Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Open Mic Night...Macon Style

So the other evening after work I stopped at a coffeehouse. Oddly I don't like this place's drinks, but I do love the chocolate cheesecake brownies; and it's a relaxing place to read and write. Well usually it is. I curled up in a corner of a velvet couch with my Bible, a notebook, and an ipod. There was a newspaper on the table in front of the sofa so that became a conversation starter for some not-cute-way-too-old guy. Since the Mr. Regular situation is still fresh in my mind I wasn't my usual friendly self, so I only removed my ear piece to say "You can have the whole paper; it's not mine" and then ignored whatever he said next. (Side note: Mr. Regular left a message with my secretary today; whatever.).

So another guy comes in, placing a guitar behind the couch, and takes residence next to me, trying to start a conversation despite the ipod and my obvious focus on writing. Are people that lonely and desperate for conversation? I imagine some people are and that's sad.

Then the coffeehouse staff starts moving all of the furniture, and it turns out that it's Open Mic Night. I never would have guessed that there were such events in Macon simply because there just doesn't seem to be many of the kind of people living here who would participate in such. At this point, I figure I should move to the other room of the coffeehouse, but it has now been closed off and is reserved...for two old couples who are dancing. Weird.

So as soon as the mic is set up, a guy in his late teens/early 20s comes in and throws his backpack down and hops on the stool. Then he pulls a PDA out of one of his many velcro pockets and proceeds to read a super sappy poem from his PDA, pausing every few words to scroll down. It was hilarious. He finishes the poem and grabs his backpack, clearly planning to read his poem and leave without so much as listening to anyone else or buying a coffee. The guitar guy then engages him in conversation, and the young guy decides to read another poem from his PDA. The he leaves.

So the guitar guy plays a really long and loud song complete with some moaning. By his second ten minutes song, he was so loud that my ipod's volume was threatening to blow out my ear drums. So I gave up and headed home. Despite the less than stellar performances, I'm glad that Macon has a few surprises up its sleeves.

And I can't believe it's already Wednesday:)

p.s. Lately I've been thinking it'd be nice to have an annonymous blog like greenline boy does. I'm generally very open, but lately I've found myself struggling with something I can't blast over the blogosphere. Oh well, it's probably a good exercise in restraint for me.

Monday, October 30, 2006


I'm halfheartedly watching the stupid show called The Bachelor, and Lisa's timeline and dedication to it reminded me of an issue that has come up a good bit lately. A woman I met recently told me about she was having a hard time because her siblings were married and one of her good friends had recently entered into a relationship. Another person told me about how bittersweet weddings are for her because she isn't married. A law school friend showed me her china patterns even though she wasn't dating anyone and lamented that she would never meet the One (she was 25 at the time).

Even though I'm from a town where the average age for a first marriage is probably 19, I always thought I'd be 30 when I got married. And both of my sisters have been married for years and have children, but their marriages, if anything, have made me glad to be single (in part because marriage is such hard work). I realize that I have the rest of my life to be married, but I can't ever be single again once I'm married. Plus I am grateful for the experience of being an aunt as a single person as I'm sure it's completely different than it would be if I already had children or even a husband; meaning that I've been able to devote so much more time and energy to that relationship than I would have been able to otherwise. Don't get me wrong though--there have definitely been times (when I was in a relationship) that I thought being married would be great fun and longed for it, but when I'm not in relationships I generally appreciate all of the freedom that comes with singleness--like the girl time this last weekend in the mountains or deciding tonight to go to the Auburn game this weekend.

But I wonder if my tune will change if I'm still single in six years. I hope not, but it definitely seems like so many people who are older and have never been married can't find as much joy in their friends and family members' romantic relationships, engagements, and marriages as others. With that being said, I'm not slamming those people who have that bittersweet feeling at every wedding (and are crying for a reason altogether different than joy). It's hard when your plan doesn't match up with God's plan for your life. And people can ask the most ridiculous questions--for example, a secretary at work once told me that I was smart and pretty, so "why are you still single?" I told her I had herpes, and she shut up really quickly. Ok, just kidding about the herpes. But I definitely felt like giving an asinine answer to her thoughtless query. The best was when I was about 22 and someone asked me when I was going to have a baby. Seriously.

Weekend before last my sister and I were discussing this issue, and evidently someone had recently asked her why I still wasn't married. My sister thinks I'm waaaaaaaaaay too picky. For example, my friend Ozzy recently wanted to set me up with his friend. Trying to get a feel for the guy beyond Ozzy's desciption of "nice," I (randomly) asked how many times a month the guy got drunk. Ozzy responded that "He's kind of like Nick Lachey on Newlyweds. He's always drinking a beer, but he never really gets drunk. He drinks every day but never more than 5 or 6." Great. I told him that I had zero interest in dating anyone who drank every single day; someone smelling like beer on a daily basis is very unattractive to me. My sister considered that as being way too picky. She asked me what I was looking for in a potential husband, and upon hearing my list, she promptly told me that I was never going to get married. Oh well, so be it if asking for a Christian (and not just on Sundays:), attractive (not objectively hot just attractive to me), non-daily drinking or smoking, intellectual, fit, and fun guy is too much to ask for....

