16 December 2009

Music of 2009

I'm kind of addicted to music. Especially now that I'm (currently) living by myself, I spend a lot of time listening to music. I put it on as a filler, I put it on while I'm working on something or reading, I put it on when I'm feeling happy, sad, discouraged, goofy, & any other possible emotion.

The other day I was listening to a soundtrack & noticed that I listen to one particular song on it a great deal more than any of the others. Then I was curious & started looking through all the songs on my iTunes to find out which songs I listen to the most. I reset my count at the beginning of every year, so I thought it would be fun to make a list of my most listened to songs of the year.

I couldn't really pick a place to stop, so I wound up with my top thirty. I'll list all of them at the end, but below is the top 15 without repeating any artists.

15. Falling Slowly by The Frames (listened to 64 times in 2009)

14. Viva la Vida by Coldplay (listened to 73 times in 2009)

13. Think Twice by Eve 6 (listened to 76 times in 2009)

12. That Song in my Head by Julianne Hough (listened to 80 times in 2009)

11. Almost Lover by A Fine Frenzy (listened to 82 times in 2009)

10. Minor Details by Sondre Lerche AND Stop & Stare by OneRepublic (listened to 85 times in 2009)

9. We All Need Saving by Jon McLaughlin (listened to 100 times in 2009)

8. I'm Yours by Jason Mraz (listened to 103 times in 2009)

7. Bubbly by Colbie Caillat (listened to 121 times in 2009)

6. Thinking of You by Katy Perry (listened to 129 times in 2009)

5. Folding Chair by Regina Spektor (listened to 131 times in 2009)

4. When the Stars Go Blue by Tim McGraw (listened to 135 times in 2009)

3. Say by John Mayer (listened to 139 times in 2009)

2. My Life Would Suck Without You by Kelly Clarkson (listened to 148 times in 2009)

1. I Was Made For You by She & Him (listened to 167 times in 2009)

Full 30: Falling Slowly by the Frames; Think of You by A Fine Frenzy; Clocks by Coldplay; Viva la Vida by Coldplay; Think Twice by Eve 6; Near to You by A Fine Frenzy; Two Way Monologue by Sondre Lerche; That Song in My Head by Julianne Hough; Almost Lover by A Fine Frenzy; Minor Details by Sondre Lerche; Stop & Store by OneRepublic; Change is Hard by She & Him; Lucky by Jason Mraz feat. Colbie Caillait; We All Need Saving by Jon McLaughlin; I'm Yours by Jason Mraz; Hero by Regina Spektor; Hot N Cold by Katy Perry; This is Not a Test by She & Him; I Kissed a Girl by Katy Perry; Slow Dancing in a Burning Room by John Mayer; Bubbly by Colbie Caillait; Fidelity by Regina Spektor; Us by Regina Spektor; Thinking of You by Katy Perry; Folding Chair by Regina Spektor; When the Stars Go Blue by Tim McGraw; Say by John Mayer; My Life Would Suck Without You by Kelly Clarkson; Sweet Darlin' by She & Him; I Was Made for You by She & Him

01 December 2009

Can't Get You Out of my Mind

You know how sometimes something or someone is on your mind & you can't seem to think of anything else? How you keep being reminded of that thing or person everywhere you turn?

That's me right now.

I can't get this person out of my mind. I'm reminded of him by a card I see in a store, a story line on a show I'm watching ... or, you now, him e-mailing me out of the blue. He seems to always do that when I can't get him off my mind. It's like he knows.

And then, as if all the reminders haven't been enough, I just realized that my favorite song of the moment has yet another reminder of him. Not in the usual, this song makes me think of so-and-so type of way ... but a phrase in the lyrics actually reminds me of him because it has a personal meaning to him.

It's kind of ridiculous, but what can I do about it?

So, does this happen to any of you? Just reminder after reminder after reminder?

26 November 2009

I'm thankful for...

There are so many things to be thankful for. It seems impossible to make a list of EVERYTHING for which I am grateful, but I can cover some of the bases.

I'm thankful for ...

Family. It's so easy to overlook family, but they truly are a blessing. Even if you fight with them, even if you wish you were closer to them, there's something amazing about that unconditional love. I'm so thankful for that built-in support system, especially this year.

Friends. For those who are the family I've chosen, the family I've made over the years. There are some friends who, in my heart, are included in the above statement. They are amazing & to have that unconditional love from people who don't have to be in your life? What more could you ask for? I'm so blessed to have close friends. And I'm so blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life, including those who I might not be particularly close to, but are great company. Even those who aren't "close" friends are a fantastic support system.

A roof over my head. There's nothing like a stressful & rushed apartment search to make you appreciate having a place to stay - and a place to call home. Shelter is such a necessity, but so is that feeling of having a place to turn to when you need it. To have a place where your soul can be sheltered.

Libraries. Books. for. free. 'nuff said!

Although I'm still without a job, I'm thankful for the opportunities which exist around me for work. I'm grateful that I can - ultimately, eventually - chose a career which will not only fuel me financially, but also emotionally & spiritually. There are so many people who don't have that option. There are people in other countries who don't have the luxury of picking careers, or have many careers to pick from. There are women in other countries or cultures who either aren't allowed to work or are still forced into very gendered careers. And even in the US & other developed nations, there are people who because of the hand they're dealt in life, don't have the advantages that I have had for a number of reasons. I have to recognize that class, status, & power are huge forces & I have it pretty good. (How could I hold a degree in sociology & not make that recognition?)

Given that I've been having a very frustrating time with my job search & now trying to find a roommate for my apartment, it's nice to take a time out & think about all the positive things in my life. I truly am thankful & now that I've named some of the things that make me grateful, maybe I'll be able to more easily reflect on them when the need arises.

So, what are you thankful for this year?

08 November 2009

What a day

Today has been such a blog-worthy day.

Let me start off by saying that for a while now I've been wanting to get back into church. I was brought up Catholic. Both my mom's family & my dad's family are Catholic. My dad was very religious & I went to Catholic school when I lived near Boston (the first 10 years of my life). I even have a great aunt who's a nun.

However, Catholicism really isn't for me. I was content to be brought up in the Catholic church, to say prayers every morning at school before the Pledge of Allegiance. When we moved & I had to attend CCD, I went willingly. I wanted to learn more, I wanted to make my Confirmation. Not just because my family expected me to make it, but because I was fairly religious & was excited to make the commitment myself, to be Catholic.

Somewhere down the road, sometime after making my Confirmation in 10th grade, things changed. Or maybe it's just that things caught up with me. I was well educated in the Catholic religion: the beliefs, the traditions. Some things just didn't make sense to me. The biggest gripe I had was about the Catholic church & homosexuals. I was always a good student in religious classes, but then I started to fall out of the good graces of teachers because I began to question things. I wasn't satisfied with the answers I was given. I was disheartened.

