in high school because it won some award at the Sundance Film Festival. I had never heard of it. Little did she know that the knowledge that such a movie even existed would change my movie viewing habits forever. In college I started searching out movies with endorsements by Sundance, Cannes and all the other obscure film festivals and film critics groups. Not all were winners. Ask Rachel. But my search led me to films like Memento, Run Lola Run and Billy Elliot. It's why I become obsessed with the Oscars every year, even though I could go on a tangent about how political the Oscars have become. It's why I read film blogs, so I can hear about movies like City of God, one of the best movies I've seen since college. I'm not a film buff, because I haven't seen many classic films. I'm not going to give examples. I don't want to embarrass myself. But I do love films.

  4. I've subscribed to Newsweek since sophomore year of high school. Even when I was living in London and Ireland, I kept up my subscription. The first thing I do when I come home on a Tuesday, is flip through the latest issue. I won't pretend to know everything or even have an opinion about everything, but I want to know what is going on in our country and world. Just like I believe every able person should vote, I believe those of us in free countries should take advantage of the information available to us. How can we keep our leaders accountable if we're ignorant?

  5. If I had the money and opportunity, I would quit my job and leave everyone I know to travel the world. My family always traveled, but we were limited to where we could get by car in a day or two. I don't think I appreciated what my parents gave to me by taking me to different cities and different states. But when I moved to London, and then to Ireland, and started jumping from city to city in Europe, I fell in love with what I was doing. I loved acting like a local to get to know a new city. I loved comparing my culture to the culture I was in. I loved seeing the history I sort of remembered from high school. I loved arriving in a new city where I didn't speak the language with only a book to direct me. You get to know yourself that way. I told a story to my boss about arriving in Athens at night, by myself, with no place to stay, and a guidebook that translated Greek street names into English. Not helpful when you are trying to figure out where to go. I don't remember how I got to the hotel; I just figured it out. And my boss said that story explained a lot about how I work. To her, I take in what I know, what I can get, and then start moving, putting the pieces together as I can to get a result. And she knows I am going to get the job done. Was I always that way or did I develop that skill by traveling? Either way, I know that travel changed me and will always change me if I do it right.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Five

  1. I wrote a post on Friday after all. I had a few hours between normal work hours and attending a Relay For Life event tonight. Since my job is help people plan and execute this overnight event, I'm glad I have the opportunity to be a part of one first. It should help me do my job.

  2. Gas stations in this are have started stocking caffeine-free Diet Dr. Pepper, and it makes me happy. I spend a lot of time on the road for this job, and I like to drink something other than water. Especially if I've driving home at night, drinking a caffeine-free drink is like tricking my body

  3. I'm getting closer to watching all the movies nominated for top awards at the Oscars (picture, actor, actress, foreign film, documentary, screenplay). Once I see Frost/Nixon and Frozen River, I will have seen all the best picture and best actor/actress and screenplay nominated films. Yay! I'm not doing so great with foreign films and documentaries; they need to come out on DVD.

  4. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the Watch Instantly feature on Netflix. I just watched the Visitor, starring Oscar-nominee Richard Jenkins. Somehow Netflix manages to stream a two-hour movie at high quality with no interruptions, and yet, every time I try to watch an ABC show online, it stalls my entire Internet connection. If you aren't taking advantage of this feature, do it now. I've heard the studios want to renegotiated the available this feature. There are some really great films available to watch this way, including popular movies like Made of Honor and Enchanted, and entire seasons of TV shows (all three seasons of the Office!)

  5. "What is this, Horseville? Cause I'm surrounded by naysayers! Word play!" and “What those people were doing to the Superdome." or "One word: coffee. One problem: where do you get it?' ' Anywhere!You get it anywhere!"

    If you don't know where those quotes came from, it's because you still aren't watching the funniest show on TV. Haven't we discussed this? (By the way, you can also watch 30 Rock instantly on Netflix. What are you waiting for?)

