Thursday, June 30, 2011

Guest Post to Dazzle and Delight

While I'm away in Beautiful Utah I didn't want my lovely readers to actually have to WORK while at work, so I've asked my friend Kristie to write you a little entertainment. Kristie writes in her blog EVERY DAY!! so if you are looking for distractions to get you away from working, hers would be a place escape.



Kristie is one of the happiest people I know. She always has a positive outlook on life and is encouraging and motivating others. This quality shines through in her blog and I always feel so peppy after reading about her schenanegans.


Enjoy...

When I was in high school I played some volleyball and basketball. Oh yeah, I'm 5'11 by the way. Anyways, I played some sports. Both of these sports required a lot of running and training on my own. A few days a week before practices began for the year, I'd head down to the good old Hockomock YMCA on the other side of town and crank out a run on the treadmill and lift some weights. Back then, I needed motivation to get me through it, so I brought my iPod. Like every 16 year old girl ever, I felt that music was my life. I loved wallowing in the depressing melodies and intense emo-piano rock of Something Corporate. They so got me. You know, I really did need "space so I could breath, space so I could sleep, etc." I'd make it through my workout screaming singing songs by Something Corporate, Taking Back Sunday, or Halifax (my personal favorite) in my head and thinking about how I was soooo misunderstood. That punk/emo rock got me through pretty insane workouts and it stayed my music of choice for working out until just recently.

A couple of weeks ago I began a 5K training online course. For my first run, I brought my iPod and was all set to blast some "I'm Not Okay" by My Chemical Romance because, you know, that's how I do. Once I started running, however, the music didn't motivate me like it used to. Much to my chagrin (I've always wanted to use that phrase), listening to MCR wasn't making me run any faster or harder. Wah wah. My workout sucked. I came home feeling like I really did need to listen to "I'm Not Okay." Haha. I decided maybe listening to music while working out wasn't for me anymore. After all, they have banned iPods from most races anyways.

The next morning I woke up with and S Club 7 song stuck in my head. "Reach for the Stars" was the only thing I sang all day long. I was a huge S Club fan so I decided to relive some of my adolescence and watch their videos on Youtube. Oh those were the good old days when women just wore sports bras as tops and men tried to look like little boys with spiked hair, no matter their age. After thoroughly enjoying the time warp, Youtube suggested "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls. Um, YES. Not many people know this about me, but when I was in elementary school, I was obsessed with The Spice Girls. Like, I tore out pictures from Teen Beat and created a wall in my basement dedicated solely to The Spice Girls. I went as Baby Spice on Halloween on numerous occasions, and would frequently choreograph dances with my best friends, who were each assigned a Spice Girl, during recess. As soon as I listened to "Wannabee" I fell down the rabbit hole and was listening, dancing, and shamelessly belting Spice Girls songs all afternoon.

As I prepared to run again the next day, it donned on me. I should run to the Spice Girls! If angsty, over emotional music couldn't get me running faster, then I was going to try the addictive, if not overly promiscuous (for a third grader), pop sensations that are Spice Girls Songs. When my feet hit that track, and "Spice Up Your Life" began to pump in my ears I was overcome with the feeling of "Girl Power" and my feet moved faster and my breathing regulated itself while I was singing.. You can't not sing out loud to "Spice Up Your Life." It's just not possible. It looks like I found my new/old workout jams and that my friends, is how Kristie got her groove back. Too cheesy? Ya, I thought so.


Were you a Spice Girls fanatic like me? What's your workout jam? Well, I'm off to go watch Spice World. Don't judge me, people. You know you love it too. There's no point denying it

Kristie and I both share the love (if you can love something that is complete torture) of running. Now go check her out and learn about her life. 

Blog: The Resolution
Twitter: @Kristie4sayZ

Monday, June 27, 2011

If I Had Nunchucks

I am terribly sorry about there not being a post last Thursday... What you didn't notice? I'll crying in my pillow tonight. I am on a splendid vacay in the beautiful Utah. What, Utah isn't your idea of a vacation? Lame. I am having a marvelous time but alas, I am far to busy to be able to sit down and write something to dazzle your imagination. However, that doesn't mean I don't have a few snacks for you in my absence.

