sub header

These words are my diary screaming out loud

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thirty Days of Truth, Days 29 and (FINALLY) 30

OK, so it only took me about 54 days to do this 30 day challenge... oops! Oh well, it was kinda fun, although I think the questions may have been written by a college kid. Or younger. But it got me moving on the blog again, which I really needed to do. I'm hoping the Reverb10 Challenge is a little more thought-provoking!

Day 29: Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Just like almost everyone else out there, I'd really like to change that number when I step on the scale. And preferably make it smaller, thank you very much. Its been a constant struggle for me for years, and I finally succeeded, a few years ago, only to gain it all plus some back with the stress of the impending job loss, job loss, unemployment, job search, financial woes, etc. I swear, stress makes me gain weight no matter how much I watch what I'm eating. I've lost the plus part (although I'm pretty sure I reversed some of that yesterday, oops!) and now its the hard part - getting back off what I lost. Its HARD! But I'm determined to have at least 8-10 of it off before we leave for Florida in just under 4 weeks. I know I can I know I can...

Day 30 → A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself
Dear Me,
I'm not gonna lie, I've got it pretty good. Do I wish I was thinner, richer, and had to work less? Of course, who doesn't? But I've got some fantasticness going as well. I'm one of the most loyal people I know. I have mad integrity, excellent work ethic, I'm organized, I can multitask with the best of them, and I would do anything for the people I care about. I have a wonderful family that has always been there for me, a boyfriend that has stuck with me through some ridiculously bad times, and friends all over the country and around the world that keep me on my toes. I've been blessed with a singing voice that has brought entertainment and pleasure to many people, and hopefully more to come. I've got a pretty decent sense of style, and an internal GPS that rivals that of the little Garmin I love so dearly. Even works better in some downtown areas :)  Yup, things are pretty good. I'm becoming more comfortable in my skin as I get older - I really do believe that my 30s are going to blow my 20s out of the water. I'm excited to live it!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tis the Season....

... for Christmas cards!

Usually, I'm really good about sending out Christmas cards to family and friends. Last year, because of the various life circumstances I was dealing with, I didn't get to them, and it made me a little sad. So I decided that this year, I'd get ahead of the game and start working on them this weekend - Thanksgiving will be over, so I can start thinking about Christmas. I bought some at Target, nothing special, and planned to get to work.

I read a lot of other people's blogs, to include my friend Erik's wife (who I will meet one of these days, darnit!) Jaime's blog, Fried Pink Tomato. The other day, she posted a promotion that Shutterfly is running for bloggers this year - 50 free cards!! (Details here.) I've never used Shutterfly before, but I have TONS of friends who have used them for Christmas cards, birth announcements, and picture books. So I decided I'm gonna go for it this year! I don't have a baby to share pictures of, but I do have kitties :)

So I jumped on the website, signed up for the promotion, and started playing around with cards. These are really cool!! I think I need to take a couple of pictures to really get what I want, but they've got everything from the super religious to the plain and simple, and you can put one picture or tons, depending on what you're looking for. Seriously, any Christmas card you could ever want, with photos or without. They even have Hannukah cards

Here are a couple I'm playing with:
The "Just Merry" Card

"Peppermint Bliss"
"Picture Ornaments"
What do you think? Which ones do you like? I'm kind of excited about this - it should be fun to put the cards together and get them out. And maybe I'll even use some of their personalized address labels too :)

Thirty Days of Truth, Days 27 and 28

Day 27: What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Oh man... life in general is going pretty well right now, especially when compared to this time last year. I am SO thankful to have found a good job, and to have made it through the tough times of last year, and to have Matt with me through it all. I'd say life in general is the best thing going for me right now!

Day 28: What if you were pregnant, what would you do? 

Get on with it. I mean yes, it would be a big deal. And yes, it would totally throw things off. But I'm not 16. It wouldn't be the end of my world. It would just be an adjustment. Not one I want to make right now, though, thank you very much.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thirty Days of Truth, Days 25 and 26

Gonna try to catch up a little here, which means two for one today!