So, I stopped going to church. I didn't like being one of those holiday church-goers, but I agreed to go along with my family (who are holiday church-goers, not regular church-goers). The exceptions for me have been Ash Wednesday & annual memorial services for my dad.

Although I haven't considered myself religious for quite a while, I've recently become more spiritual. With that increase in spirituality, I wanted an outlet. I decided that when I moved, I would go "church shopping" & see what happened. I found a non-denominational church just down the street from me & decided to give it a go.

Last night (er, at 2:30am) I went to bed, resolved to go to church in the morning. I was nervous, because the only time I've ever gone to church by myself has been to get ashes. Forget about a completely different church! By. myself.

I had the strangest dream. No, nightmare. It really was bizarre. All I really remember now are the ridiculous parts, like getting cold called on to read a part in a play about Mary & Jesus. The script was on these huge ass lobster bibs. I don't even eat lobster, so I don't know where that came from at all. The gist of it was that the whole experience was really embarrassing, stressful, & not at all fulfilling. I woke up wondering if I should still go to church.

I also woke up late, with half an hour to get ready & get out the door. I decided to go any way, despite the nightmare & all the nerves. The service was wonderful & I can't really explain the feeling I had. Things just felt right.

My nerves weren't unjustified though. When I got to the church, I was pegged as new immediately. Someone came up & introduced herself to me, telling me to sign the guest book & sit wherever I would like. When I sat down, waiting for the service to start, someone else came up to me & introduced herself. I felt very welcome, but also very awkward. I'm not a huge fan of small talk. The church has a coffee hour after service, something I didn't intend to touch with a ten foot pole. I was raised Catholic, we don't do that.

About ten minutes before the service was over, two older ladies who were sitting behind me got up to prepare the snacks. One of them tapped me on the shoulder & said, "make sure you join us for coffee after." Well, shoot. I guess there was no way of getting out of it at that point. I should point out that it's a small congregation, so it was evident that I was a new person. That & it spread like wildfire that there was someone new.

I went to coffee hour, very apprehensive. I met basically the whole congregation & it was so overwhelming. Everyone was very nice, but it was so overwhelming. I kept thinking I could finally get away, but someone else would come up & start talking to me. And then when I finally felt like I really could get away, the woman I was talking to told me not to go anywhere because Pastor Katie wanted to meet me. The pastor. Again, very nice woman, but I was overwhelmed.

I'm planning on going back next week, but hoping that I can slip out of coffee hour or at least just make a brief appearance as opposed to being held for an hour after service. I spent two hours at church today. Have I mentioned I was brought up Catholic? AKA get in & get out.

Warning: rapid topic change

Tonight I got together for dinner with the friends I stayed with for three weeks. M & E came to pick me up & I gave them a tour of the apartment. It only makes sense that they were the first to see it. And they love it. That makes me very happy. I love my apartment & I love that other people love my apartment. There are still lots of unpacked boxes, but it's homey & I guess more put together than expected for only a week in the apartment.

Back at their place, the kids were playing & I sat in the kitchen talking with M & M2, while M2 made dinner. We caught up, even though it had only been a week since I had left after staying with them for almost a month. We joked about the huge difference between living with a family of four with a dog & a cat, as opposed to living in an apartment all by myself. I told them about my experience going to church & with coffee hour. The church they go to also has coffee hour, so they understood what I was talking about. They also told me about their experiences in church this morning.

They go to a Methodist church which is made up in part by immigrants from Ghana. This morning they held their annual harvest, which basically is where they shake down members for money. It's done in almost an auction style & they've described in detail the stark difference between the Ghanian members, for whom this is tradition, & the other members who are quite uncomfortable with the public giving. The stories involved a lot of re-enacting of dancing, along with some castanet playing. I can't even BEGIN to describe how entertaining this all was.

The rest of the night was filled with ridiculousness that can't quite be put into words unless you've hung out with this family. Things that may have been involved: fake piercings; spanking (which did not involve the kids); someone laughing so hard they practically choked ... & really without warrant; (falsely) implied behavior involving magic mushrooms. Really, just your average night.

Oh & I FINALLY got to talk about Mad Men! If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I've become obsessed with this show. I got the first season from the library & once I got into it, I kept trying to find people who watch it so I could talk about it. It's a show which really does need to be discussed. I generally feel that way about all shows I watch, but this one in particular. Probably because of the time/culture differences which make it so interesting. M & M2 are the ones who got me into the show, after talking about it constantly while I was staying with them. I jumped on the chance to talk about it & it was delicious. Although there was the tease, "Just wait until you get to season two!" Evil. Just evil! I should have it by Wednesday though.

Then I came home & realized that tomorrow is trash day & I didn't have an city bags. (City trash bags, seriously? Thanks for charging me $8 for FIVE trash bags, "City".) I made the minute long trek to CVS hoping they carried trash bags, only to be hit on my the high school aged cashier. Story of my life, I don't know what it is with me & cashiers. And then, since Friendly's is right there, I decided a hot fudge sundae was necessary. Sundae Sunday, any one?

And now I'm craving pizza so bad that it's practically all I can think of. It's 10:30pm & there's no way I'm ordering pizza right now, so ... I don't know. I'll probably have to give in to it tomorrow, when it won't be quite as satisfying, but still completely necessary. You know how it goes.

Pizza.

With (not magic) mushrooms. And eggplant. And onion. And green peppers.

Now I'm literally drooling. Thinking about pizza. I might have to check & see if my favorite place is still open. Damn it.

PS -- It's my mom's birthday! Happy 51st, Mom!

27 October 2009

Things that are ephemeral

I somehow see what's beautiful in things that are ephemeral
I'm my only friend, am I
& love is just a piece of time
in the world, in the world
& I couldn't help but fall in love again
no, I couldn't help but fall in love again
I Thought I Saw Your Face Today -- She & Him

After my mom's house sold, it was a mad dash to find an apartment for me. We started off looking for apartments where someone was already renting & looking for a roommate. That didn't work out. We changed our game plan & started looking for an apartment where I would later be the one looking for a roommate.

Finally we found a place that suited me & my needs. We signed the lease, put down first & last month's rent. The next day the landlord (who had yet to sign the lease) pulled it. His daughters felt he was not in good enough health to be renting it out. And then the mad dash began again, but intensified. My family was moving in five days.

I lucked out & landed in the right place at the right time. I got a fantastic apartment in a fantastic location. I'm moving in on Sunday & I'm so excited.

While that mad dash was still going on, one of my friends -- one of my professors from college -- offered to let me stay with her & her family while I got on my feet. I took her up on the offer, which was necessary even though I found an apartment. I needed a place to stay for three weeks.

I've known this family for two years. I took my first class with "M" in my sophomore year. A month later, I was participating in a charity walk with her, her husband "M2", & their kids "E" & "B". Since then, I've spent a good amount of time outside of school with them. "M2" is also a professor from the school I went to, although I didn't take a class with him until my last semester.