Friday Update

No Friday Five this week. I've worked every night this week, so I didn't have time to write my weekly feature. I will try to get something up before the weekend is over.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Five

  1. Quote of the Week: "Traveling changes you but slowly, minutely. It's not one big mind altering event but a polishing of the edges of your personality. So of course I'm different. I can already see many of the changes. But many of these were incremental changes I never even noticed - and still haven't." - Matt Kepnes

  2. Commentary of the Week: My friend Janie's take on the heroine of the movie Happy-Go-Lucky. In case you forgot (or don't know) Janie started the Happy List tradition that I still carry on. This movie has been on my to-watch list since I heard about it, and I'm glad I watched it before I read Janie's thoughts. I totally agree with her, too!

  3. Movie Trailer of the Week: So far John Krasinski hasn't had a great movie career, but this movie has potential. Plus it co-stars Maya Rudolph. And Maggie Gyllenhaal! And Allison Janney! And Catharine O'Hara! It's also written by Dave Eggers and his wife, so it should be funny.

  4. Life Event of the Week: I turned 30! I had a group of friends over for lunch on Saturday, and it was a blast. I enjoyed having people from different stages of my life present: family, high school friends, college friends, "real-world" friends, and a few tag-a-longs. And keeping with tradition, I had cookie cake. Not just one, but two! I will never outgrow cookie cake.

  5. Happy things of the week:
    • exercising for two weeks without foot issues (including some running!)
    • listening to Rick Steves' podcasts while exercising on the treadmill
    • patches of bluebonnets throughout the city, not just on the side of the highway
    • playing Taboo
    • Stephen Colbert told the the South Carolina governor he was extremely boring
    • "Beautiful World," duet by Dierks Bentley and Patty Griffin
    • taking a walk along the lake on a sunny afternoon

Friday, March 13, 2009

My Next 30 Years

Today is the last day of my 20s. Tomorrow I turn the BIG 3-0. In honor of this milestone, I've made a list of things I want to accomplish or experience in my next 30 years.
  1. Visit every country in Europe
  2. Travel to six of seven continents (I don't really care about Antarctica)
  3. Run a marathon
  4. Learn conversational Spanish
  5. Go scuba diving
  6. Find the perfect job
  7. Keep up my Happy List
  8. Get married and have children
  9. Give more money to charity
  10. Turn passion into action
  11. Get out of debt and stay that way
  12. Attend all 4 Grand Slam tennis championships (one down, three to go)
  13. Attend a taping of the Daily Show
  14. Attend a taping of the Colbert Report
  15. Buy a car I love
  16. Get fit and stay that way
  17. See U2 in concert
  18. Meet Emmitt Smith
  19. Go to the Oscars or the Super Bowl
  20. Start a new tradition
  21. Bring someone to Christ
  22. Take hobby classes (photography, cooking, dancing, etc.)
  23. Find a new hobby
  24. Help someone on the side of the road like I've been helped
  25. Send a kid to summer camp
  26. Bake a pie for the family that will be passed down to future generations
  27. Read every Pulitzer Prize-winning fiction novel
  28. See an opera at the Met
  29. Never say no out of fear
  30. Always be myself
"I think I'll take a moment to celebrate my age, the ending of an era and the turning of a page. Now it's time to focus on where I'll go from here. Lord have mercy on my next 30 years." - Tim McGraw song

Monday, February 16, 2009

Friday Five: Better Late Than Never

Wow! I'm horrible at blogging these days. I didn't realize how much blog writing I did at work until I got a new job with actual work to keep me busy. I don't know how many people still check my blog for updates, but I'm making a spring resolution to blog once a week. Starting today
  1. Overall, I was pleased with the Oscars. Loved Hugh Jackman as host, especially his opening song-and-dance number. Last time I blogged, I recommended you see Slumdog Millionare, so I'm glad it won Best Picture. I wish Kate Winslet had won for Revolutionary Road instead of the Reader, but she is incredible in everything she does, so I'm glad she finally won an Oscar.

  2. I've given up caffeine for Lent. I did this last year, and liked the results. This year, my goal is to stay off caffeine after Lent. I might have to make an exception when I am required to stay up all night two Fridays in a row for Relay For Life events. Justified exception. I've been drinking caffeine-free Dr. Diet Pepper and Fresca as I slowly eliminate all carbonated beverages from my diet.