One day about 4 years ago I was having a really rough time. I was seriously struggling to make it through the day (This was the time of my life when my candy bar addiction started) My friend took pitty on my pathetic state and sent me this letter. I have read it throughout the years whenever I feel blue and it has always picked me up and made me feel better. It was sent to her by her friend Jami Marsh, she sent it to me, and now I'm sharing it with you. I hope it brightens your day.

Enjoy!!



If I had nunchucks, the first thing I would do is stop combing my hair. And then if anyone commented on my hair in a negative way, like "whoa, someone's having a bad hair day." BLAM!!! Nunchuck to the nose. Then I'd say "Whoa, someone's having a bad nose day."



There's a lot of things that would change in my life. For instance, "beware of dog" signs would never apply to me. In fact, I would insist that the dog owners put up a sign for their dog that says "Beware of woman with nunchucks."


Also, there'd be no waiting in line. I'm not saying that I would attack the people in line. I'm just saying that where ever I go I will be swinging my nunchucks, and you're probably going to want to move.


There are some cons to having nunchucks, I will admit that. For example, my monthly light bulb cost will go way up because instead of simply turning off a lamp I will nunchuck it off. I will also probably get knocked out a lot, because honestly, I have no idea how to use nunchucks.

But the pros outweigh the cons by far. And once I own nunchucks I immediately become part of an elite club. And much like bikers who pass each other on the road and wave, when two nunchuckers pass each other on a crowded sidewalk while swinging their nunchucks, they give a little nod as if to say "If ninjas attacked right now you would be safe, and I would be safe, but the rest of these suckers would be toast."


Yeah...if only I had nunchucks...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Flying Southwest Makes Clichés about Being First Unarguably True


I fly Southwest. I know, why in the world would I want to torture myself like that? It’s not all that bad. They let you check two bags for free, they still offer drinks and snacks, and when I had to fly to Utah immediately for my grandpa's funeral, they let me use my rewards points to book a flight the day before I wanted to leave. Then once I was on my trip they let me extended my trip an extra day at no additional charge. Southwest isn’t all bad.


The biggest problem everyone has with Southwest flights is the line-up-and-scramble-for-the-best-seat approach to boarding. Everyone hates this method for seating arrangements, but I’ve never minded. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to get A or B group seating but I’ll still sit around until whenever I feel like boarding. I figure I’m going to be sitting around waiting for other people either way so I might as well be in a comfortable place with lots of leg room instead of crammed into the plane. Besides, I only ever care what seat I get when I’m really tired and want a window to lean against so I can sleep. Other than that, it doesn’t matter where I end up.

Or does it…

Flying back from my grandfather’s funeral last week I was in boarding group C position 18 (out of C20) so I figured there was no point in standing in line at all, I would just wait until everyone was in and I’d saunter up. As I walked into the plane, the flight attendant was telling everyone that was looking for a seat that the plane was completely full and to take the first seat we came across. Basically there weren’t any “better options” coming up if we passed one.

I almost didn’t notice the first open seat I came to. There was a largeish man in the window seat and a VERY large man in the aisle seat taking up one and a half seats. I couldn’t possibly be expected to have to sit in half a seat so I kept walking. The flight attendant in the middle of the plane pointed to the seat once I passed it and said, “Didn’t you just pass a seat?” I decided that ignorance was the best way to go with this one, “I didn’t notice one.” I said lying pleasantly as I looked ahead with hope blazing that I would have a “better option”. Whoever was behind me was going to get stuck in that seat because I was moving on to find another one.

No dice.

She found the buried seat, called me back and told me to sit there. Apparently there was NO ONE behind me. I was the absolute last person to board the plane. Lesson learned.

So I squeezed into my half-a-seat (luckily I’m a small girl) and buckled up. We were going to be very close this flight as we were not able to put down the arm rest between us due to him sitting on half of my seat. I tried to remain positive. I didn’t want to be some bitchy girl complaining about the fat guy she was sitting next to, besides, I’m sure he felt bad about the situation too, right?

I did a very good job keeping a positive attitude about the largish man in the window seat using my only armrest the whole flight. I did an excellent job remaining positive as the very large man fell asleep and his arms uncrossed which left them to fall to his side and take up even MORE of my seat. (I was so pinned between these two men the entire flight that my shoulders and arms were never NOT touching someone) I was even able to smile and enjoy my book as the guy in front of me leaned his seat back at took up any space I had left to myself. I really can’t believe how well I did and I get a hearty pat on the back for being so amiable through it all.