Maybe because I've babysat, housesat, & been over their house socially before, I immediately felt at home when I arrived for my stay while I was in transit. Having been here before definitely helped in knowing where most things are, knowing the lay of the land. However, I think the feeling at home part is due to the people. "M" & "M2" gave me such a warm welcome, as did the kids who hadn't grasped how long I would be here. I've been included in family dinners & other activities, such as going to a movie at "E"s school & going to "boo" two families -- a Halloween activity in this neighborhood.

Three weeks seemed like a long time before I got here. I worried about it being too much for them to handle, too much of a burden. Now, my three weeks are almost up & even though I'm looking forward to moving into my apartment (which, by the way, is only a 10-minute walk away from their house), I also find myself wishing that I was staying here longer. It's so wonderful to be staying with friends, to feel like part of their family, to be living with little kids, and to be living with a sweet dog who follows me around.

I'm truly blessed to have them, as well as all my other friends & my family, in my life. It was a very trying time before I got to this stage & the support I have means the world to me. Staying here has been the best stress relief I could ask for.

20 October 2009

In the past week ...

I moved in with friends until the beginning of November.

I have a new best friend, Shady the dog.

I have a new enemy, Woody the cat.

I've become part of a new family & immediately felt at home.

I'm taking in the dynamic of a family: the good, the bad, & the ugly.

Despite the bad & the ugly, it's a confirmation that I do want kids.

I was subjected to playing "Cash Cab", without the kids in the car.

I realized I have my first apartment! (Move in on 1 November.)

I got really excited.

Things changed. For the better.

Absentminded ramblings ...

01 October 2009

Delete

I just wrote a ranting post about how swimingly things are going right now. And then deleted it.

It didn't make me feel better.

Let's just say I am not in a good mood. I'm not in a good mood & I'm a ticking time bomb. So if I'm not very present in any way - on Twitter, via text, via e-mail, or whatever the mode is - it's not you. It's me.

I don't want to snap at anyone. I don't want to go on a rant about anything. I know you don't have to read it if I do, but I bet you will. Because you guys are great.

I don't know how long this will last. I'm hoping that it's just because everyone is stressed with everything relating to the move(s). Maybe it's just today, maybe it'll be until my family moves, maybe it'll be until I'm moved in to an apartment. I'm not sure.

I just wanted to give a head's up. If I'm not around as much or if I'm "off", it's not you. It's me. And that's not just a line.

And instead of saying "sorry" or anything like that, if you're going to comment ... tell me what your favorite primetime show is.

Mine is Bones, which is on FOX right now (8pm EST).

28 September 2009

This is not a love story

At the beginning of the month one of my best friends from college, who now lives far away in Maine - practically Canada, came to visit. One of the things we did was go see the movie 500 Days of Summer. If you haven't seen it, you should. We both absolutely loved it!

Throughout the movie, we kept commenting on how we loved the music. We recognized a few of the songs by Regina Spektor, a few of the songs are clearly identified as The Smiths, & Zooey Deschanel sang part of a cover of Sugar Town by Nancy Sinatra. Other than that, the music was all new to my ears. My friend got the soundtrack & she raved about it. It's on the top of my "to get" list the next time I can make a luxury purchase.

The other night, I looked up the list of tracks on the soundtrack so that I could find them on YouTube. Not the easiest task, but I found a good number of them. During the search, I came across this gem. It's a short video that Zooey Deschanel & Joseph Gordon Levitt (the lead male in the movie) made with the same director. It's set to a She & Him song, one of my favorites: Why Do You Let Me Stay Here.

*No spoilers for the movie. Promise.

view on YouTube

Since I saw it the other night, I've been obsessed. I've always been a big fan of Zooey Deschanel, so it's not a surprise that when she partnered with M. Ward to form She & Him I became a big fan of them. Zooey acting AND singing is always a perfect combo for me, & I loved her & JGL in the movie. Therefore, I practically drool over this video.

Oh & as a side note, I also love Emily Deschanel (lead actress on Bones). The Deschanel sisters = love. In case you didn't already know. ;)

16 September 2009

A Positive Spin

The apartment hunt has been very stressful & very fast-paced! Our house was sold within a week of putting it on the market. We didn't expect that things would move so quickly, but it's been a huge relief that we wouldn't have the house being shown for months on end. A week was enough to try our nerves! The only thing is that there's a looming deadline over our heads to get me into an apartment.

The thing is, I don't drive. I need to be in a city location so that I have access to public transportation so that once I have a job, I can get myself there! Otherwise I would have the option of moving with my family. However, they're moving way out to the western part of the state & it's just not a viable option for me.

So, the stress of hunting for an apartment in the time frame of a month is full on right now. It's down to two weeks from today that I need to be in a place.

Stressful!

As if the job hunt wasn't enough, right?

Needless to say, I've found myself in need of some stress relief, big time!! I decided to start focusing on the positive, fun aspects of looking for an apartment.

a) I won't be living with my family! Now, don't get me wrong. I love my family. However, after 22 years I'm ready to set out on my own. Um, granted my mom will be paying rent for me until I have a steady income, but ... still. I won't be living with my family & I won't be living in a dorm room. Exciting!

b) DECORATING!!!!! There was a brief amount of time in my life when I wanted to be an interior designer. I was watching a lot of TLC's Trading Spaces (can I just tell you how excited I am that Genevive Gorder is on a design show again? LOVE HER!) & ate it up. I've had a hand in a lot of the redecorating that's gone on in the house. I've moved past wanting to be an interior designer by profession, but it's still a hobby. And now I watch a hell of a lot of HGTV.

The other night, my mom & brother went to pick out a paint color for my brother's room when they move. I asked my mom to pick up some paint samples for me - light hues; greens, blues, yellows. I've been really leaning toward wanting a fresh, calm green palate for my eventual new room.

I'm a big fan of Cucumber Crush from Behr. I'm about 99% positive that (if I can paint) this is the color I'm going to go with.
I've also decided that I want to make prints of some of the photos I've taken & hang them in my room. The first four below I plan to print as 8x10s; the following 5 I plan to print as 5x7s. (I already have a 5x7 print of one of them, actually.)It's probably not smart to plan out where I'll put them based on my current first choice apartment, seeing as I don't know whether or not I'll get that apartment. However, I'm doing it any way. The first two 8x10s will go on one wall; the other two 8x10s will go on the opposite wall. The first two 5x7s will flank a window on one of the other walls. The other three 5x7s will go on the opposite wall, next to the closet door.

Since my mom is moving in with her boyfriend, she isn't really bringing any furniture with her. I have my pick of everything, depending on where I wind up. It's been a bit hard trying to decide what furniture to take for my bedroom, since I don't know how big of a space I'll have. I know that I'm getting one of the queen beds, a big upgrade from my twin bed. I'm bringing my desk, my bureau, & a piece of furniture we have down in the living room that my grandpa made for my dad. Other than that, it all depends. I'll take one of my mom's nightstands most likely & after that, I'm not sure. I'm also getting her TV, which is another big upgrade from my teeny screened TV.

