Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Oh y'all. I don't even know what to say. I know I've neglected my blog the past 9 or so months. I didn't mean to; it just kind of slipped away from me and the thought of trying to blog something made me feel so tired that I just didn't do it. I actually tried to start a post back in August (about burnout, of course!), but all I ended up with was this vague, jumble of an outline:

What draws me; what do I feel like I'm missing?
Why do I keep circling back to the same places/things/situations?
What can I learn, what am I learning?
Pushing myself to be who I'm not --> serious burnout
Introvert, what's important to me, my goals, self-esteem.
Upcoming birthday - what I wish, what is, etc.

I know I had a whole through line and point to that post, but I can't really remember it now. But what a lovely example of being burnt out. So, there's that.

I've been wanting to post things lately because I have things to say, but it's actually focusing myself to write them down that's been an issue, so I'll probably start with pretty short things (if I can contain my rambling, which, not likely). In the meantime, for those still following me and/or who want to interact with me, I'm over on Twitter, where I've become a lot more active recently. There's a link to that on the left. I'm also on Pinterest, also linked on the left. And I have a tumblr that I recently rediscovered, so I'm trying that out to see how I like it. You guessed it: the link is on the left.

Until next time, I leave you with a picture of me and Captain Morgan. She recently became a senior (a ripe old 7 years old), but don't tell her that. She doesn't act a day over 3! (Oh, cat humor.)

Oh, also! I have a post in my drafts about TV and storytelling as manipulation. It's just a title, but if I can remember what I wanted to say (or even if I can't) I will probably post that at some point because it sounds really interesting and I have many thoughts on that topic. Plus y'all know I like to talk about TV. And I do want to share some of the journey I've been on over the past several months because there have been some considerable shifts that I find very exciting. OK, that's it for now. Love you! xoxo

Friday, May 25, 2012


I have been consciously radio silent for a bit here. I'm working through some things and feeling a bit frustrated. Do you ever have that feeling of such confusion and irritation and just plain fed up-ness that you're afraid if you try to say anything you'll just start screaming and yelling? Well, that's kind of how I've been feeling lately. If you don't know that feeling, you can just call me crazy lady and be done with it. And I deeply envy you, because I would love to spend some time in a world I don't find deeply infuriating sometimes. Also, I've been super busy at work and my computer at home is old and almost completely useless (and will be replaced in the next month or two, huzzah!). Anywhoozle, I am breaking my silence right now to let you know I'm still here.

Also, I had a little ray of joy and peace last night in getting to sit and watch So You Think You Can Dance. I just love this show. I am not shy about sharing my complete disdain for most reality programming, especially American Idol and the like. I won't deny that SYTYCD of course falls prey to some of the trappings of these shows because it is a reality competition on a major network and therefore has to lure viewers with stories and weird auditions and whatnot. BUT, overall it maintains a purity (to me) that the others do not. This show is completely and all about talent. It's about creating beauty in the world. I think because it is a dance competition and not a singing competition, it doesn't have the same money pit to fall into. By that, I mean that yes, singing competitions are looking for talent, but ultimately it is going to benefit not just the winner(s), but also the companies involved with these shows because the winner sells music. I know it doesn't always work out that well, but you can't deny that these franchises are making quite the profit here. And yes, SYTYCD probably makes some money from their tours just like American Idol, but after that it seems to benefit the dancers on the show more than anything.

This is all my own opinion, obviously, and I don't know all the inner workings, but this is one of the things I love about the show. That and getting to see some incredible dancers. INCREDIBLE. (And choreographers, but we're not there yet - we're in auditions right now.) I wasn't shy on the Twitter last night about what I liked. You can visit my feed by clicking the link on the left to see what I had to say, if you're interested. Here's a link to the recap on TWoP if you want a bit more detail. I'm just going to post some videos of my favorites here to share with you all.

Chehon Wespi-Tschopp
My absolute favorite! Admittedly, I am a sucker for the ballet dancers. But I love his movement, the way it's not strictly ballet here, the musicality, how he moved with the music. Oh man. I had chills.

Hampton Williams
 This is why I love this show. This is not something I get to see every day (or ever, really). The promos made this seem creepy as hell, and his explanation of his style was kind of weird. But his dancing blew me away. Not just his style and ability, but the intense channeling of emotion was incredible. I was a blubbering mess on the couch by the time he was done. I honestly don't know how he'll do in this competition, but I hope he does well in Vegas because I would really love to see more from him.

Daniel Baker
Yes, another ballet dancer. He was awesome. And I really like that he wants to stretch beyond ballet and that's why he came on the show. I hope he does well in Vegas, because I think he has the potential to be great. And those leaps!

Sadly, no ballroom in this set of auditions, but maybe next week. I hope.

And how about a few all time favorites for fun?