*Quick tangent to understand my claustrophobe: One time we had to hitch-hike up the mountain to go snowboarding and a tiny VW Jetta picked us up. There were two of us and two snowboards in the back seat. I got so claustrophobic I started taking off my clothes and I had a minor freak out. Also, watch this video*

I was very surprised I held my shit together for the whole three hour flight.

It wasn’t until the very end when we were put into a holding pattern because of the weather that I started to worry I wouldn’t make it out alive (or at least with all of my clothes on.) At about the 3rd loop around going back to the airport I had to use every relaxation strategy I knew. As the hollow tubed flying torture chamber started pressing in around me, I was doing deep breathing. When the very large man started snoring and leaning my way, I went to my happy place. Then, just when I thought I wouldn’t make it till the end without running up and down the aisle ripping off my clothing, I heard the landing gear go down and I knew I could suck it up and make it through, clothing in tact.
When the very large man stood up to deplane I did a little jig then ran for my life to the safety of the Chicago Midway Airport.

I now understand why people don’t like self seating. From now on I will always check in a day in advance and get into boarding group A. I will board immediately and find myself an amazing and safe seat. Never again will I allow myself to be left to the fate of the last seat left!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Troubadours are Troubamazing

Second only to my love for the food in New York is my love for the Troubadours. They are amazing and stupendous and fan-friggin-tastic! I don’t know where my love for these traveling entertainers started but it may be a product of Colin Hay’s catchy ditties in Gilmore Girls (what, I’ve never watched that show in my life) I can’t help but be touched and tickled in my soul when I see an especially good one. Like this guy…

video

I was very appreciative of his ideal location on the D train platform as that train takes FOREVER to arrive. He even received the special compliment of the removal of my ipod out to listen.  
I have a personal policy when it comes to street performers. If I find myself being entertained (especially if I’m trying hard to ignore them) I must tip them. I feel like I’m stealing their services if I enjoy them and don’t pay them for it. It’d be like getting a haircut and walking out without paying. (I have definitely wanted to do this when I’ve gotten bad haircuts however)

With this policy in mind, whenever I run across these guys I know that before they even start I’d better bust out a Fiver because I will be thoroughly amused.
video

I’m so glad people need inventive ways to make money because I need inventive ways to be entertained whilst waiting for my train!

*I tipped extra to these people because I recorded them. I felt it was only fair.

Monday, June 13, 2011

My Grandpa is Better than Your Grandpa

Harry Sadler 1924-2011
Forgive me if today’s post isn’t relatable to more people than just my family. Last week my grandpa passed away unexpectedly (even at 87, he had too much kick to go just yet) so today, as his family is gathered at his funeral, I’d like to remember him.



I remember learning very young the beauty of Do-It-Yourself. I spend hours upon hours watching at the sidelines as my grandpa would fix/make/create anything he felt was needed. I definitely picked up his I-can-do-it-myself attitude and often think it would be a great idea to reupholster a chair or tile my own bathroom. My Grandpa always made me feel like I could make or create anything I wanted and the product would be so much more fun and rewarding than buying it. He taught me how to use a saw, photoshop, fix a leak and even how to sew. He could do it all. To this day I am attracted to and impressed by anyone who thinks it’s a better idea just to make or do it themselves than to buy something. I think I’ll go upholster that chair now.

As the father of 9 children I’m sure he felt great responsibility to provide for and raise outstanding citizens and proper Christians. I can’t imagine the pressure he must have felt to take care of so much. I know that there were struggles, both physically and emotionally, but I think that’s all part of growing up. He loved his kids and grandkids (and great grandkids, and great, great grandkids… wait, how many of us are there) very much and only ever wanted what was best for everyone. I know he had a hard time expressing his feelings; he has never said “I love you” to me, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t true. He showed his love in the service he did for everyone. He was always doing what he could for others. When I was 18 he let me live with them for a while as I transitioned into adulthood and tried to figure out my life. I’m SURE I wasn’t an easy houseguest to have, but they welcomed me and taught me many things while I was there.