I'm looking forward to having a new space to make my own. Now I just need to find that space!

14 September 2009

Spinach Puffs

This is one of my favorite recipes. It's always my go-to when I have to make something for a get-together. (Although, I always double the recipe in that case.)

Ingredients:
one 10-ounce package of frozen chopped spinach
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 slightly beaten eggs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup blue cheese dressing
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
one 8 1/2-ounce package corn muffin mixIn a saucepan, combine spinach & onion; cook according to spinach package directions. Drain well, pressing out excess liquid. Combine eggs, cheeses, salad dressing, butter or margarine, & garlic powder. Add spinach mixture & muffin mix; mix well. Cover & chill. (Or, place in a freezer container; seal, label, & freeze.) To serve, place chilled or frozen puffs on a baking sheet. Bake in a 350 degree oven 'til light brown. Bake chilled puffs for 10-12 minutes; bake frozen puffs for 12-15 minutes. Serve warm. Makes about 60.

Make sure to chill the mixture so that it's easier to put it on the cookie sheets.I've found that if you use a light sheet, it takes about 12 minutes to cook after chilling.
If you use a dark sheet, it only takes about 10 minutes to cook.
It seems to be easier to use a metal spatula, as opposed to a rubber one. They come up quite nicely.While the recipe says that it makes about 60, I've found that I wind up with more like 50 ... I make them a little bigger.(I took this picture after the first two sheets came out of the oven ... they go pretty quick!)

Also, while the recipe says to serve them warm, I think they're also yummy cold. So when you have leftovers, you can either warm them up again in the microwave or enjoy them as they are!

If you use this recipe, let me know what you think!

What's your favorite recipe?

02 September 2009

Wordless Wednesday #7

Some photos from my trip to NYC last month.

Central Park
Central Park
Belvidere Castle
Cleopatra's Needle
Central Park
Me at the Alice in Wonderland StatueNew York Supreme Court

These are all straight out of camera. My brother generously let me borrow his Kodak EasyShare M380. (I'm 90% sure it's the 380. I'll check with him later.) I waaaaant a camera like this! It's so much better than the one I have. Although I want to play with a Canon PowerShot before making a decision ... for which one will go on my Christmas list.

18 August 2009

Some things you don't forget

So, I still haven't written a post on my trip to NYC. I need to get on that. It's one of those things I keep telling myself I need to do, but never get around to actually doing. Just like I've been telling myself for about two weeks that I needed to e-mail one of my former profs, who I'm friends with, since we never got together like we were planning. I told myself this so many times that I had a few dreams in which she was featured. My subconscious was even getting on me to e-mail her! Granted, she e-mailed me this morning ... so problem solved. I don't think that's possible with a blog post though. Too bad!

For now, I have something much more random to ramble about. Since I was thinking about writing a post, I got to thinking about when I used to journal. Despite the amount of time I spend on my laptop, I'm a paper & pen kind of gal. I LOVE office supplies. My favorite type of pen is a Pilot EasyTouch fine point. I usually have black ink, but also love blue ink. I'm a huge fan of yellow legal pads. Honestly, I have an obscene amount of pens, pads of paper, etc. When I was younger, I always had a surplus of journals. Family members would get them for me, I would pick up one that I liked in a store.

I went in & out of phases with journaling. Sometimes I would write every day, sometimes there would be long stretches where I didn't bother. For a while, there was a constant though. I would name my journal. I progressed from writing "Dear Diary" or "Dear Journal" to "Dear Grace" "Dear Kendra". (I did use those two names. Not sure where Grace came from, but Kendra was after my 7th grade English teacher who gave me that particular journal as a Christmas present.) Back then, the words seemed to flow better when it was more like I was writing a letter to someone instead of just writing for myself.

I still have some of my old journals, although I did toss some of them. Really, who wants to look back at those middle school journals that are ALL about the boys you had crushes on? Sometimes I can't believe how boy crazy I was! (And then I remember that I still am sometimes.)

The few memories captured in those discarded journals that I would want to look back on, those are still etched in my mind. Like the first time I danced with a boy -- a boy I had a huge crush on that entire year. We danced to I Can Love You Like That ... the Boyz II Men version, of course, not the lovely John Michael Montgomery version I heard on the radio a few weeks ago. Ryan's hands were around my waist and he sang along to the song. Twelve years later, I can still picture it clearly.

That's actually an elementary school story, not middle school, but you catch my drift.

On a completely different note (I think), I want to pimp out my alter ego: @JoyfulHeart87 on Twitter. I started a second Twitter account because I had a dream that my family decided to get on Twitter & knew I was on there, so I had to hurry up & create a new account & Tweet a ton so it didn't look suspicious. Since I'm massively paranoid about things, I was like ... it wouldn't hurt to have a second account. So now I have my regular Twitter account & this new one, which I'm using mostly to Tweet about activist/advocate related things. Just FYI. :)

09 August 2009

The Job Search Rant

I'm giving fair warning now that this is going to be a complaint-ridden post. Take caution: frustration ahead.

I've been trying not to complain, really. I've tried to keep myself from sending tons of Tweets in frustration, tried not to change my Facebook status a bunch of times -- all reflecting frustration. Basically, I've been keeping everything in & I know that's not good.

It drives me crazy when people Tweet/Facebook/etc. & it's all negative. That's what I've been avoiding. However, I need to vent a bit.

I graduated at the end of May. It's now the beginning of August & I still don't have a job. I know I'm not the only one in this position & I know I'm not the only one who's frustrated. I know that my friends who do have jobs struggled before they got them. I know that I most likely won't be the last person in my class to finally get a job.

But right now? I'm frustrated. So frustrated that I've been upset all weekend. So frustrated that I cried most of Friday & have cried for a good part of today.

You might remember that I already had a huge bout of frustration over my job search. I was so frustrated I felt like giving up, but knew I couldn't. And I didn't, & then I got two job interviews. I went on those interviews & I felt really good about them.

Yet I'm still unemployed. The second job interview, the one at the law firm, went really well & I got excited. I could see myself working there & I felt good about it. I got back from NYC on Thursday, so I gave them a call on Friday to check in. It had been a week & the partner had said it would be a week or two.

I found out that they had already filled the position. I hung up the phone & immediately burst into tears. I wanted that job, I was suited for that job, I needed that job.

It's August & I've only had two interviews. I've had countless rejections.

I know that so many people go through this, but no matter how many times I tell myself that, it doesn't do any good. I'm frustrated & I want to give up ... even though I won't.

I can't put into words how much I appreciate the words of encouragement that I get from my family & friends. I'm sorry if any of you have ever given me encouragement & I've shot it down. Chances are you caught me at a bad moment, one where I was thinking more about how I've heard it all before & couldn't genuinely appreciate your kind thoughts. So I hope that I haven't offended anyone & if I have, I apologize.

It's hard to always have on that smile, when I get bogged down by this frustration so much sometimes that it's all I feel.