On an unrelated note, here's some pics from my recent venture to the fair. Much to my guy friends' consternation, most of these girls are very happily married. Check out my John Deer belt buckle.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Things for Which I'm Happy...

Henry David Thoreau: He wrote one of my favorite books—Walden. I've loved that book since I first read it in seventh grade. This quote was definitely gave me peace when I was 12 and felt so different than my peers (who seemed soooo immature): "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." And one of his most quoted quotes: "If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." I love his reminder that "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation."

"Hands Down": This song by Dashboard Confessionals always make me smile.

"Hanging by a Moment" is the song that convinced me to buy the Lifehouse CD, and I've been a big fan ever since. There other songs are fantastic too, and I think most of them are about being a Christian; although I don't think they are marketed that way.

"Here I Go Again": Remember the supermodel on the hood of the car? Gotta love Whitesnake.

"Hey Jealousy" (Gin Blossoms) and "Hold On" (Wilson Phillips): I've probably listened to these songs 1000 times.

"Honey & the Moon" (Joseph Arthur): There's just something really sweet about this song; it kept me company during travels last year.

Heaven, hope, hot chocolate (with whip cream and made with milk), Hungry Hungry Hippo, He-Man ("By the power of Grey Skull, I have the power!!!"), hamburgers (from the grill with cheese and ketchup), hands, handsome men (although there are too few), hotdogs (burnt on the grill), happy hours, Harry's in a Hurry, hostels (that's how I afforded to stay in Europe an extra two weeks), the humanities

Harvard University: My family never traveled, except for work related trips for my step-father. When I was 13 he had to attend a week-long workshop at Harvard, so we FINALLY got to go somewhere besides Florida and Jekyll Island. I absolutely loved Boston and Cambridge and had my first taste of exploring a cool new place, which became a real love for travel.

Honesty: I love really honest and candid people, and I strive to be that kind of person. Today I did something really honest; and it wasn't easy but I'm glad I did it.


When I was in middle school my siblings and I received rewards for good grades. I was so weird that I once told my mother that they didn't need to pay me to make good grades because I made the grades for myself. So as a reward for "As" my mom and step-father would take us out to eat at Red Lobster at the end of each grading period. It's funny how that food was really good to me back then. The last time I ate at Red Lobster (per my father's request for Father's Day a year ago), I swore I'd never do it again. Side note: You can get those yummy garlic cheese rolls to go without enduring the rest of the frozen food.

On these special occasions and on vacation, we were allowed to order strawberry daiquiris. That was pretty exciting. As I looked older, I had to start clarifying that I wanted a "virgin" daiquiri, which I found a little embarassing. Saying the word made me blush. So yesterday as I was surfing around the blogosphere, I ran across something that reminded me of those days. I wish I remembered what blog it was from so I could post the link, but after so many clicks, I have no idea how I found the blog. Anyway, the female writer was recounting her sister's antics at a restaurant one night. The writer and her other siblings ordered Shirley Temples and whatnot. The waitress asked for her sister's drink request, and she blurted out that she "wants a daiquiri that's had sex." The children's mother, of course, wanted to crawl under the table.

p.s. I looked at the television listings, and it shows episodes of Grey's Anatomy at both 9:00 and 10:00. Just a heads up!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A Mock Intruder Drill....

will be taking place at the elementary school (K-5) where my mother is a counselor and my niece is a first grader tomorrow. I am really put off by this idea and kind of shocked by it. Of course, the rash of school shootings has also been quite appalling, and I understand a community's desire to "do" something about it.

Evidently a police officer will play the role of "intruder" and hold a teacher hostage. There will be EMS workers and police officers at the school as well. I hate the idea of five year olds having to think about the possibility of someone invading the school during story time. I'm just not sure what the utility of installing this fear and awareness is since I don't see how students practicing for an attack can really help. I guess it's good for teachers to know what the emergency plan is, but in reality, I'm not sure how much good training can do when someone is already in a school with a gun and wants to hurt others (and doesn't even mind risking his own life). I guess I think the best line of attack is keeping people out of the school, and I've personally entered this particular school on two occasions and never been stopped or asked to identify myself.

The high school is having an intruder drill as well, but the intruder will actually have a gun with blanks and be firing it. While that seems extreme to me, I'm not quite as put off by that notion. I guess I just hate little children, who are incapable of fully understanding this kind of drill, having their innocence stolen for what seems like no good reason to me.

On a positive note, no word from Mr. Regular, but then again, I was out of the office most of the day. I got to drive a total of four hours to file a piece of paper....I LOVE "work" like that--it's like being a very well-compensated truck driver or something.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Some things never change...

So my ten year class reunion was this weekend, and it was…fine. I just don't have strong feelings about it one way or another, although I certainly appreciate the two women who took the time to plan it. It was in a room at the Elks Lodge with barbecue and coleslaw and cookies from Kroger. They had even hired a DJ to play really awful music at a blaring level. We were all screaming across our BBQ sandwiches in attempts to catch up.