I think my very favorite thing about my grandpa was his determination to be active. His goal was to go square dancing on his 80th birthday, and by Troll he did. When I was an ornery teenager I had to drive my grandpa, aunt and mom to square dancing one time. I was not amused to hav to wait there for them, but found myself enjoying the opportunity to laugh at the ridiculousness that is square dancing. Somewhere around the time I was antsy to get the hell out of there, my aunt had to sit out because she was tired. Square dancing is very particular about the number of people needed to dance at any given time. If she sat out, my grandpa would have to sit out, and their whole group wouldn’t be able to dance. I don’t know how they talked me into it, but I found myself do-si-doing and promenading around like a damn fool. And I loved it. I had so much fun dancing with my grandpa. He was so patient and helpful that I didn’t feel uncomfortable or clumsy. I’m only sad that this was the only time we ever square danced together (note: this is the only time I’ve EVER square danced) I also regret that the last time I danced with him in any capacity was over 8 years ago. Dancing is something I love to do, and it is so much more meaningful when doing it with a loved one.

Harry had a big life and a big family and I’ve hardly done him justice in these 700 words. He was always involved with his church and community or just helping his friends around the neighborhood. I hope he knew what a big impact he had on others and knows that he will be missed.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Whilst doing P90X I had an Epiphany

Tony Horton is a Sadist
Once a week (twice during recovery week) I get the pleasure of doing an hour and a half of yoga. I say pleasure both seriously and with heavy sarcasm. I love yoga, but an hour and a half! *


The first 45 minutes are all intense moving poses guaranteed to leave you dripping with sweat so profusely you’ll need to wear gloves for traction while doing downward dog. The next 25 minutes are all balance poses. There’s something about Tree Pose makes everything feel right in the world. But then just when you are feeling relaxed, BAM! Tony hits you will Yoga Belly X. Kiss my ass Tony! I’ve just done more than an hour of yoga and now you’d like me to work my abs? Who does this guy think he is!!


So I do it… swearing all the while… And then heaven comes: Child’s pose, happy baby and then corpse pose (aka, lying down). While in corpse pose Tony says, “If you can believe it, I’m not going to say anything for a full minute”. Well I can’t believe it and he actually only makes it about 40 seconds before he starts running his nonsense talking, bad movie quoting, mouth again. But in that 40 seconds of lying on my back, eyes closed, relaxing after an hour and 20 minutes of yoga, the epiphany hits.


For as much as I need Tony to stop talking and as often as I mute my workouts so that I don’t have to hear him anymore, it is actually something he said that caused me to have this moment of insight.


Tony tells us how important it is not to skip this part of the workout** He says that it’s part of the Yang energy in the Yin and Yang. After working so hard and expelling so much energy it’s important to sit quietly and calm your mind.


This got me thinking about cosmic balancing forces. Do we always have to have a balanced Universe? I mean, that sounds right, but it’s a little discouraging.


Por Ejemplo:


I am currently the happiest I’ve ever been in my life… And the most stressed.


I don’t just mean a little bit of stress that is making me frustrated. I mean I’m so stressed I feel nauseous most of the day, I wake up hourly every night out of panic, and I am continually breaking down crying my eyes out. Conversely, I have never felt more joy as I walk down the street and look at children playing in the hydrant water, my heart feels like it will lift right out of my chest, and I laugh louder, play harder, and feel deeper than I can recall in the past. It seems about right that those two seriously conflicting emotions would go together.


But this makes me worried. When I go back to not feeling despair (dramatic word choice) in every corner of my job, will I also have to return to only feeling happiness at a mediocre level?


I can recall back to times when I was stress and worry free and I remember my happiness levels were nothing to remark about. I also remember times when my happiness was intense and heightened, but my stressors at the time were nothing to scoff at.


Really?

Is this our fate? Does anyone agree with me? Does a person have to feel extreme sorrow to feel extreme joy? Am I about to start my period? Am I an overanalyzing drama queen? Maybe.

I feel like it can't possibly be the case. At least, I hope this can't possibly be the case.

Let's have a little discussion, shall we. I am going to turn off the filter for my comments on this post. Please impart your wisdom on this matter. Let’s overanalyze this together like the drama queens we are!!






* I’m at about day 50 now and I HATE Tony Horton. He, his short attention span and counting inconsistencies can kiss my ass.