I also can't say how much it helps to read fun & silly Tweets, etc. when I'm in this sort of mood. It's helped so much this weekend.

So if you want to encourage me, leave me a comment telling me the funniest thing that you heard/that happened to you this week!

01 August 2009

Lots of ground to cover

I realized that there are so many things I want to blog about. It's a case of "so much to do, so little time." I'm sure at some point I'll get it all out there, but for now I just have to log away those ideas for the future. I doubt you want to read a post that goes in 5 million different directions!

Woops, that's what's going to happen in this one! You already started reading though & I'm already typing. It happens.

First off, thanks so much to those of you who gave me encouraging words before & after my interview! It's wonderful to have so much support. I really think it makes a difference in the way I carry myself, hearing & reading all of your kind words!

The interview went well. It was surprisingly casual & it was comfortable. It's a small firm & I would be exposed to a lot there, although it is specifically immigration law. I would be doing a bit of everything in the office. It's entry level with training. It's easily accessible, right on the bus line. I only met two people while I was there, but they both seem nice. It feels like a good fit to me & hopefully they'll think so as well!

I had a bit of a snafu with my outfit though. I always do my own laundry, but the shirt is white & I didn't have enough clothes for a light wash. I have no qualms about doing a mixed wash, but with a new shirt that's a huge no no! So I left my shirt with my mom's laundry so that she could throw it in the next time she did whites. She did & then I'm not sure if it was her or my brother who threw the load in the dryer, but whoever it was didn't check to see if everything could go in the dryer & MY TOP SHRANK IN THE DRYER.

I didn't realize this, of course, until I was getting dressed. I ran around trying to figure out what to do. The shirt still fits for the most part, just not in the bust. It looked stupid & there was no way I was going to interview in the shirt, even with a shell under it. Luckily I had another dress top I had picked up last week, so I wore that. I actually liked the outfit better with that top, so it was a win.

When I told my mom what happened, she said she would buy the top off of me if it fit her. Works for me. I'm so glad that I hadn't returned the other top!

In other news ... I'M GOING TO NEW YORK NEXT WEEK!!

I. am. so. freaking. excited.

I had been planning on going at some point this summer, but things have come together much quicker than expected! I had been thinking mid to late August, but when I got the interview & started thinking about how I might potentially (hopefully!) be working soon. Full time. During the week.

I'll get it right out there: I'm going to meet up with ("internet") friends & to try to see SVU filming. Given the latter part, I need to go during the week! So I just decided it needs to be next week. There's no way I'm going to pass up the opportunity to see them filming & *fingers crossed* meet Mariska & Chris.

So I booked myself on Bolt Bus & made a reservation at a hostel. I'll be in NYC Tuesday-Thursday! I'm really just beyond excited! I'm going to be meeting more people who I've been talking to for over a year. They're so much fun & I know we're going to have a blast!

There are a few of the things that I wanted to blog about! I'll keep you updated on the job hunt ... & of course the trip. :)

30 July 2009

I Have Confidence

Tomorrow (today) I have another interview! Last week it was with a domestic violence shelter, this one is with an immigration law firm. I've been doing my research, so I feel comfortable going in for the interview. Even if it is with one of the partners, not a human resources person.

I had to go shopping again for something a little more professional than what I wore to the other interview. I got two pairs of dress pants & I think I'm going to be wearing the gray ones. I'll be wearing the same white button-down shirt I wore last week. My black heeled boots from London will be put to good use & I'm going to accessorize with a necklace.

I also picked up some makeup to please my mom. I have terrible acne scarring, but I don't ever wear makeup. I need to find a real concealer, but for now I have ...

Neutrogena healthy skin blends translucent oil-control powder (clean 10)

Neutrogena nourishing eye quad (butter creme 110)

I tried them out so that tomorrow I don't muck anything up, & I really like them!

I might not have been able to find a suit, as was the intention, but I'm just going to act like I'm wearing one. And take a little note from Julie Andrews (aka Maria von Trapp).

I'll do better than my best
I have confidence they'll put me to the test
but I'll make them see I have confidence in me

26 July 2009

Finish Line!

Woot. 24 hours of blogging! Check out the RAINN website, great organization. I'm passing out now.

Edit:

So, I wound up giving up blogging on my computer to do mini updates from my BlackBerry. Given the 160 character limit on a text, I couldn't do the closing post I wanted to at 9 this morning. Better late than never though!

When I signed up for this blogathon, I didn't actually know what I was getting myself into. Lesson learned, read before signing up! haha I didn't realize I would have to post every half hour & that's a huge commitment, 49 blog posts.

I'm so glad that I did though. It was crazy to stay up & blog for 24-hours, but it was an experience. I hope that if anything you learned something from one of my posts. I think we all learned that I must be insane! But seriously, if something I posted shed light on a topic you didn't know about, I did something right.

Please share with me what you learned! It doesn't have to be a long comment or anything. You can leave it here if you remember, or go back to that post. All of the posts will be in the right side bar under my July entries, or you can access them through the blogathon label.

Also, it's not too late to sponsor me! You have another 2 days to do so if you wish. You can find me listed under "with a side of Whimsy" here.

Blogathon Tunes Post No. 3

I keep drifting off. I think this is my 8:30 post. Check out Rockin to the Beat by the Black Eyed Peas.

Organizations on Twitter

If you're on Twitter, check out @rainn01 @janedoe @safehorizon

Not necessary to state, but

I'm exhausted. I've got this for you: Chris Meloni is hot.

I'm easy to please

I'm easy to please. Friday my friend & I went to Target to get snacks for the movie. I was excited about a huge ass bottle of Smart Water for a dollar!

Projects around the house

We’ve been working to get the house on the market. My main project has been the grout of our slate floor downstairs. I’ve scrubbed the grout in both of the hallways & made a lot of progress using a whitening product on about 2/3 of the hallways. Now I have to finish whitening in the hall & then start the process over on the kitchen floor.

We also are working on the curb appeal of the house, so my mom & her boyfriend have taken out a bunch of terrible plants that were in the front & side yards. In the front, there’s now mulch. On the side, they’ve planted grass which now needs to be watered twice a day … that falls to me since I’m home.

Things are coming along & I think we’ll be able to put the house on the market at my mom’s expected date.

Blogathon Book Post No. 4

Time for another book recommendation! This is another book I read last summer.
I Am the Central Park Jogger by Trisha Meili.

It is an absolutely inspiring autobiography. Trisha was badly beaten & raped while jogging through Central Park. She suffered severe brain damage & had to go through intense physical & mental therapy. She beat all the odds & gives hope to others.

Check out her website.

Coping Mechanisms

Everyone needs a way to cope. Whether you’re a survivor, a secondary survivor, a counselor, or just a human being. We all get stressed & we all have our problems.


If there is a certain situation(s) which makes you anxious, nervous, scared, or sad … try to recognize it. Is there something that brings on these feelings? A certain time of day, or a song, or a scent? If you’ve experienced any kind of trauma, these are among some of the things that can be considered triggers.