The class president asked me several times if I thought people were going to dance. Since the reunion began at 6:00 and it was still daylight outside (and no one was drunk), I told her that I seriously doubted it. Plus the music included Will Smith, Lynrd Skynrd, and various depressing country artists. I'm guessing that was the DJ's idea of what was popular in 1996.

Several couples came in and sat alone at tables away from everyone else. I have no idea what the point of coming to a class reunion is if you do that since you could talk to your spouse at home but to each his own. Most people came in groups or with a spouse, but it never even occurred to me to do that. I enjoyed hearing a detective's job stories, but most of the other conversations were the basics--marital status, location, and job. And just like old times, three guys came in two hours late and drunk. I hung out with them in high school, and after spending a few minutes chatting with them, it was clear that little had changed. The scary part is that two of them are high school teachers/coaches.

My high school had a nursery for students' babies, so of course, children were a big focus of the reunion--with classmates' children in a slide show; the problem was I didn't know which baby belonged to which classmate. Various awards were given out, but the most notable one was a surprise. Three of my female classmates were called up to the little stage. They received the award for having the most children and were given bags of condoms. Hmm.

While it was neat to hear about what everyone was doing, I was anxious to get back to my nieces (who could not understand why they couldn't go with me to this "party"), so I left at 9:00. They're a lot more fun than any reunion.

p.s. Having this girl on The Bachelor who doesn't speak English is ridiculous.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Quick Update on Mr. Regular

So my office phone rang on Friday, and guess who? Mr. Regular had to tell me that he was from the pizza place because I didn't know who he was when he just said "This is Mr. Regular." I think I even asked if he was a client or insurance adjuster or something.

Once that was cleared up, he asked if I had tried to eat at the Soup Kitchen. I thought that was a kind of stalkerish question, so I replied with an annoyed "no," while pulling up my blog to review what I was suppose to say. I hadn't written it down on a sticky note yet because I didn't anticipate his call until next week since I'd told him how busy was I was at work. Not sure why I expected Mr. Regular to wait a few days or abide by other social customs though. I guess hope springs eternal.

"Well I'm just calling to wish you a happy weekend," explains Mr. Regular.

"Thanks. I hope you have a good weekend and rest of the day. Bye."

Despite our 90 second exchange that didn't include any invitations, my heart rate rose and my face flooded with color. I don't know why things like this affect me that way--particularly given that I've given speeches in front of hundreds of people without feeling that wound up. Oh well, after the very short way in which I responded to Mr. Regular I'm hoping he won't bother me again. While hope springs eternal, I'm betting he will.

p.s. Thanks for all of your suggestions.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

When Will I "Get Good" at this Stuff?

And by stuff, I mean rejecting men that I have absolutely no interest in whatsover without having to think about it.

Yesterday was a really stressful day at work, so I cancelled my lunch plans and opted to grab pizza at "the Soup Kitchen" while I revised a release agreement. Mr. Regular was there, and we exchanged hellos. Mr. Regular must eat at the Soup Kitchen a lot because I eat there on average twice a week, and he's almost always there when I stop by. A few weeks ago he introduced himself and a coworker to me since we see each other so frequently. They work at the same hospital a few of my friends work at, so we chatted briefly about that. Like I've said, I like the familiarity and community feeling in Macon, so it's nice that people are so friendly. I didn't think anything of the introduction, assuming Mr. Regular was married with a couple of kids (I'm not good about looking for wedding bands though). Since then we've smiled and said hello, but that's it. Note: Mr. Regular is a little shorter than me, overweight, and appears to be my father's age (55), although it's possible that he a little younger.

As I walked back to the office I was deep in thought and actually walking and revising at the same time when Mr. Regular crosses the street, speaking to me as he does so. I thought it was odd since Mr. Regular was coming from the opposite direction of both the hospital and the Soup Kitchen; he had apparently taken a stroll around the block near my office.

"Hey, we should grab lunch tomorrow."

"What?" I reply.

"Let's grab lunch tomorrow."

"Um I already have plans," I respond.

"We can go to Tokyo Alley," he says.

"Um, well I don't eat there, and I already have plans."

"Well, it'll be on me though," he replies.

"Well I don't care if it's free or not, I don't eat at Tokyo Alley. It smells bad [like a nursing home]." I say, feeling irritated and wondering what in the world is going on. Seriously. At first thought, I figured he just thought since we each ate lunch together today, we could eat together sometime. While I love to eat lunch alone and often intentionally do so (by sneaking out before someone can ask me to join them), I realize some people don't enjoy solitude. At this point, I'm really taken off guard. I have a million work things swimming through my head and am shocked that Mr. Regular, a virtual stranger, and I are having this ridiculous conversation.

"Well how about another day?" he asks.

"Well I'm slammed this week, sorry." I reply.

"Oh, well we can do it another time. How can I get in touch with you?"

Argh. "I don't have any of my cards with me, sorry."

Mr. Regular pulls out his cell phone to add my number to it. Not knowing what to say, I give him my office phone number (where we don't even have caller id).

I am so stupid, but I had no idea what to say. I was so taken off guard by the whole thing that I just gave it to him. Yuck. Then he tells me that he'll give me a call.