Lauren Froderman
I wish I could get a better version of this video, but it's not coming up on the video search. Whatever. This was Lauren's second time doing the cha cha, and I think her ballroom routines are a PRIME example of why she totally deserved her win in Season 7. When contemporary dancers try to do ballroom it frequently turns out not great, sometimes downright awful and/or not recognizable as the dance it is supposed to be. This is so not that. I hope she comes back again as an All Star at some point this season.

 Courtney and Mark - The Garden
Two of my favorite dancers and possibly my absolute favorite routine, period. I love Sonja's choreography. Just awesome.

Twitch and Alex
I have to include this performance. I love almost anything Twitch is in because he is awesome. But this was so impressive to see from Alex, a ballet dancer who before this was having trouble breaking out of his patterns and loosening up. And so sad because right after this performance, in rehearsals for the following week, he injured himself quite badly and had to leave the competition.

Pasha and Anya
 I can't not include these two. Both are absolutely phenomenal. I love seeing them back on the show, whether as choreographers or All Stars. This video is their audition for Season 3. I'm linking here to when they got to perform this same piece as All Stars in Season 7, which doesn't seem to be available for me to embed. :( Anyway, the only real differences are the outfits and Anya's hair color (and they get to do the whole number in Season 7). Every time I watch them I have to keep reminding myself that this is not sped up - they are actually moving that fast. Wow.

OK, one more and then I'm done. Promise. I know this got long. I just get so wrapped up. I love dance and there are so many wonderful dancers and routines that have been on the show. I'm going to end with...
Kent and Neil
I think anyone who has been hurt by someone can appreciate this piece. Plus, it's danced beautifully and Travis is a brilliant choreographer.

I'm going to stop there. If you stuck with me all the way through, thanks! I hope you enjoyed at least some of it. I like sharing the things that move me and inspire me. So, yeah. Anyway, have a great Memorial Day weekend everyone! xoxo

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Y'all, I have this whole other post that I mostly wrote yesterday that I was planning to put up today. But then, this happened. And it leaves me feeling very humbled and grateful for the many blessings in my life. This whole blog thing is so strange to me. I basically feel like I'm rambling into my journal, only it's online and every now and then other people see it. For the most part, I don't see or feel the involvement of others in this because this isn't one of those blogs that has a bazillion followers (which I'm totally fine with, btw - just pointing it out). So I guess it throws me a little that someone can read what I'm putting on here and actually get something out of it. And I don't mean to denigrate myself in any way by saying that; it's just this entire internet thing sometimes feels completely surreal, you know? The sense of familiarity and intimacy with people I've never met because I read what they write every day (or however often they blog, because goodness knows I do not update every day, or sometimes even every week or month). All of that is just to say that I am very thankful not only that someone would mark my blog as one of her favorites, but also say such nice things about me and what I write.

Now, I do actually know the lovely blogger of butter, sugar, flowers (a wonderful blog for baking and for insights) in person. I am lucky enough to have her as a coworker and very good friend. She is an incredibly talented baker and one of the nicest and most thoughtful people I've ever known, as well as an oft-needed encouraging presence in my life. Which actually makes this all the more touching. In some ways it often feels easier for me to grow attached to someone's writing without knowing them, because I don't have to personally witness or experience their flaws and eccentricities, and I feel like that might be true for other people as well. One might think good things of me from what I post that could become a bit tarnished by knowing me in person. Maybe that's just my skewed perspective of myself and/or the world. Or maybe that's something others experience as well. I honestly don't know.

I would like to try to pass on this award to others, but I will need to gather my thoughts first. Right now I just want to bask in this glow. You might think this award is rather insignificant, and by itself it probably is, but never underestimate the value of hearing that who you are and what you think and say are worth something. So thanks. xoxo

P.S. If someone has made you feel that you are not of value, you have my full permission to punch that person in the face.

P.P.S. Imagining it is probably better than actually doing it. Violence is usually not the answer. But an imaginary punch can be very freeing. :D

Friday, April 20, 2012

Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer

I know it's not actually summer yet, but it's getting really warm. Plus! It smells warm. The semester is winding down. I'm in the middle of hiring grad students for the summer sessions. I've started a new workout regime/plan/8 week thing; added it to the line-up, anyway. (More details on that soon, as well as a project I teased ages ago. Yeah, I remember it, I just haven't gotten to it yet. Sigh.) All of those things point to summer being swiftly approaching.

I feel a sense of freedom and lightness that I associate with the middle of the year. Let's be clear here: I am in no way a fan of summer in relation to the weather. I do not like heat, as I'm sure I have mentioned before, probably more than once. Anything above the upper 70s and I start to get really cranky. (Fun fact about me: I run, on average, about 1 degree higher than normal human oral temperature. So whereas the average oral temperature is 98.6F, my temperature hovers around 99.6-8F. Interestingly enough, I discovered around age 13 that my oral temp started going down when I got sick, and it has remained that way. I've gotten as low as the 95F range. I don't know why or how that works, but whatever. At least I can tell when something is wrong.)