When you find yourself in a stressful or uncomfortable situation, it’s helpful to have an idea of what you can do to calm down. Think about things that you enjoy doing. Perhaps knitting or playing with a pet. If you can, do one of these activities.


There are also some things that can help you stay in the moment. Count to 10, or 100, or see as high as you can go until you’re feeling better. List the things around you & if you still need more, go back & describe those object. For example: there is a desk. It is wooden with no drawers. It has a rack for a computer tower. The trim is black. These are called grounding techniques.


Make sure that you do something for yourself. Treat yourself to a massage, if you are comfortable with someone else touching you. Practice meditation. Have half an hour of “me time” while you’re at home, without interruption from anyone you may live with. Go for a walk. See if there are any (free or otherwise) classes that interest you. Read a good book. Whatever appeals to YOU.


It is important to take care of ourselves. With all the tasks that have to get done in a day & the other people in our lives we have to take care of, it can be easy to lose sight of that. The best way to get these things done, though, is to make sure we’re in top condition.


Be good to yourself.

Thank you!

A big thank you to "jeshyr" for sponsoring me! I don't know who you are, which makes your sponsorship even more amazing! RAINN is a wonderful cause & it makes me so happy to know that together we are helping them!

If anyone else is interested in sponsoring me, you can go here & find me listed under "with a side of Whimsy". Any amount is welcome!

And here is some information on how donations to RAINN are used.

Double Whammy

I missed a post this afternoon while I was mowing the lawn, so I figured I would double up at some point. Now is as good as ever!

I'm also running on ... Mafia Wars.

I'm running on ...

Jelly Belly freezer pops
Diet raspberry ginger ale
People.com

Left to my own devices

I don't even have my Google Reader to keep me entertained. Damn bloggers at BlogHer!

On Calling a Hotline

If a hotline is 24-hours, which most are, don't hesitate to call at any time. The people who are staffing the hotline have chosen that shift & are ready to take a call. Don't feel bad for calling.

I'll even give an experience I had ... At my center, we always have a back-up staffer on in case we have any questions, need support after a difficult call, have a call that needs more support, etc. One morning I was on the 6am-noon shift & I couldn't find the new number to check in with the answering service. So at 6am, so early on a Saturday morning, I had to call back-up. But I knew that the person had signed up for that shift & was "expecting" to field calls.

It takes a lot of courage to call a hotline, whether it's your first time or you've called before. Don't get down on yourself if you haven't been able to bring yourself to pick up the phone. You might not be ready yet. And when you are ready, someone will be there.

Wondering what I'm doing during Blogathon?

Catching up on some Comic Con articles.

The Random Post

O_O This is how my eyes are. Even though I'm exhausted. Or because I'm exhausted?

I know all my posts are random, but this one is truly a collection of random ... words. Not even thoughts. Words.

Um. I need to collect myself & plan out future posts.

I'm trying to think if there's anything I've done today that I HAVEN'T already shared. Probably not since I've been posting every half hour!

Oh. I'm reading this book called Losing my Religion: How I lost my Faith Reporting on Religion in America -- and Found Unexpected Peace by William Lobdell. It's really interesting!

Sexual Assault & SVU

Right now I'm watching season 8 of SVU. I don't really feel weird about watching SVU while I'm doing a blogathon for RAINN. However, some people might think it's weird.

When I started training to become a rape crisis counselor, I found out that a lot of people who work at that center aren't fans of SVU. I understand their thinking, in part. They worry about people being triggered by episodes & that certainly happens.

I think that SVU brings to light the issue of rape. It's there, so why shouldn't it be present on TV? The show doesn't present a fair representation of rape, seeing as the most common perpetrator is someone the survivor knows, not a stranger. There are lots of representational discrepancies, but in the end the show is informative.

(And have I mentioned Mariska Hargitay is amazing?)

This is probably something that should be left for another time, when I can really write about how I feel. Maybe I'll still keep it on tap for a future entry.

Basically, I'm just sayin' that I'm watching SVU.

Oh! Also! Olivia Benson, the main female character on the show, was sexually assaulted during season 9 (2007-2008). The continuity can get a bit screwed up because sometimes episodes are filmed in one order & aired in another, but in season 10 they showed Olivia going to individual & group counseling & having flashbacks. Word is there might be more flashbacks in the up & coming season. It's nice (so not the right word, but you know what I mean) to see a continuing portrayal of a survivor on the show, instead of the glimpses there are during a case.

The Proposal -- in full

Oh. My. Goodness. So, in case you didn’t read my “preview” to my reaction: FUNNIEST MOVIE! GO SEE IT!


So, here’s the story. My friend & I had a date night. We went out to dinner, shopped around a little bit, & went to a movie. I had suggested The Proposal the day before because we both LOVE Sandra Bullock. She texted me yesterday while she was still at work & said she’d also like to see The Ugly Truth. There are so many movies out right now that I want to see, so I told her she could pick.


We were incredibly indecisive about what movie to see. Finally we just needed to pick because there was a half hour difference between the showings. I don’t know why, but I suggested we do rock paper scissor, me being The Proposal & her being The Ugly Truth. Why didn’t we think of flipping a coin? We did, just after rock paper scissor.


The Proposal won – during the third round of rock paper scissor because we kept throwing the same thing -- & we were both SO glad it did in the end.


IT. IS. HILARIOUS!


Hysterical laughter. Doubled over. Crying. Couldn’t stop.


I can’t remember the last time I’ve laughed so hard at a movie. I don’t know if I ever have! It just kept coming. Even the parts that were shown in commercials were funny! (Funnier than in the commercials.)


If you need a laugh, go see it.


Just go see it!


Sandra Bullock comedies are always funny, but this one is the tops. This is one of those movies where you know while you’re still watching it that you’re going to have to buy it when it comes out on DVD.


At one point I was laughing so hard & I just couldn’t stop. Every time I tried, I thought about the line & burst out laughing again. Believe me, I tried thinking about the Dalai Lama*, it didn’t work. Then during another part my friend had that problem & she set me off laughing again.


Once the movie ended & the bit during the credits was over, we just sat there still laughing. We both had to make a pit stop – because of all the laughing! – & when we were drying our hands I was trying to tell her what the funniest part was & I couldn’t. I started laughing so hard I started to cry again.


And we laughed the whole drive home.


*Do you get the Miss Congeniality reference? Aren’t I so clever?! ;)

What I Always Fear

I always have this (seemingly) irrational fear that I'm going to send a personal communication (be it a text, IM, direct message, e-mail, etc.) to the wrong person. I'm so paranoid that I tend to double check before sending things.

Well, it's happened. It was bound to happen eventually. And if it was going to happen, at least this is how it went down.

