Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Things I Want to Write About

[Editor's Note: Sadie took this picture with my phone and a mirror "so that you can remember me with it, mommy."]

I don't think I get writer's block. I think I get too much stuff in my head. Like a clog. It's not that I can't think of anything to write about. It's that I just listened to a sermon in which Rob Bell talks about forgiveness and a couple of blogs ago [I think] I talked about these one or two people that I thought I had forgiven but now it seems that my unforgiveness is biting me in the ass.

Or that I'm reading the Blue Parakeet and I've just gotten to the good part [in my mind] about women in church ministries and it totally warms my heart and I feel absolutely blessed to be alive for "such a time as this."

Or my dog. I love him SO much. And there was a time when I was an absolute failure as a pet owner. And so a couple of years ago I made the decision not to have anymore pets until I was sure I could be good to the animal(s). Getting Sebastian has been rewarding and emotional. I honestly feel like a good dog parent now. And he loves us. (:

Or this cliché but insightful book about the supposed four personalities of women that I started last night [A Woman's Guide to Personality Types by Donna Partow]. They are:

  • Popular - Footloose and fancy free, loud in every way, messy, loves to be center of attention
  • Powerful - Dominating and controling, bossy, really good at getting the job done
  • Perfect - Neat, meticulous housekeeper, detail-oriented, frugal, a place for everything and everything in it's place
  • Peaceful - Kind, caring, comforting, nurturer, thoughtful, loyal, peace-maker
So I took the little evaluation and apparently I'm this unnatural combination of Popular and Perfect. Which sounds a lot better than it is. :P According to Ms. Partow, I'm either a footloose and fancy free attention hog who learned at some point in life that she needed to try do everything perfectly. Or that I'm a little miss perfect type who ended up taking on the role of the popular chick. I think it's definitely the first of these two options, if this book holds any water. And I don't know if it does, but it's got me thinking that perhaps I'm not being the person God made me to be.

Growing up, I was sort of know as the laid-back one in my family. So much so, that, as you may be aware, I went off the deep end looking for a good time. When I finally cleaned up my act I began to equate getting stuff done and doing it right [like my parents do] with being a good Christian. Eventually I realized that my thinking was a little off, [and I believe it was making me judgmental - a trait that I don't think comes naturally for me]. Unfortunately realizing that I'm wrong and going back to correct the behavior are two different things. And I didn't do the latter.

So, I guess, time for another soul-searching session.

I have other things on my mind too. I want to update my to-do list blog. And I want to create a summer "bucket list" [fun things I want to do before the summer kicks the bucket]. But, ah, I guess, those last lengthy paragraphs decided for me what I should write about. Hmm, I like the freedom of not having a title because it lets me know what I'm thinking about. But I think I also don't mind having a title from the get-go. It keeps me focused. And God knows I need focus. c(:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Random musings

I'm about to watch Throwdown with Bobby Flay on the Food Network. In recent weeks I've really fallen for Bobby Flay. I just want to eat his cooking.

I haven't eaten dinner yet. It's 11pm. I have eaten two bowls of ice cream, tho.

Our wireless keyboard broke and I'm typing on a dwarfed version. It's awkward.

Jermaine just brought home a boatload of bread and a Cornish hen from his mom's house. It's looks like a whole miniature chicken and it's all tied up. It's freaking me out.

My kid's about to go away for a week [tomorrow] and then she's going to be gone for a month [two weeks from tomorrow]. Been doing some hyperventilating about it. That seems about right.

She's been kinda bad lately. She broke my bike, ruined a pillow, took a key and grabbed the burning incense and walked around with it to "get the smell all over the house".

I've been toying with a poem for about a week. This is all I've got so far:

I feel gutted. Cut open.

I'll let you know how it turns out.

I reread my last couple blogs. They seem wordy and long winded. That makes me sad.

Jermaine is annoyed that I'm freaked out by the Cornish hen. But he's being quite wonderful by pulling off some of the meat and putting on a separate plate so it looks less like a skinned animal.

We've been watching the Food Network for the past couple hours. We're really hungry.

I love my dad. He's awesome.

I'm trying to blog everyday. I'm thinking after this one, you might not want me to.

This is my attempt at dry humor. I don't think it's working.

We just ate the hen. Supremely yummy. Jermaine says I'm the only one that says "yummy" these days. And that he appreciates that. But I heard Giada say it. I love her, too. I want invite her over for coffee and chat about life.