Day 25: The reason you believe you’re still alive today. 
Well, I'm not sure there's any reason that I wouldn't be, to be honest.  I had strict parents who pretty much prevented me from making dumb decisions in high school that might have gotten me killed. I went to a military academy for college, which meant that my hand was held pretty much all the time. When I got out, I didn't do anything stupid. I got lucky driving when I was way too tired a few times over the years, but there's never been a situation where I can look back and say man, I'm lucky I got out of that alive.

Day 26: Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Wow, morbid much question creators? No, I've never thought about giving up on life. I had some of the typical teenager life sucks thoughts, but I have never in my life thought about ending it all. I know I'm lucky, and I have a good life and family and friends who love me and care about me. As much as I've wished things could change or be different through the years, I've NEVER thought about giving up.

The Next Project...

Since I did so well with the 30 Days of truth project (HA), I've decided to try another one. This one is called Reverb 10, and it sounds pretty cool - basically, for the month of December, every day they'll post a prompt and I'll respond to it. Thanks to my TRB buddy Jaime over at consequence free for clueing me in - I actually think I like this idea better than the 30 days of truth, and hopefully I'll do better at it.

Just click the above button to see for yourself what its all about, and wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thirty Days of Truth - Day 24

Day 24: Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (Just post the titles and artists and letter)
I've been sitting on this for nearly 24 hours now, trying to decide how to make this one work. I think I've just about got it, but slightly modified.

Dear (Insert name of almost any ex who broke my heart at one point or another over the years here),

This is just to let you know how I've been doing in the years since you broke my heart. In a nutshell, I couldn't be happier with how things turned out. Hope life's been as good to you.


1. When A Heart Breaks - Dave Barnes
2. Gravity - Sara Bareilles
3. Gotta Get Over You - Aslyn
4. Anyway - Amy Gerhartz
5. Speed Feels Better - Michael Tolcher
6. Where The Boat Leaves From - Zac Brown Band
7. I Do - Better Than Ezra
8. Hot Summer Night - Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
9. Sword and Shield - Sister Hazel
10. Simple As It Should Be - Tristan Prettyman

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thirty Days of Truth, Day 23

Day 23: Something you wish you had done in your life.
I wish I had done more of the toursity stuff when I lived in Paris after USNA! I spent 2 months taking classes and then interning at the Embassy, and never went to Versailles, or Provence, or Givenchy. I did the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and a dinner cruise on the Seine. And as much as I enjoyed being a "local" and doing local-ish things, I wish now that I had done more of the touristy stuff too. There's so much history over there, and so many neat things. Maybe I just thought I'd be back over there sooner (I haven't been back since, and that was in 2002). I don't know. Next time, no such thing. I'm touristing it up!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thirty Days of Truth, Day 22

Day 22: Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Honestly, I'm not sure about this one. At first I wanted to say "moved to Atlanta after getting out of the Navy." But while that wasn't the greatest experience for me career wise, I will never wonder "what-if," and oh by the way I wouldn't have met the man that I plan on spending the rest of my life with. (Cheesy, yes, but true.)  Then I thought maybe I'd say "stayed in the Navy when I could have gotten out in 2005," but then I wouldn't have made it to where I am now career wise, and oh by the way wouldn't have moved to Atlanta and met Matt, etc. Everything that's happened in my life has led me to where I am today. I mean, I guess I could say I wish I hadn't had that extra glass of wine the other night, or I wish I hadn't slept in instead of going to the gym all those days. But those are really the only types of things I can think of - trivial things that don't really matter all that much in the grand scheme of things.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Need something funny to brighten your day?

I have the answer!

My friend and fellow USNA grad Julia Lillis has always been a pretty funny lady. Following her time in the Navy she decided to pursue her version of stand up comedy, and has done pretty well for herself. She's been on USO trips as Dennis Miller's opener (and is, in fact, his official Jingle Writer), and performed all over the US. Her brand of stand up is a little different, as it tends to involve songs - instead of standing up and telling jokes, she sits at her keyboard and sings them. They're pretty funny, not gonna lie. Check out a few of them here.