This whole thing makes me angry because now it's going to be weird at the Soup Kitchen (it's tiny) b/c of this, so I guess I'll just lunch later. This may sound terrible, but what is this man thinking? He's several decades older than me, not in good shape, and clearly trying to run into me on the street so he can ask me out. Anyway, who cares what he thinks, but what should I say when he calls?

I have such a hard time with stuff like this that I have to write it down and keep it by the phone to keep from just giving in and going out. My best thought so far is:

"You really caught me off guard the other day when you asked for my number. I don't usually give my number to people that I don't know, and while I appreciate the lunch offer, I've got a lot on my plate right now and will have to pass."

Any better (or different) ideas? This is the kind of stuff that makes me want to quit being friendly!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Things I'm Grateful for.....


grenadine: Not only is it delicious, but it (along with the poor quality of all Coke products in Costa Rica) helped me make the switch to Diet Coke.

Goobers: I still can't believe my father ever paid for us to go to the movies AND that he bought popcorn and candy. Well not just any candy that we wanted--just Goobers. And he would pour them in the popcorn, so I never knew whether I'd get a regular handful or an ooey-gooey melting chocolate handful.

the gym: Macon finally got a real, normal gym where each piece of cardio equipment has its own television. I've been waiting on this for years, and it's only a half mile from where I live.

Gifts: The best gifts are the ones that make you absolutely sure the giver knows you. And really knows you. A guy I went out with two or three times and subsequently became friends with is the best gift-giver I've ever witnessed. He has brought so many smiles to my face with his random gifts that remind me that he "gets" me in some special way. I got a postcard from him this week (from southern France), letting me know that the French don't have a translation for "billable hour," should I want to relocate.

Guacamole, Girls Just Want to Have Fun (I've watched it at least 15 times), Goo-Goo Dolls, The Griswolds (funny stuff), Lewis Grizzard (funny columnist), John Grisham (I love A Time to Kill), Gone with the Wind, green (this color has only recently grown on me, but I now like it), gmail, ginger (I love Origins ginger stuff, and my mother recently found something at Walmart that is as good), Grease, Gin Blossoms, Grey's Anatomy, Ghiradelli chocolate (one of the few places I had time to visit while in San Fransico for an afternoon)

Greg: The best guy friend two girls could have. My best friend and I spent tons of time with him during our year at UGA, and he patiently hung our shelves, listened to our drama, and generally amused us--and never hit on us no matter how drunk we were. He also didn't get mad at me when I got his car keys out of his jacket pocket, stole his car (yes, I was that drunk), and left him downtown with a rather unattractive girl. The next morning I knew he would be furious, but he didn't even care. He also watched countless hours of Silk Stalkings with me, which no one else would do. In short, he's a super friend, and I love how we pick right up whenever we see each other or talk.

Greats: Two people who have had a tremendous impact on my life are greats--both great-aunts.

It's late, and I'm probably leaving out a ton of stuff; but this is a good start....

Monday, October 16, 2006

First Kisses

I'll give you three guesses as to what prompted me to think about this topic.

I love the feeling (excitement, tension, and awkwardness combined) in the air before the first kiss. Usually I know it's coming. On my third date with B.E. I knew he wanted to kiss me. It was after all our third date, and we were having fun. Because I'm mean like that, I subtly thwarted each of his efforts by turning my head, starting a new conversation, or the like. Of course, I finally quit, but it was fun to mess with him.

But my most recent first kiss wasn't exciting at all, and even though I wasn't really looking forward to it (I was tired and not incredibly interested), I went along with it in hopes that the kiss might make me like him more. And although he was techically a good kisser, it didn't.

If I were a guy, I think I'd have to go on at least four dates and see a lot of enthusiasm before I'd muster the courage to kiss someone. Unless drinking is involved in which case I'd try on the first date. But I don't think I'd be the guy that would ask first--that just kind of ruins the moment, but I guess that's better than kissing someone who doesn't want to be kissed. A head turn would be so embarassing.

One of my friends, lets call her Grace, has been dating a guy since last spring. And they still haven't kissed. Yes, I know that seems crazy (they really aren't), but there's something that is slightly appealing about that to me. Imagine a relationship in which you're not totally overcome with thoughts of what you want to do with each other physically but instead talking and really getting to know each other. I guess I call that friendship. Hmm. Well anyway, it's been fun to watch their very intentional relationship and the gradual steps that they've taken in getting to know each other. For example, hand holding was a big deal to them. I think that's kind of cool, and it's refreshing in comparison to everything not being a big deal in our culture. It's like reclaiming excitement. I hate the lack of passion my generation seems to have when it comes to sex. Anyway I could write several posts on that topic--maybe another day.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Weekend....

wore me out. I generally depend on the weekends to help me catch up on rest, but this weekend has left me feeling more tired. Oh well, that's how the ball bounces sometimes. Just an aside, I have no idea how people regularly communte in traffic. It's exhuasting. I had a commute of about 30 minutes the first four months I taught school, but it was a 25 mile drive so no traffic or hassle. It was actually kind of relaxing because I would eat breakfast, listen to morning radio and music, and think; it was before cell phones were used for anything besides emergencies, so there was no compulsion to catch up with people while driving either. I'll spare you the details of the irritating commute I had while working at an Atlanta law firm one summer, but suffice to say, I knew I could never commit to a daily commute of any length.