There's a chance I watch the Food Network channel too much.

We went on a fantastical nature walk today. Breathtaking. Good God stuff. Jermaine took these pictures.

Happy third week in June.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Party Like it's 1999 [or You Only Graduate from High School Ten Years Ago Once]

[The pictures on the left and below:Class of 1999 reunioning last Saturday]

I almost did it again. I almost just ruined my blog by trying to title it before it was written. The only problem is, now, I don't know what the heck to write about.

It feels like an update blog. With some shout-outs for good measure. I added a couple of blogs to the Blogs I Love. One of my favorite people ever, Amie Furryhill [name has been changed to protect the ridiculous], started a blog. So, of course, it goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway - it's awesome. And not just plain old awesome, but awesome awesome. She has a book list on there that will leave even the most astute reader feeling filled with slack.

And Amie, I think I'm funny, too.

My other new favorite blog - My friend Betsy is huh-larious. And the video she posted a couple days ago will make you grin from earlobe to earlobe.

But that's not all. James-Michael, yes, the James-Michael has been promoted from Charlotte Methodist Examiner to National Methodist Examiner.

Yeah, he's that good. My favorite articles so far - the Star Trek one [what can I say, I love me some Star Trek] and the Great Debate articles. Sweet, sweet stuff.

10 year reunion last Saturday. Wow. I'm, like, old. I learned two valuable lessons last weekend. Number One - there are few greater pleasures for me in this world than visiting with or being visited by people I just love. Nothing like it.

Number Two - don't drink and dance. Yikes!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

To-Do List

What would it look like to completely complete my overflowing list of things that need to be done? There is always SO much. Is that even a reasonable goal?

I always have one. This lengthy list of stuff I've got to do. And it seems that even on productive days the list never shortens. There is always more to add. On nonproductive days the list flattens me with it's heftiness. I feel sometimes that I will break under it's weight.

But it's summertime. And I'm not planning a wedding this summer. This is the time to relax a bit, not the time to feel overwhelmed. Amie once updated her status on Facebook and she said she was underwhelmed. I'd like to feel that way.

Getting everything done always makes me think of Andrea. She is oh-so on top of things. She's not a procrastinator. Just the opposite, in fact. She's so caught up, she starts tackling a line on her to-do list the moment it appears. Not me. No. I wait until the morning the paper is due to begin the research.

I'm always late. It's sort of my M.O. I'm not a procrastinator. I'm the procrastinator. I've made a college career out of turning things in at the VERY last minute. And it works for me. Most of the time. Sometimes it ruins everything. But that is only sometimes.

Even as I type I know in my head I probably should be getting ready for my noon Zumba class. But what can be done when inspiration strikes?

Dot. Dot. Dot.

Nearly 7 hours have passed since I typed the beginning of this blog. I did make it to Zumba. I was 5 minutes late. 5 minutes didn't ruin everything. Not this time.

But something has changed since I last sat down in front of this computer screen. I am stressed out. Out. I don't know why. There doesn't seem to be a logical reason for it. My whole apartment building seems to be resonating the stress I feel. There was a rather large group of women downstairs when I took my dog for a walk. They were arguing loudly. I saw a cop car. Confusion and anger reigned. Something had apparently gone terribly wrong. The second time I took the dog out I noticed a group of guys walking in a single file line past my door. Soon after, the air was thick with the smell of a certain illegal substance. The least I can say is that they were probably not stressed out. Though they would do well to be paranoid [but probably already were] since they chose to settle on a stoop not far from where I believe a cop [or cops] reside[s].

Typing seems to be soothing me. It's funny. I think my stress may be tied up in the subject of this blog. I've been meaning to get back to it for several hours. Random stuff keeps pulling me away. None of which leads to the crossing off of one line on my to-do list. I wanted to finish this blog so that I could see in big bold letters all that I have to do and what it would look like to do it.