I sent a text to a friend about something while she was at work & didn't hear back from her. I didn't think much of it, went on living life. Tonight I got a text from this friend. Well, I got a text from a number. When my phone buzzed I assumed it was going to be one of two people. I checked my phone & low & behold, I put the first mentioned friend's number in my phone ONE DIGIT OFF! when I got my BlackBerry.

So, I sent a personal message to some stranger. At least it was a stranger as opposed to accidentally sending it to someone else in my address book!

The Nannyyy







This is how I'm staying awake. Actually, this is just part of a normal night for me. Hahaha

I'm Here!

It's taking me longer to edit what I want to post. I'm here though!

25 July 2009

No body, no crime.

The downside of finding something to keep me awake is that now my attention is on Psych instead of coming up with blog entries. I know I still have things to write about, but I haven't seen these episodes since they aired.

Blogathon Pic Post No. 4

TV on DVD is my BFF

And now I know what will be keeping me up ... Psych season 3 on DVD, SVU on DVD (I'm thinking season 8 -- Philadelphia & Florida), etc.

I need to boost these posts up. I'll get a second wind ... maybe some dark chocolate will do the trick.

And some comments! :) Doesn't have to be on this entry, any of them will do. :D

I might be a vegetarian, but

I am intrigued by the story my mom's boyfriend is telling about some of his buddies fishing in Alaska & catching 700-pounds worth of fish. I asked how they got it back ... $6/pound to flash freeze & ship.

Everyone came back at the same time

I was enjoying some peace & quiet. My mom & her boyfriend went out to the store, my brother was still on vacation (in Maine.)

My brother came back & a minute later my mom's car pulled into the driveway.

It was nice while it lasted!

Half Way Mark!

Who decided that the blogathon would consist of posts every half hour? LOL I know I missed one this afternoon while I was mowing the lawn, so I guess at some half hour interval I'll have to post two entries! 49 entries in a 24-hour period ... oy!

If you're interested in sponsoring me for this blogathon, you can find more information here. I would really appreciate it! RAINN is certainly a worthy organization.

I'm planning to do something similar to this as my last post, but if you've been keeping up with my blogging all day ... or if you've even just read a few entries ... which have you found the most interesting & why?

"Preview" of my reaction to The Proposal

I don't want to oversell this, but The Proposal is probably the funniest movie I have ever seen. I can't remember laughing that hard/that much at a movie. It was laughing so hard I cried, laughing so hard I doubled over, so funny that I couldn't stop laughing, laughing so much I thought I was going to pee (& I never feel like that!) ... so freaking hysterical!

I need to write a much longer post on the movie, so that will be later, after everyone else has gone to bed & I can be chained to my computer.

But GO SEE THE PROPOSAL! You will be so glad you did.

Blogathon Book Post No. 3

My next book suggestion is Still Kicking by Katie Hnida. Amazing autobiography of a courageous young woman who overcame & achieved so much.

Blogathon Book Post No. 2

Another book I read last summer is The Secret Life of Bees. It's such an interesting story. Also on my re-read list at some point. My mom got the book for me either for Valentine's Day or Easter, I can't remember which. I recommend both the book & the movie adaptation.

Blogathon Book Post No. 1

Last night before going to the movies, my friend & I went to Barnes & Noble & Target. In both stores we saw A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I read it last summer & simply love it. I highly recommend this book & I'm thinking of re-reading it once I get through the mass amount of books I have out from the library & the rest of the Harry Potter series.

Blogathon Pic Post No. 3

The Joyful Heart Foundation

One of my favorite organizations is the Joyful Heart Foundation. It was started by Mariska Hargitay, the lead actress on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

In addition to regular fan mail, Mariska received letters from survivors of sexual assault & was stopped by people on the street who told her their stories. There is certainly a piece of Olivia Benson in Mariska & she started the foundation.

JHF works with survivors of sexual assault to help them heal. The focus is on retreats & activities, such as swimming with dolphins, to help survivors.

Mariska is an excellent example of using celebrity to draw attention to an issue. This is the second year that there has been a Joyful Heart Foundation gala to raise money & many of Mariska's famous friends attend to use their celebrity to draw attention to the foundation.

The website provides resources, inspirational material, & a "heart shop" where part of the purchase of items goes to the JHF.

Blogathon Tunes Post No. 2

Here are 10 songs from my iTunes, via the shuffle option:

Story of my Life -- Bon Jovi
I Could Not Ask for More -- Edwin McCain
Pedestal -- Fergie
From Time to Time -- Rascal Flatts
I'm Not That Girl (Reprise) -- Kristen Chenoweth, Wicked soundtrack
Pushing Up Daisies -- Garth Brooks
Wrapped Around -- Brad Paisley
Sixteen going on Seventeen -- Sound of Music soundtrack
Miss Independent -- Kelly Clarkson
Girls Just Want to Have Fun -- Cyndi Lauper

Blogathon Pic Post No. 2

Yesterday one of my friends & I went to Barnes & Noble for a while before seeing a movie. We were just browsing & I came across this ...
Now, I love Twilight. You might also love it, you might not get it, doesn't matter. Someone tell me why there is a need for so many Tween magazines with Twilight on the cover?!

And then there were two non-Tween magazines at the check-out counter with Robert Pattinson on the cover, one of him alone & one of him & Kristen Stewart.

I was just amused.

Abusive Relationships

The More You Know PSA, Mariska Hargitay of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
10 Signs That You May Be Experiencing an Abusive Relationship, Safe Horizon

Friends & Family of Survivors

When someone is sexually assaulted, they often look to their family & friends for support. It can be difficult to try to support someone in such a situation, one can be nervous that they'll say the wrong thing or just plain be overwhelmed. Sexual assault hotlines aren't just for survivors, they are also for those people who support survivors. If you know someone who has been sexually assaulted & you aren't sure how to help them, call a hotline. If your partner, friend, or family member's disclosure brings up something that has happened to you, call a hotline.

If someone discloses their assault to you, just be as supportive as you can & make sure they're safe. And there's nothing wrong with simply listening, a lot of the time that's just what they need, someone to tell.

Men can be survivors too

At my family's 4th of July party, I was on call for the hotline & we were discussing, in general, the types of services we provide. One of my cousins asked if we had any male counselors. The answer is that we do, just not on the hotline. He was surprised by my answer, but I told him that anyone can be sexually assaulted (and anyone can be the abuser).

National Organization on Male Sexual Victimization (NOMSV)
1-800-738-4181
This is not a crisis hotline, but you can get information about support groups in your area.

Domestic Violence Resources

National Domestic Violence Hotline

1-800-799-SAFE

TTY 800-787-3224


SAFELINK

(Massachusetts) state-wide hotline

Call to find a domestic violence program or shelter.

1-877-785-2020

The Clothesline Project



Volunteering Opportunities

If you are interested in becoming a rape crisis counselor, get in touch with your local rape crisis center to see when they have trainings. At mine, there are 2 trainings a year -- one in the fall & one in the spring, at least in terms of "fall semester" & "spring semester". The amount of training necessary will depend on the state (each has a different requirement) & then the specific center. For example, my training was 50-hours because the specific center I volunteer at includes extra hours in the training. We went over things like incest & suicide, which are not generally covered in trainings.