So anyway, I took a half day off on Friday so I could pick up the cakes for my step-sister's wedding reception and get a partial (highlights). Despite it being mid-day, it took me three times as long as it should have to get to Atlanta. Fortunately I was able to get a later appointment since I missed my appointment time. I did pick up the cakes, and I ate plenty of the white chocolate one the next night. Yummy. The wedding and reception went fine, and bam now they are a family (my step-sister has a daughter and her husband has two children). I pray that those children have an easier time of the step-parent(s) than I did. That's tough stuff.

Random thoughts: My mother's ($1000 plus) digital camera rocks. I used it all weekend, which is why I don't have many fun pics to post from the festivities.

This weather is delightful and so are my nieces.

I should have worked today. Yuck.

The reception was casual and outside. Several women had on what looked like riding pants with calf/knee high boots. I guess that is some new trend. I am not a very trendy person, so I'm often surprised by how people will wear something that is unflattering just because it's "in." The other day a salesperson at J Crew was trying to convince me to buy a corduroy vest. That's evidently "in" right now, but I personally think I'm way too young to be accessorizing with vests (unless the vest is for warmth, but even then--why not wear something with sleeves?). Similarly I'm not wearing "skinny jeans" with ankle zippers. This isn't to say that I haven't looked horrid on many ocassions, probably as a result of my genetic lack of style/fashion sense, etc.

I love Legally Blond.

My ten year class reunion is next weekend. It should be interesting even though only 40 people have RSVPed (from a graduating class of over 200).

Here's a photo of my mother at the reception, my niece Lauren, and the pretty view on the drive out to the reception.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Yet Another Good Reason to Pray....

just occurred to me while I was watching Grey's Anatomy (don't read this post if you're waiting until this weekend to watch the Grey's episode). Seeking God and His wisdom through prayer results in me not making as many rash (and often irrational) decisions. Before I was a Christian (and even sometimes now), I would impulsively make a decision based on how I felt at the moment I was making the decision. And then of course the next day or week I'd wonder if I made a mistake.

Now when I'm making an important decision (and even some not so important decisions), I pray. Granted, I don't pray enough, and I sometimes forget to ask for God's guidance; but in general, I don't make quick decisions and do my best to turn things over to God. Before Donatello and I quit dating, I did a lot of praying; several months of prayer went into the decision to end the relationship. And there were definitely days when I felt certain that it was time to end it before the actual ending, but then other days I wasn't sure. The upside of prayer and giving it over to God was the certainty I feel now and the peace that came with the end of the relationship. Sure, it's still not easy (breaking up rarely is), in part because I'm a retarded, sentimental, emotional girl, but it's so much less difficult than past break-ups because I don't have to wonder if I made the wrong decision. God answered my prayers, and I think that because I'm so dense (I'm still waiting for God to get gmail), he even continues to reaffirm the answer to me so I'll feel a peace about it.

McDreamy, on the other hand, is an idiot. Prayer or not, the way he handled the ending of his "relationship" with Meredith is infuriating. So his soon to be ex-wife says one sentence to him, and he makes a big decision (with no real discussion) with less than a few hours thought. Ridiculous. Doesn't he owe her a little more thought than that? Shouldn't that be the kind of decision that's made after at least a few days of thought? That kind of impulsive decisions just smacks of immaturity and thoughtlessnes. And yes, I just used words like "infuriating" to describe a television program involving fictional characters. I'm officially a loser.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Things I'm Thankful for that Begin with the Letter "F"

Friendship: I can’t imagine life without it. And right now I have the best friendships I’ve ever had in large part because of our shared faith.

Faith: For years I just didn’t believe in God and kept on thinking that I needed to "figure out" what I believed but thinking that I wasn't ready to be a practicing Christian. So finally I read a lot, talked to people, and even logically believed in some of the Christian principles and beliefs. But I lacked faith. And at the time, I was (especially) one of those people who always likes to be right, so the notion of believing in someone that I can’t actually see was quite the leap of faith. I kept putting myself in the right place and praying and finally I took the leap of faith. And although I wouldn’t describe Christianity as a cakewalk, my life has been so much better because of my faith and trust in God. It’s calmer, fuller, and much more comforting (there’s something nice about knowing that I’m not in control).

Free stuff: Free stuff makes me so happy and is always a pleasant surprise. Dinner tomorrow night at Natalias is free thanks to work; the trip to Cabo was free; my favorite downtown restaurant has been giving me free meals and desserts lately because of my loyal patronage; lunch at Moes on Saturday was free because it was my tenth meal there….

France: Although I didn’t care for Paris at all (if it were free, I’d give it another try:), the French Riviera was lovely and the people were very kind. And the language sounds so pretty.