So, without further ado [no pun intended], my list:

  • I need to pay my electric bill
  • I need to go to the bank
  • And to pay rent
  • And get caught up on laundry
  • I need to mail out Mother's Day cards [I know, right?!]
  • Of course, now I need to buy and mail out Father's Day cards [anyone know when Father's Day is?]
  • My SSN card has my maiden name on it and I'm not eligible for grants or scholarships until I change it so I need to do that
  • And once I do, I need to apply for as many scholarships as I can get my hands on
  • I need to finish registering for classes
  • And to fill out some Financial Aid paperwork
  • We applied for assistance from the government and I now have to prove that Jermaine is a citizen and round up some papers by the 15th of this month [or they'll cancel the application and I'll have to start all over again]
  • I need to apply for health insurance from the government for J and I
  • I have to register online to get CPR certified again so I can teach aerobics
  • And then, once I do, I need to apply for fitness jobs
  • I have a fitness resume [J helped me and it looks fantabulous!] but I need to construct a nonprofit resume [and soon!] so I can send it to Professionals for Nonprofits [who I temped with last year]
  • I need to prepare for the last D-Group session
  • I REALLY need to write thank you cards for the people who attended our wedding
  • I want to revamp my blog and make it more focused on spreading the word and helping victims of human trafficking
  • I want to write - I'd like to aim for 1 poem [for performing at open mic nights and such] and 1 article per week [includes submitting articles] -- it must be noted that I've only submitted one article to a professional publication in my entire life - I really want to change that [my friend Nate said he used to say it wasn't a good day unless he 'd received a rejection letter, I'd like to adopt that theory]
  • I need to try to change my status at UMD - right now I'm an out-of-state student, I got my Maryland license, now hopefully I will only have to pay in-state tuition
  • I'd like to clean my apartment thoroughly and revamp:
  • My bedroom
  • Sadie's bedroom
  • My bathroom
  • And I we have acquired a number of pictures that need frames - I would like to find an inexpensive way of framing them so that they can be hung on the wall
  • I really need to clean out the fridge
  • And the kitchen cabinets are a hot mess - they need to be reorganized
  • I would also like to buy a few plants for the balcony and work very hard to keep them alive
  • I'm embarrassed to say that I have about 90 books in my possession that I have not read yet, but want to read - I either need to let them go [which doesn't mean I can't read them [libraries are wonderful places, right?] or seriously buckle down
  • I want to do a 90 day blog series where I read the Bible all the way through and blog my thoughts
  • I want to research acting for Sadie and see if I can get her an agent
  • Also, I believe she's interested in taking guitar lessons, so the necessary research [cost, time, etc] needs to be done
  • Our dog is beginning to resemble a drowned rat - he would do well with a hair cut
  • We need to create a budget and I need to stick to it
  • There is talk [among Jermaine and I] of attempting to plan FreeKick again, if we do it would be glorious [and a heck of a lot of work]
This is all I can think of for now. I think it's close to everything. It's sickeningly long. Of course, some of this could be eliminated fairly easily. Some of it could be removed with the mere rearrangement of priorities. Perhaps this isn't a blog so much as it is a cry for help. Although I must confess, I'm not sure what it is I'm in need of.


I just reread the list for clarity's sake. It didn't seem as long the second time through. It seemed almost tackleable [I just made up that word, I think].

I feel compelled to add that the preceding list mostly consists of "have to"/ "need to" stuff [with a few exceptions]. There is a whole other list [though it does not take the shape of a list] of "want to" stuff ["want" seems an inadequate verb]. Passions, loved ones and spiritual disciplines find themselves on that list. That is the list [and it may be incorrect grammar to refer to it as a list] of good God stuff that makes me feel full up, like I'm really sucking marrow, if you know what I mean. But, that is a list for another day.

I think the two are connected. In many ways things on the second "list" cannot be attempted until some of the unfun bits of the first are eliminated [I'm also thinking it might be less that the first is crowding out the good God stuff and more that the not-so-good stuff [like watching episodes of Friends I've seen umpteen times and shopping at Target when I really don't need anything] gets in the way of both].

I am what some might call bogged down. Which is much different from being blogged down. And I feel a sense of urgency. Every summer break it goes the same way. I know if I don't get this stuff done it will be that much more of a burden come fall. And still, I wait. I put off.

Well, no more! If God is willing, I pray that I accomplish or toss everything that can be accomplished or tossed from the list before half of the summer is over. And I pray that these things are not replaced with more of the silly stuff. If you feel compelled to pray for me, too, so be it!

I think, I think, I feel a little less stressed. Thank you, as always, for reading my blog.

PS. The photo from the beginning of the blog has very little to do with the to-do list, but is full up with the good God stuff.

PPS. This blog has taken me more than two hours to complete. I must express how much more impressed I am by my friend James-Michael Smith, who now writes for the Charlotte Methodist Examiner and seems to come out with fresh ideas and thoughtful works more than once a day!