** I always skip this part. Shhhhh, don’t tell but by the time we get to the lying around part I realize I have other things to be doing.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Dress for the Job You WANT

Mad Men

When I was little I would wear my aunt’s high heels, as a teenager I would often wear button up collar shirts and in college I wore slacks and business jackets. I had always envisioned myself being professional, successful and well dressed. And now I am.
Damn.

I kind of got myself into a predicament didn’t I?

Four years of college, countless hours volunteering with youth and dedicating my career to moving to the top and being the boss have put me exactly where I should be by the time I was twenty-eight. I actually feel a little young to be responsible for so much. I guess I have really been dressing effectively. The problem is I’ve been dressing for the job I thought I was supposed to have, not the job I WANT.

I WANT to write.

I want to sit around all day creating stories, characters and plots. I want to use my imagination every day, not just on the weekends. I want to tell you about the mermaid friends I have and let you in on their adventures. I want to write.

Deductive reasoning has lead me to believe that I must use my super powers of fashion to get my dream job…

To determine what this new wardrobe will entail I’ll need to analyze the average writer.
Authors get to work from their homes, quite often their own beds. They spend so little time with the real world that they have started to become socially awkward. There is no one for them to impress but their cat (Their cat will have a profound and inspiring name… My cat’s name is Poe… I’m on my way) so they don’t pay attention to things like combing their hair and changing their clothes. They don’t leave the house for work so they could quite possibly go days without going outside and I’m going to assume they rarely wear shoes for the same reason. With all the data considered, my new look will be; pajama pants and coffee stained t-shirts with pasty skin and tangled hair. I will also make sure to wear my nose ring, buy some flip flops, and start talking to my cat.



I also think this means I get to start wearing my favorite pants again. Score!! 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Granite School District Failed Me

I thought about calling this post, I am NOT smarter than a 5th grader.

I like to consider myself a smart person. I mean, I know things. I’m college educated. I can have a conversation about ideas and books and sometimes even politics. My conversations aren't based around fashion, celebrity gossip or reality shows so I think that already gives me a little bit of credibility. But I’m going to be honest with you. I’m not actually as smart as I lead everyone to believe I am.


But I’d like to think it’s not my fault. I've done all that I could with what I was given. I’m fairly sure I was failed early on in my education.

Por Ejemplo (look folks, I know Spanish)

Things I didn’t learn K-12 that I am SURE were supposed to have been taught…

- It wasn’t until my first semester of college that I learned how to structure a paragraph. How in the world was I allowed to pass High School English without this knowledge?

- I was making cookies the other day and I struggled with ¾ + ¾ = 1½. I really think I should know this

- The only classic book we were assigned to read was Les Miserables and that was my senior year. I’m positive there should have been a much higher expectation for my reading material. Again, it wasn’t until college (on my own) that I read any quality books.

- Geography what? I STILL don’t know exactly what the “Soviet Union” reffers to.

- I am unclear as to anything involving physics, chemistry or biology. (In my school’s defense, I do remember biology class, but I was too busy trying to impress Jay McMillan and his stunning, bleached, bowl cut to have retained any information)

- Rutherford B. Hayes was, like, what, one of the 12 appostles in the bible?

- I don’t know the state capitals. None of them.

- I don’t really know what these words mean; osmosis, adverb, marsupial, or geologic.

- I cannot convert any measurements.

- I don’t know the difference between affect and effect.

Now, I AM willing to admit that I was the child that saved pencil shavings and pierced my ear during sewing class so my attention to the lessons was mediocre. If anyone I went to school with would like to argue that Granit School District was, in fact, an amazing and challenging school system, I will concede immediately.

I wrote my first chapter book in 5th grade and I’m pretty sure it took a whole week to do so; a whole week that I was not doing anything but writing. I know I stared out of plenty of windows and slept through countless classes. Alright, so my lack of knowledge may be entirely my fault, but seriously, I would have remembered if I was supposed to have been reading The Great Gatsby. The fact that I graduated without any of this knowledge is scary!

Am I the only one who feels my school seriously let me down? In college I had a roommate from Tennessee (thank troll for spell check because I didn't know how to spell that word on my own) she said that her high school was, by far, more challenging than the college we were attending. Someone else, please tell me I'm not alone. Does anyone else feel like they didn't learn anything in high school? Does anyone else struggle to convert measurments? Does anyone know who Rutherford B. Hayes is?!!





Oh well, at least I’m pretty.