Flag football: FF was one of my favorite parts of law school. During my 1L year, I thought it would be fun to organize a co-ed team (“The Tight Ends”) of the most unlikely players ever. The roster included: my crazy roommate with fake nails who screeched when the ball came her way (she wore lots of makeup to practice too); the crazy roommate’s crazy friend; a country boy who wore tight Wrangler jeans to all of our practices (he had to wear shorts without pockets to the actual games); and a line-backer looking girl who ended up being one of our better players (and coincidentally a lesbian). The Tight Ends had some changes to the roster, but we played all three years. Several of us even ended up playing together in an Atlanta league for a year after graduation.

Florida: It’s very touristy, but I always have a good time in Destin and the surrounding area. The weather is always fantastic, and the beaches are pretty. I’ve had a good time in Miami, Jacksonville, Naples, and Orlando too. The Keys seem really overrated to me, but I’m also not into fishing.

Freedom: I take it for granted, but I am so glad that I'm an American by birth. And I’m blessed by my freedom in Christ. Galatians 5:1 “Christ having made us gloriously free—stand fast and do not again be hampered with the yoke of slavery.”

Funny people: I love laughing, especially until it makes me cry or my stomach hurt. In high school I ate lunch every day with a couple of friends, and they were so funny that I was often sore from laughing. And about five years ago I dated a guy for a year and a half, and we just had a gift for making each other laugh. It was constant and easily one of my happiest memories of that relationship.

Finger foods, french fries, fondue, fudge, fringe benefits (especially when they are unexpected), fandango.com, fountain drinks (one of the few upsides of working in a big city firm is that all of the break rooms are outfitted with these machines), funnel cakes (I had a yummy one last week at the fair:), Five for Fighting, frosting (easily the best part of a cake), 4Runner (I take it for granted, but when I think about it, I’m so glad to have such a safe, reliable vehicle), french toast, Flashdance and Fame (childhood favorites), For Squirrels…

p.s. Happy Birthday Jeff (tomorrow)!!
p.p.s. I have a work dinner tomorrow night, but it doesn't begin until 7:30. I doubt I'll escape in time for Grey's. I'm not sure a free dinner is worth a delayed viewing, but oh well.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Random Stuff....

On days like today (and all summer long), I wish I was still a teacher.

Why do people pick the treadmill right next to someone when there are four or five other ones to choose from that wouldn't involve breathing and sweating on someone else?

I wonder what it means when my heart rate is 100% on the little treadmill scale the entire time I'm running (20 minutes). Does that mean I'm out of shape or running too fast or nothing at all?

Peanut butter pie is so delicious that I ate almost half of one in the last 24 hours. Side note: peanut butter pie seems to help me run faster.

The song "Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol is awesome, but it makes me feel like someone is sitting on my chest. I generally cannot bear to listen to it because it makes me so sad (and it's not even associated with any memories).

Why do I search the nanny listings on Craigslist for Los Angeles at least once a week? Would I really ever quit my job to move to California and be a nanny (again)?

I love dinner parties, and my friend Laura is great about hosting them. I wish I were better about stuff like that.

The Google reader service seems pretty cool, and of course, I love gmail.

One thing I love about Macon is that I run into people I know occasionally, and it happened a lot this weekend--and all people I was genuinely glad to see.

Should I delete my myspace and facebook accounts? Why don't I just not check them every day and solve that problem?

The guy on the Bachelor leaves something to be desired. Then again, so do some of those girls (especially the crazy emotional one who ranted about how she likes to judge people all the while insinuating that the Bachelor shouldn't judge her for being judgmental).

Yesterday I finally (for the first time in weeks--all male friends excluded of course) saw a cute guy in Macon. But as I looked at him while sipping my caramel macchiato, I realized he looked a lot like a guy I went out with once over a year ago. My memory is so terrible that I wasn't even sure that he wasn't that guy.

A friend sent me this verse a while back, and I like the idea of setting my mind on the things above rather than the trivial things I usually think about (see above:) "Set you mind on things that are above, no on the things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory." Colossians 3:2-4. It's funny how different her translation is from mine--even a comma makes a difference.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Sidewalk Preachers.....

During my one year at UGA, I observed “street preachers” (I’m not sure what the correct name is) on several occasions. The best description I can think of is that they are a combination between a television evangelist and Jerry Springer. These preachers were actually mean though. They stood on wooden platforms outside of the student center and would “call out” specific students. For example, if a girl in a short skirt walked by, they would comment on her attire and her sinfulness. I never understood what they were hoping to accomplish with their condemnation and fire and brimstone ranting.

In my hometown there are some men who also scream/preach for the public outside of Burger King and Family Dollar. Anyway weekend before last I went home, and my sister and I had a cook out for my mother’s birthday. My step-sister has recently gotten engaged, and this was the first time her fiancé came to one of our immediate family get-togethers. She has seemingly been trying to avoid the fiancé’s introduction to our craziness. That’s kind of understandable, although I’m a big fan of full disclosure when marriage is at issue. She’s a few years older than me though and already been married once, so I guess it’s different.