  3. Quote of the Day: "Others take notice of your radiance; share your happiness."

  4. Terrell Owens is no longer a Dallas Cowboy. I'm a fan of this decision. He was the biggest voice in the locker room and more often than not, a divisive presence. I don't have statistics in front of me, but it seemed like Romo threw more interceptions in Owens' direction than any other receiver. This doesn't fix the problems the offense had last season, but at least the quarterback and offensive coordinator's number one priority doesn't have to be Owen's happiness.

  5. Here are a few things that have made me happy lately:
    • on-demand channels
    • buying a bridesmaid dress for $25
    • getting back in touch with a friend
    • Nadal beat Federer to win the Australian Open
    • watching the Super Bowl with friends
    • sleeping with the windows open
    • Love Potion #31 ice cream at Baskin Robbins (Rachel, I think this is our favorite flavor from college!)
    • Starbucks Sour Jellybeans (and seasonal candy in general)
    • artichokes
    • being silly with Rachel
    • ringing in the new year with old friends

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Five: Long Time Gone

Wow! I can't believe I haven't blogged in more than a month! I now return to my weekly feature.
  1. The new job is going well. January started with a bang. I've started traveling to my territories and made several trips to the Austin office for training and events. I enjoy working with volunteers, and am staying positive about my more challenging events and communities. My boss is encouraging and easy to talk to. My coworkers are friendly and supportive. It's a good fit.

  2. Because of all the traveling I've been doing for work, I haven't been able to establish much of a routine or find a church home. My best bet for a church of Christ here doesn't have any single people my age. The young professionals class I attended was full of married couples. Everyone was friendly and welcoming, but I'd prefer to find some people in the same life stage as me. So I'm still searching for that. I've joined a group of girls that meet once a week for dinner. After three or four weeks, I've determined these aren't the right type of people for me. No one from this group will become a lifelong friend. So I'm "using" them until I find a group where I feel like I belong.

  3. I had a great girls' night with Rachel and Lauren (plus a few add-ons) from college a few weeks ago. We had a blast! It's always fun to spend time with close friends, the kind where you can pick up where you left off, not matter how much time has passed between visits.

  4. Movie Update. I recommend Slumdog Millionaire and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Button is a classic "Oscar movie." Very polished and epic. I'd read that it was hard to connect to emotionally, but that wasn't the reaction I had. Can I just add that Brad Pritt is beautiful? Slumdog is at heart a romance, which makes all the critical acclaim bizarre. I have a theory regarding the mostly male movie critics and feminine-oriented films. Critics do not forgive weakness in chick flicks, usually romances, but they forgive all sorts of liberties and flaws in male-oriented films. Slumdog is a violent, gritty film that appeals to males, but it's also a love story. Somehow the so-called flaws of this love story are acceptable because it's in masculine packaging. Anyway, I liked the movie and encourage you to see it. The presentation - colors, soundtrack, editing- is great. Also, the subtitles were part of the presentation instead of a distraction. I also enjoyed the movie Last Chance Harvey with Emma Thompson and Dennis Hoffman. Emma Thompson is fabulous! A grown-up love story. Rachel Getting Married was more emotional than I expected. Anne Hathaway is good. She should take more complex roles like Kym and stay away from fluff like Bride Wars. I'm pretty sure the heat wasn't working in the theatre; I wore my coat and gloves. Gloves! In the documentary genre, I suggest American Teen, a profile of high school seniors in Indiana. It's been compared to a the Breakfast Club (with real people) because it profiles a nerd, a jock, the popular girl, and the quirky outcast. Some parts seem phony, but character of Hannah was enough to keep me invested in the story. Worth a rent.

  5. Book Update. I went on a reading kick and read two novels by Tana French - In the Woods and the Likeness. Both are murder mysteries set in Ireland (!) with well-developed characters, interesting, complex stories and excellent writing. The books are a series, so read In the Woods first.