So anyway, what was I saying? Oh yeah, not a fan of the heat. But I have a lot of fantastic associations with summer, and there's just something about it that renews my spirit. I feel more capable of meeting my goals; the days feel less heavy and full of more possibilities. If you ask me, I will always say I'm a winter kind of girl, but summer does have its good parts. :)

So! Since I'm in that lazy hazy part of the summer feeling, and it's Friday and I can't wait to go home and start a weekend I'm dedicating to being a homebody, I am going to do Five Question Friday for today from this wonderful blog (love the url). So let's get to it!

1. Groceries are high right now. What is the easiest way you have found to cut back? 

 Well, luckily it's just me, so I don't have to buy a ton of groceries. I do sometimes get carried away, especially when I get lured in by new GF products. However! If I stick to my list and stick mostly to the perimeter of the store, I don't have much trouble sticking to about $50 per week. Every now and then I splurge a bit, but it usually evens out. I do give myself a little leeway when I need to stock up on important items. About 97% of the time I stick very closely to my list and my budget. And shop sales, and coupons if I remember them!

2. What are the top 3 things on your "bucket list"? 

I totally don't have one and I'm not really into making one. I find it important for me to focus on where I am now. My main goal is to be healthy, which means I should have plenty of time to make a bucket list later! ;)

3. Would you rather give up AC or heat?

I refer you back to the beginning of this post. I will give up heat in a heartbeat. In fact, I rarely use it. I set the thermostat pretty low. And I have a fireplace in my new place, hidden by my couch. So, yeah.

4. What's your favorite cocktail?

My favorite thing to drink, period, is water. I don't drink alcohol, but I love me some water. It's pretty much the only thing I drink, aside from tea and milk sometimes when I have cereal. Oh and coffee on weekday mornings.

5. What was your first job and how old were you? 

I was probably 15 or 16 when I started working (under the table. shhh! don't tell) at a dry cleaner and a music store, both part time in the summer to earn money. My first legit job was in a bookstore when I was in college. I think I was 18. Possibly 19. I loooooved my discount. Working retail, though? Never, ever, ever again. God willing. But I do have some interesting memories from that place.

Ok lovelies, that's it for me today. I hope everyone has an ab fab weekend. Get some rest, have some fun, do what you wanna do, go where you wanna go. I will catch y'all later. xoxo

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday

I realize this is redundant if you know me on facebook, but for those who don't, or who are not on facebook, here ya go. 

It feels strange to say Happy Good Friday, but I guess it actually does make sense. I don't have the words to express how grateful I am for the sacrifice He made to save so many. So here is a song video to do it for me.

Happy Good Friday everyone. God bless. xoxo

Monday, April 2, 2012

Finally moving on...I hope

Saturday I left my keys at my old place and can finally close that door and move forward. I hope. We'll have the final walk through some time this week, but I did all I could, so fingers crossed. But I finally feel free to focus entirely on my new place. I did a bit of shopping this weekend, with several different stops. Dollar Tree was kind of a bust, but I think it was a mistake to go there first anyway. I'll need to go there after I get everything unpacked and get baskets for organizing. I got a few great canisters at Tuesday Morning on Saturday, which made me happy. But it wasn't until I was on my way to Target Greatland before church that evening that I hit the mother lode. I discovered that they finally filled the empty Borders building in the shopping center with a Home Goods. I'd never been in one of those before, so I figured I might as well pop in and have a look. Boy was it crowded! I'm not sure when they opened, but it couldn't have been too long ago. (Update: I looked it up and the store opened the weekend before. No wonder it was still so crowded.) And I hit paydirt. I found exactly what I had been picturing in my head when I thought of canisters. And for really good prices too. I didn't want to overdo it, so I limited myself a little, but I walked out of there with two huge square glass canisters and two tall beehive glass canisters. For about $20! I was so excited. I had to skip a full on Target stop because I had to get to church.

The next day after lounging a bit (which is what I love to do on Sundays) I headed back out to the Target Greatland and managed to pick some shelves and get my grocery shopping done. Except for a couple things I got at Safeway.

I decided to get a couple of these for my closet to put my folded clothes in, but I'm not sure they will really work for that the way I envisioned. At the very least I would need another one because they're a bit smaller than I expected. But they could make great storage on the closet shelf. So many options.

I got one of these for extra kitchen storage, but again, I'm not sure it will work exactly the way I was imagining. I'm thinking over the possibilities, but I might move this into the closet for my clothes and find something else for the kitchen storage. Or I might just get another one of these so I can have one in the kitchen and one in the closet, because it is really cool and so easy to put together. We'll see how that turns out.