So brother-in-law Billy Bob* had started drinking Jack and Coke around 5:30. So naturally he was loud and somewhat irrational. So religion came up because my step-sister is becoming a Methodist now, and we started recalling a big discussion we’d had several years before about the topic. I don’t remember the specifics, but basically I got a headache and left the room; my step-sister said you could pick and choose which parts of the Bible you want to believe; and my younger sister cried on her drive home because she thought my step-sister and I were going to hell. It was a fun night.

So I posed one conversation for the group: “How do you think a person ‘gets’ to Heaven?” I think this is a pretty simple question for a group of Christians, but my step-sister and her fiancé kind of balked--granted this isn't a typical conversation so somewhat understandably. Well this was just the opportunity brother-in-law Billy Bob was waiting for as he nursed his Budweiser from his recliner. Billy Bob raised his beer in the air and began to preach with the fervor that only a drunk, non-practicing Baptist can. I actually agree with most of what he said and jokingly offered to take him down to the local Family Dollar to share the gospel with “cruisers.” After that experience I’m sure my step-sister is glad that she waited until after the wedding was planned for the fiancé’s family initiation. Good times and the best hope you can have for entertainment in my hometown.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Roommates....Finally One Reason It Wouldn't be Bad to Have One

I've had my fair share of crazy roommates over the years. In college it was a girl named Lori. She was super-religious to the point that she made a huge deal out of me wearing my cotton robe (a gift from my mother, so you know it wasn't sexy) into the kitchen in the morning when her boyfriend was in our kitchen. Since her boyfriend was always at our apartment, I thought it was a ridiculous complaint. Perhaps he shouldn't be there at 9 a.m. Once when I came in the kitchen to get some ice in my robe, she grabbed her boyfriend's arm to storm into her bedroom.

It didn't help that despite her "Christian convictions," she was selfish and rude. Lori and her boyfriend would help themselves to any baked goods I happened to leave in the kitchen, yet she'd bake a cake and store it in her bedroom until she had to dispose of the uneaten portion away. She practically called me a slut one night because she saw me kissing a guy, and upon questioning, I couldn't tell her his last name. Of course, her ridiculousness only provoked me (I was only 18...). Once I did crunches in our living room floor in a sports bra and shorts just to make her mad (her boyfriend was there). Another time a guy spent the night with me (but nothing had really happened) because he had drank too much to drive, and the next day I let him make me french toast in his boxers--knowing that she would come in from church (which ironically she never invited me to) to see this half-naked, very attractive football player in our kitchen. I knew what she would assume and of course didn't correct her. It was too much fun to see her get mad and flip into spiteful judgmental mode.

I enjoyed living alone after that, but finally did the roommate thing again to save money while I was in law school. This roommate was the other extreme, once calling me while driving drunk at 2 a.m. to ask me to get her sheets out of the dryer and put them on her bed because she was bringing a stranger home with her. Her friend also brought home a stranger, and I don't even want to know what they did in our living room. While I didn't pass judgment on what she'd done, I didn't like strange men in my apartment (I later found out one of them was a convicted felon...nice). And I didn't like being kept awake all night long. So I've been very grateful to live alone the last three years.

But Thursday night, I would have liked to have a roommate. I stopped at a gas station after work and bought a Kashi peanut butter/chocolate bar. I ate it on the way home. While eating some popcorn, my back started to itch. Then my throat started itching, so I took a Zyrtec, thinking my allergies were coming back. But then I started feeling sick and having difficulty breathing. I just thought I getting a cold, but then I realized I'd gone from fine to sick in about 20 minutes. A look in the mirror revealed a swollen eyelid, places all over my back that looked like bug bites, and swelling around my mouth. Then I noticed that my mouth was going kind of numb. I called my mom, and she could hear my breathing difficulty. She wanted me to go to urgent care or the ER. I hated to go to the ER given my horrible health insurance, and I think the people at urgent care are a step above monkeys--plus I feel like I'm swimming in germs when I'm there. So I went to Kroger, talked to the pharmacist, and swallowed a fifth of the bottle of Benadryl. Within ten mintues I felt better, although I pathetically wandered around Kroger (at least I needed some groceries) until I felt like it had all passed (thinking it would be best to be in public if I passed out or something). Unfortunately the emergency dose of Benadryl made me really sick, and I was afraid of going to sleep--because I didn't want to miss Grey's and was afraid I might start having trouble breathing again. So for once, it would have been nice to have a roommate or a McDreamy/McSteamy around.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Cultural Literacy Thursday

Hmm...I am evidently culturally illiterate, so please enlighten me dear readers.

Achille's Heel: Your greatest weakness? I think Achille was a character from Greek mythology.

Acquittal: Finally a softball for me--not guilty

Acropolis: An important city in Greece way back when?

"Actions speak louder than words" : Amen, I agree, but when I really like a guy it's amazing how I can forget. This one speaks for itself.

Act of God: A "natural" occurrence such as a hurricane or tornado that cannot be prevented by man.

Actuary: Someone who figures out stuff for insurance companies--like life expectancies or something. I may be totally off on that one.

