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.


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

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.


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)
This is not a crisis hotline, but you can get information about support groups in your area.

Domestic Violence Resources

National Domestic Violence Hotline


TTY 800-787-3224


(Massachusetts) state-wide hotline

Call to find a domestic violence program or shelter.


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!

08 July 2009

Wordless Wednesday #6

This week I give you wallpapers I've made for my BlackBerry Curve.The first five are pictures I took myself, the rest are images I found through various searches on Google.

Also, I've decided to extend the contest I started last week ... seeing as I only got one entry (thanks, Heather!). So either leave a comment here or Tweet me here telling me what book you think I should read. On Friday, 17 July at 4pm I will randomly select an entry & borrow the winning book from the library. I know, no snazzy prizes ... maybe once I get a job!

01 July 2009

Wordless Wednesday #5

This week I give you some pictures from my graduation/birthday party ...

Nothing spectacular this week. Hopefully the rain will eventually stop & I'll have a chance to get out with my camera!