I also scored season 7 of The Office on a great sale - the last season with Steve Carrell in it and the last season I feel the need to have. The current season has been rather uninspiring; at least once per episode I find myself saying, "I miss Michael." AND I got Lego Harry Potter Years 5-7 on a great sale. Finally used my Target gift cards too. I've been waiting and waiting for both to go on sale. It took long enough!

I am happy to report that all of my movies, music and books are put away (shocking, I know). Always the first to get organized because it makes me feel at home. I'm slowly clearing the dining area of things only so I can move the stuff to get rid of into the space. Which will get it out of my way, so I'm excited about that. I still need to put all the games away (after sorting and seriously decreasing my collection), which will make a big difference in there.And then I can put other things that I want in the inside storage closet away, which will make an even bigger difference. I can't wait to get the curtains up, but that won't be for at least two weeks (at the earliest) because this weekend is Easter and I am booked solid. Plus I still need to get anchors and get my uncle to help me. I am not good at hanging things straight if more than on screw, nail, etc. is required.

Things I want to get done this week that have nothing to do with moving, packing or unpacking things (i.e., it's time to get back to my normal routine at last):

My workouts! Ugh, I have gone more than a week without a workout. Not that moving isn't one, but it isn't the same. I am determined to get on my treadmill tonight, even though that means moving a whole bunch of stuff out of the way first. I don't care. I need this. And maybe I'll even squeeze in some toning.

Laundry. Surprisingly, I don't even have a full basket yet. Probably because I did a bunch of laundry before packing up all my clothes and moving them a little over a week ago. So, I haven't accumulated too much. But I want to try out the machines at my new place. And there are several things in the basket that I would like to wear, so they need to be washed. I'm hoping to do that tonight as well. I guess can put it off until tomorrow if I must.

Turning off the TV and other electronics at 9 and reading until it's time to go to sleep. I have been slacking on this in a major way while in transition and since I've moved because it soothes me. And I'm seriously behind on my DVR. And I've been unpacking into the evenings, which delays my shower and my entire nighttime routine. I need to get back to that so I get more and better sleep.

That's about it for me today. A little scattered, but not too bad. I hope to be sharing more projects here soon as I've been super inspired to bake since moving. So far I've made waffles and donuts.
Banana donuts with maple glaze.
I will also try to share pics of my new place once I get it more put together. Here is the only one I have so far, of my new storage unit where I planned to put. It may or may not stay there. As you can see, there is still tons of stuff around it that needs to be put away.
More soon. Ta for now! xoxo

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

In with the new

I know I've been neglecting my own tiny corner of the blogosphere. I'm sorry! I've been busy packing and moving and trying to settle in to the new place while still cleaning and finishing up at the old place. It makes my brain feel all scattered. Saturday my uncle and I moved all of the big things over in a U Haul truck. That took all day and wow! did I hurt the next day. I really need to get rid of some stuff. A lot of stuff, actually, because it is ridiculous how much stuff I have. People keep telling me to relax and take my time, but I can't really relax until I have everything settled at the old place and my stuff is put away at the new place. It's just how I'm wired. So I keep feeling scattered and waiting for everything to settle down again.

But in the meantime, I am enjoying my new little home. It's just right for me. Not too small, not too large. I love the cushy carpet and the dimming lights. I love that there is a little bit of a nook where I can finally have my books all together and set off from the living room. I'm planning to make it kind of like my own little library/reading nook. I love that there is a small bathroom with an awesome shower and great water pressure PLUS a vanity with sink and lots of storage and counter space in my bedroom. I love love love the huge walk-in closet. So basically, I LOVE this place and I'm so excited to get all settled in and organized. One of the things that a lot of people don't/wouldn't like is the road noise. I'm right off a main road, so the whooshing by of cars is pretty constant. I love that. It's like white noise to me, so I find it really soothing. Yet another reason this place was clearly meant for me. The kitchen is small, but all I really need. Once I get a few things (some more canisters, and more importantly, some sort of something that will add a bit more storage (I'm still working on that one)) I will be able to get everything put away there.

I would also like to get a storage ottoman and area rug for the living room, perhaps a small dining table and a couple chairs, a comfy chair for my reading nook, and eventually some art for the walls. I guess this is my little wish list. Other things I'm looking into: an iron/ironing board wall holder; wall hooks, for additional storage; a baker's rack or some sort of pantry storage piece; anchors so I can hang the curtains; baskets for organizing; a shower caddy; a dresser or some sort of shelving unit for my closet.

So that's where I've been and what's going on with me. Once I get things put away, I will take some pictures (demanded by my mother) and try to remember to post some of them here. This Friday at 8 am, the guy is coming to the old place to clean the carpet, and then I will do the final cleaning (which is actually pretty minimal, except cleaning the oven, which will take some time). After this weekend I will be done in the old place and able to fully focus on my new home. Finally. Wish me luck!


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