Recently, Julia has started up a website called Naked Fan Mail.  The description of this site, as listed on her home page, says: 
Comedian Julia Lillis, who lives by the motto "if you love someone, tell them" but more importantly, "if you're creepily obsessed with someone, write them a letter!" sends daily heartfelt fan mail to celebrities and Z-listers alike.
And seriously, its funny. Its fairly new, so there aren't too many submissions yet. But if you need a daily dose of funny, add this blog to your rolls. And support Julia - she's based out of LA, so most of her shows are in SoCal, but if she comes near you, make sure you hit it up!

Thirty Days of Truth, Day 21

Day 21: (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
OK, was this question written by a 12 year old? Because last time I checked, in adult land, a fight is not the end of the friendship. So, obviously, I'd be hauling to the hospital and doing whatever a best friend would need to be doing at that point - making phone calls, making sure medical conditions are made aware of, basically dropping everything and taking care of her. Is there anyone out there who wouldn't??

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thirty Days of Truth - Day 20

Day 20: Your views on drugs and alcohol

Drugs: Just say no. Unless a doctor is prescribing it or its legally available over the counter, I don't want anything to do with it, no matter how organic it may be or how much it really does help. Primarily because I don't need to lose my (random drug testing could happen at any time) solid job.

Alcohol: I like beer, and I like wine, and I even like the occasional cocktail. But I rarely get drunk, and I rarely drink more than two or three drinks - standard is a glass of wine in the evening. OK, yes, occasionally I will go out DRINKING. But I know my limits and know at what point I need to stop or when its OK to keep drinking, and 99% of the time I stick to those limits like glue. I do my absolute best to not make an ass of myself.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thirty Days of Truth Day 19

Day 19: What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
I think I'm gonna go with politics on this one, especially after my long-winded rant yesterday.

I think politics in this country has the potential to be amazing. However, I think that because the two parties seem to have moved so far to the extreme on their respective sides, politics is no longer relevant to a large majority of Americans. I heard too many times in recent years that people either didn't vote because they didn't like any of the candidates, or voted for someone not because they agreed with their stance on the issues or liked them as a candidate but because they disagreed with them less or disliked them less. That's just sad to me, and I don't think this is what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they set up our political system so many years ago.

I think part of why this happens is just lack of education on our political process and how things work. Voter turnout is always significantly lower in primaries than it is general elections. Why is this? I'd bargain that a big part of it is just that people don't understand the process. Why have certain groups been able to consistently and successfully promulgate a message filled with disinformation and fear? Because people don't do their own research and educate themselves. And if people keep believing them, and their method is letting their candidates win, why should they stop?

I don't know the answers, obviously. But I wish someone did and could make it happen!!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Thirty Days of Truth, Day 18

Day 18: Your views on gay marriage
Warning: this is a bit of rant. I apologize in advance!

To do this military style... here's the BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front): My stance on gay marriage is that there's no reason why they shouldn't have all of the legal benefits of marriage that straight couples have, but the church part needs to be left up to the church. Separation of church and state and all that.

Now, the long explanation of the above. The rant portion, if you will.

There are two different aspects to marriage that people seem to want to mix into one. You can't just walk into a church and get married without doing the legal bits. Most churches are able to do those for you - its a nice little arrangement states have made with them (and I'm not against taking them out and separating them entirely- maybe that would help folks understand better that church and legal marriage are not the same thing). Without the legal bits, its just a symbolic church wedding and not a legally recognized one. You need that license and whatnot to be able to get the benefits, change your driver's license, and all those other fun things you do after you get married. In my mind, there is ZERO reason why a gay couple shouldn't be able to do all the legal bits. I have not heard a single argument against gay marriage that doesn't come down to something religious, and the US doesn't legislate religion, therefore the US shouldn't legislate legal marriage.