If you are unable to make the time commitment/the timing of the training does not work for you, you should consider volunteering in the office. All organizations can always use the extra help! Especially rape crisis centers, which are among the places being hit by the recession. What you will do while you volunteer will again depend on the center. If there's something you're particularly interested in, talk about that when you contact the volunteer director. They like to play to your strengths! Otherwise, you could go in & do something different each time.

Also, many centers offer internships. These are things to think about if you want to get into the social services industry. The more experience you can get, the better! Plus you know you're doing something to help out, even if it's stuffing envelopes -- someone has to do it!

You can start by checking out the volunteer page for RAINN.

Locating a Rape Crisis Center/Hotline

If you are unable to find the number for a local rape crisis center/hotline, RAINN is the place to look! Part of the invaluable service they provide.

Blogathon Pic Post No. 1

The beginnings of a stormy sky:
I stood under the awning right outside the back door to take this picture as the rain drizzled down. Later we had a full-out thunderstorm.

Blogathon Tunes Post No. 1

If you're looking for a song to listen to, I've happily had Lovegame by Lady GaGa stuck in my head for a while.

Human Trafficking

UNICEF & The Killers have released a music video of a song called Goodnight, Travel Well.

You can watch the video here.

And here is the press release from UNICEF.

I love when people who can draw attention to issues do. Not that I have any sort of talent, but that's the only reason I would want to be a celebrity.

The Interview

I just want to remind you that I'm blogging for RAINN & you're more than welcome to sponsor me!

Yesterday I had an interview for a position as a shelter advocate for a domestic violence shelter. They usually have 6 women & their children in the shelter. The position which is open is only part-time & it's overnight, but it's something I would be very interested in doing. Plus it's the only thing I've had an interview for so far!

The interview went well. I don't have much experience with interviews, but it was by far the easiest for me to do. I even had questions when she asked if I had any, so that was great. She said it would be a few weeks before I hear anything though, because they just posted the job. The top two candidates will have a second interview with the director of the shelter.

So keep your fingers crossed that I hear back from them & that I get some more interviews!

Coming Soon

Also on tap for today ... Making up for missing a few Wordless Wednesdays. Oh yes, I have pictures. Teaser: one is a magazine display that caught my eye.

Easing In

I promise I have real posts planned out ... I just need to ease in. I am not a morning person! Haha The things I'll do for a cause! ;)

Up & Coming

Topics to come today: RAINN, volunteering, job interview, library, firend dates, The Proposal, working to prep the house for sale, & many more!

Kicking Off

Good morning! First post for the 24 hour blogathon for RAINN. There will be many more to come! :) We'll be covering lots of different topics in that time.

24 July 2009

Saturday Blogging Marathon

Hi everyone!

Okay, as you may have gathered from the title, I'm participating in a blogging marathon on Saturday. I'm blogging for RAINN -- the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.

This is a cause to which I am dedicated. So many women, children, and men (yes, men) are affected by rape, abuse, & incest. It takes a lot out of a person & they aren't weak if they are broken by the experience. However, there is help out there. RAINN provides important information for people on a national level. They can put someone in touch with a local rape crisis center or provide support online for someone who feels more comfortable behind their computer than on the phone.

They provide so much, but they can't do so without help. If you would like to sponsor me for Blogathon 2009, visit this website & find me under "with a side of Whimsy" in the alphabetical listing. I know this is short notice, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to raise any money.

I hope that I'll be able to help raise awareness about RAINN & the support that is out there for survivors.

The goal is to post an entry about every half hour for 24-hours. I will be starting at 9am on Saturday & hopefully going until 9am on Sunday! (Good thing I'm not on hotline this weekend!!)

19 July 2009

Book Contest Winner!

We have a winner!

I got 6 entries in my book contest (respectable, considering it's been less than 2 months since I started my blog).

1. Heather (via comments) -- Crazy Love

2. Marisa (via Twitter) -- Idiot Girl & the Flaming Tantrum of Death

3. Concep (via Twitter) -- Diana Gabaldon Outlander series

4. JaggedJedi (via Twitter) -- The Bridge Across Forever by Richard Bach

5. JaggedJedi (via Twitter) -- Body Farm novels by Jefferson Bass

6. JaggedJedi (via Twitter) -- Postcards from the Edge by Carrie Fisher

I was planning on using a website to generate the winning number, but then when I realized it was only 6 I decided to pull the winner out of a hat ... or rather, a bag.

And our winner is ...

4. JaggedJedi (via Twitter) -- The Bridge Across Forever by Richard Bach

Congratulations! I'll be going to the library this week to pick up the book & I look forward to reading it!

Thanks so much to everyone who submitted their recommendations, especially because this is a prize-less contest. Well, unless you consider this a prize. haha I made this should you have a blog you want to put it on or TwitPic it or whatever. No obligation to do so, but ... y'know. :)

14 July 2009

Told You So

I never said I was going to be good at keeping up with this blog. In fact, I pretty much said the opposite.

Here are my reasons for my lack of blogging (I don't claim that they're good reasons haha):

I Tweet.
A lot.
Which you probably already know.

This is not a SVU & Bones blog, & that tends to be all I have to talk about. (Plus that's what Twitter is for.)

This is not a book or Harry Potter blog. I've been doing a lot of reading ... of Harry Potter. Somehow I'm only on Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire, though.

I've become a texting whore & thus spend a lot of time with my thumbs on my BlackBerry. Which sadly does not have internet access. Because I'm poor.

I've been incredibly frustrated with my job search, which makes me cranky. Do you want to read cranky blog posts? Me neither.

I get really easily distracted by behind the scenes pictures of SVU now that they've started filming the new season. Not my fault*. Seriously.

So now I present you with the quick & dirty (oh, stop with snickers!) of things I could potentially have blogged:

I burned my finger while cooking. I am my mother's daughter & my nonna's granddaughter.

I chased a bunny down the street trying to get closer to it.

I was followed by a stray cat who was so cute & kept meowing at me.

The trip to NYC which will happen in the next couple of months.

Why I will always love my college.

Newest blog suggestion (because she actually updates hers & writes ridiculously well): Confessions of a Hollywood Addict

*Tell me how I'm supposed to overlook something like this. IMPOSSIBLE!
So ... um. How do you conclude a blog post about absolutely nothing?

Oh! Right. I am kind of trying to hold a contest. The prize is knowing I will be reading a book which has been deemed fantastic by your fabulous self. All you have to do is go here & tell me what book you think I should read. Hell, you can even Tweet it to me! I don't know about you, but I think the contest will be a lot more interesting if more than one person enters. It's harmless. It won't hurt. You can suggest as many books as you'd like, just make sure you use separate comments/Tweets so that I can number them individually. The cut off is at 4pm on Friday, 17 July. Get on it!