Adagio: Well I think that's the name of the spa that sent a masseuse over to my hotel in Nashville early this year when I got a massage, but I'm guessing there is some more important meaning for this word. I just don't know it.

Addams, Jane: If her last name was spelled "Adams," I'd assume she was a first lady. No clue. I am feeling pretty stupid. I think the Jane that did the monkey stuff was Goodman. Hmm.

The Aegean: A sea....located somewhere not near here--maybe the Middle East or Greece.

Agnosticism: Not knowing what you believe with regard to whether or not there is a God. I was an agnostic for a few years, but I finally just started saying I was a "Christian" when asked by fellow classmates at Mercer (undergrad) so they wouldn't "witness" (their word) to me or sing gospel songs at me, etc. I am very glad to no longer not know what I believe, and although I completely disagree with those classmates' approach to sharing their faith, I at least now can kind of understand the feeling of urgency they seemed to have about sharing their faith.

"Alas, poor Yorick" : I guess it's from a book, but I don't know which one.

p.s. I haven't seen a cute guy all week, so I'm especially looking forward to McDreamy tonight. Don't forget Grey's!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Expression of Gratitude

Environmental Law: My excuse to spend a month in Costa Rica, and the class was pass/fail and included lots of fun field trips.
Emerson, Ralph Waldo: Self Reliance has been one of my favorites since I was 12. I think I've read it over 5 times.
E-mail: It helps me keep in touch and stay awake at work.
Earrings: They are the only accessroy I can seem to manage to wear unless sunglasses count.
Earl Thomas Conley: "The hardest thing I ever had to do was holding her and loving you." For some weird reason, that song was on constant repeat during my first law school exam period, and I did well; so I associate good things with that very sad country song.
Earnestness: So attractive!
Ethan and Eli: My best friend's two sons; they are healthy and smart, and they bring her a lot of joy.
Extra light blue gum: I'm never without it.
Esther: I'm glad we've at least got two books of the Bible named after members of my gender.
Everwood: I'm kind of struggling with "e" words, but this was a great show.
Electricity, exploring (one of my favorite activities), encouragement, enthusiasm, Ella (I can live vicariously through her dating escapades), elephant ears (that's what I called the delicious pastries I ate every day when I spent six weeks in Spain--they are called palmeras but look like elephant ears hence the name), English class (one of my favorite subjects in school), and eating (definitely makes my top five list of things I enjoy doing)....I'm sure there are more things/people/places (a.k.a. nouns) that I appreciate, but I'm still working and it's 1 a.m.--a procrastinator, as evidenced by this post, to the very end:)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Office Gossip...Sex, Politics, & Religion

99.9% of the time I eat lunch outside of the office. I like getting out of the office, meeting friends, and having a complete break from work. On a few occasions, however, I've gotten take-out and eaten in the break room where some of our staff eats their lunch. In comparison to the coworkers (attorneys) I sometimes eat lunch with, the ladies in the break room can seem like a complaining and gossiping bunch, although I suspect it's one ringleader that stirs them all up. And admittedly, my firm doesn't take human resources very seriously; I see so many ways we could encourage and support employees and have even mentioned several to our firm administrator, but the firm just isn't interested in things like that. It's really too bad.

So one day I joined them in the middle of a conversation about "certain people" (who it seemed like they had named before I joined them) who don't always wash their hands after using the restroom. This conversation seemed like it lasted five minutes. In an attempt to quell their outrage, I suggested that perhaps some people kept anti-bacterial lotions in their desk drawer and simply used that instead of drying out their hands with soap with repeated washings.

Anyway, I saw one of the participants "wash" her hands the other day. The washing included wetting her hands—no soap and 5 seconds of water. I'm not sure what the point was, but in her mind, that makes her superior to the women she was criticizing the other day. I personally don't get wound up about whether or not someone washes their hands, although I admit that I don't understand the point of wetting your hands--but whatever.

So all of this prompted me to think about lunch conversations in general. While I certainly don't mind lunching with coworkers and sometimes enjoy it, we never talk about anything beside ourselves (and our close friends, family, etc.). Granted it's better than when I taught elementary school and the teachers would share graphic details about their babies' bowel movements/eating habits and other stuff that was incredibly boring (not to mention gross). And as you know from my blog, I don't mind talking about myself and I love knowing what is going on with my friends' lives and feeling like I really know someone. But when my friend Charles worked at the firm this summer we'd talk about our faith, religious beliefs, the world, etc., and it was a lovely break from the monotony of just talking about weekend plans, etc.

I guess I would have thought that a bunch of lawyers would at least occasionally talk about politics or world events, but perhaps they all heed the advice my father gave me a long time ago—and that's to not talk about sex, politics, or religion. Needless to say I believe that excludes some of my most favorite discussion topics, and therefore I haven't abided by his recommendation. Anyway all of this made me think of a saying on a plaque in my step-father's old office: "Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people." --Eleanor Roosevelt. I discuss all three, so I'm not sure what that means, but I'm sure I'd be well served to focus more on God and ideas than other people (and what they are or are not discussing in the breakroom!).

p.s. Another side note about Grey's--I'm glad they are adding another hot guy (McSteamy) to the cast.