The church part is a little different. I can understand why churches that do not believe in homosexuality don't want to perform homosexual marriages. And the whole part where we don't legislate religion, I think it applies here too. I was raised Catholic, so I'll speak of what I know.  The Catholic church can refuse to marry a couple where one person is not Catholic unless they complete a whole bunch of counseling and promise to raise children Catholic and I'm sure, in some parishes, there are even more reasons. The Mormons won't even let you in to the Temple for the wedding if you're not Mormon, much less let someone get married in there who isn't. And nobody is making huge public outcries over these conditions - they're pretty well accepted. And I think you'd be hard pressed to find a case where two Satanists went to a Baptist Church wanting to get married, much less filed a lawsuit when the Baptists wouldn't do it. 

Gay marriage advocates have compared the fight for gay marriage rights to the fight for interracial marriage rights. I agree with them on the legal stance - its a very similar fight. However, for the most part, there was not the religious intolerance of interracial marriage for nearly as long as there was the legal intolerance - when the anti-miscegination laws were finally struck down in the US, most of the major denominations in this country were already willing to perform interracial marriages, and in some cases actually were doing so. The interracial marriage advocates had the support of religion, for the most part. The gay marriage advocates do not.

The first Americans left England to escape exactly what the religious right / conservative christians  / anti-gay marriage / call them what you will are trying to advocate for. They were persecuted for their beliefs by a government that let the Church make the rules. The Freedom of Religion granted all Americans by the Constitution means that no religion gets to make the rules. So why are they trying so hard, and, even more concerning, why are we letting them? If two people love each other and want to be legally bound, why are we stopping them? A healthy, loving, committed relationship is never a bad thing. Of all of my friends who have gotten married over the years, a large majority are no longer together. When I think about strong marriages among my friends, the one that comes to mind, first and foremost, is my friend from the Day 3 post, who was married to his husband in Canada 6 or 7 years ago (I think? Can't remember for sure, but re-read the post, we haven't been that close for a while) and have been together for 10. Why can't their marriage be recognized legally no matter where they go in the US? I'd rather see them get that recognition and benefits than half of the straight marriages I see on a regular basis!! The fact that this group of Americans is fighting so hard for something that so many take for granted and take less than seriously should mean something - why not let them have the same option?

Sigh... I get worked up over this.  Give me a good, solid argument against gay marriage that is not at all based on religion, and we can have a real debate. But I have yet to hear one. And that just reinforces my frustration with politics in this country.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Thirty Days of Truth, Day 17

Yes, I am fully aware that I have been sucking at this 30 day challenge thing. Its taking me way longer than 30 days to complete, but I'm going to do it dammit!! So we continue...

Day 17: A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
I had a really hard time coming up with the right answer to this one, as I generally don't read a ton of non-fiction. I read Meghan McCain's Dirty Sexy Politics recently, but it was just a fun read as I generally am on the same page with Meghan on a lot of things and read her blog from pretty early on, so much of it wasn't all that new. Although it was interesting to hear some of her thoughts on the Palins.

But I just finished Molly Ringwald's Getting the Pretty Back, and I'm not gonna lie - I was expecting a bit of a memoir, but it turned out to be a sort of advice for when you turn 40 book, and it kinda changed my views on Molly Ringwald. I've always loved her - what girl who has ever seen The Breakfast Club or Sixteen Candles or Pretty in Pink doesn't? I even still love her on that stupid TV show she's on now, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and blame her for my inability to stop watching it. But her book kinda bummed me out - really? An advice book? What makes her think she can give advice? She's an actress, not a shrink/parenting expert/etc - although she did consult with several professionals in the writing of the book. So I guess she's kind of ruined for me as a result. Sad, right?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Thirty Days of Truth, Day 16

Day 16: Someone or something you definitely could live without.
I could definitely live without housework. I love having a clean house, but I HATE doing the work. I could absolutely be on board with having a housekeeper/cleaning lady/maid service/whatever if I could afford to spend the money on it. Because housework BLOWS. Vaccuuming sucks, cleaning the bathrooms is horrible, and dusting makes me sneeze.