Sunday, December 25, 2005

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I'm blogging at 2:46 a.m. on Christmas morning waiting for cookies to bake. See, I took on the task of making everyone in the family their favorite cookie for Christmas. (Note to self: There are 7 other people in my family, not including siblings' spouses and kids!)

I started a little late due to work and visits from family and whatnot, so I still have about 4 kinds of cookies to make. Phew! What was I thinking?!?

But as I'm sitting here, waiting for the oven to beep, I'm deciding that I really love to bake. I also really HATE it when something I make doesn't turn out right! It's such an irritating feeling! But over the past 5 batches of cookies, I've been getting better. And I've come to the conclusion that if I could do anything without having to worry about money, I would probably bake. Brooks asked everyone that at the dinner table tonight. My first response was that I would take care of my future babies. But I'm going to do that anyway. So baking. Baking is what I would do if I didn't have to worry about money.

Anyway, if you're reading this, family, I really enjoyed making these cookies for you. Merry Christmas.

And MERRY CHRISTMAS, blog-reading world!

Thing I'm thankful for: Christ's birth and life.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Merry Christmas To Me!

I've been working for almost 3 weeks, and because of the holidays, I got paid today anyway! I LOVE my job today. So it's my first paycheck . . . and since I get out of work early, too, I'm going home to take a nap. YAY!

Monday, December 19, 2005

I Think Those Are MOM's Gloves

She shoulda just labeled them "Cathy's yellow gloves." Gotta love 'er.


Thing I'm thankful for: Um, my mom.

My Office

Here's my office. Notice the built-in bookshelves. YESSSSS!



It's not done yet; I still have some supplies to get. But it's a good little office.

Thing I'm thankful for: Particle board office furniture. I LOVE putting that stuff together!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

An Unexpected Feeling


Now that I work in UWG Communications and Marketing, I have to attend all UWG graduations. What that means is that I have to stand/walk on my feet for about six hours. Ouch. I helped usher in guests, direct people to seats and bathrooms, and lead the graduates to their rows. It was tiresome, headache-inducing work, but about mid-way into the first ceremony, I had a very unexpected mental response.

This is basically what it was: "Man, I think I want to go back to school." So it only took 5 months after my college graduation for me to want to go back. Right away? Maybe not. In the next year? Definitely.

So we'll see how things play out. I'll keep you posted.

Thing I'm thankful for: College friends.

(Image source: University Communications & Marketing stock photos, courtesy of Steven Broome)

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Should YOU Be In MENSA?

Find out by taking the MENSA Challenge! And check out a list of famous MENSA members -- click here.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Pro Chocolate

I know, people; I know. I've been really bad at updating my chocolate blog. But I just posted a few things tonight, so check 'em out. I will try to do better.

Go here: Pro Chocolate.

Atlanta Lights

After church yesterday, Lauren and I went to Brooks and Jacki's apartment. They made an incredible meal, and after our food digested a little, we took a walk around Midtown. Lauren just got accepted to Georgia State University, so she's planning on moving to the city. We checked out some apartments for her, which was pretty fun. There are some beautiful little houses in Midtown.

Anyway, we saw lots of pretty lights. Sadly, I didn't have my camera with me, but I did have it a couple days ago when I was in Sandy Springs. So the only picture I have to show you right now is a decorated apartment. But I will be posting more pictures of holiday lights soon!

Isn't this a fun place?




Thing I'm thankful for: Christmas lights, of course!

Holiday Single-dom

This blog seems to be turning into my rants and ravings of the single scene. And why not? I'm single. Most of the time, I try to be positive, but right now, it's time for a complaint. My complaint refers to, what I'd like to call, singles discrimination in holiday festivities.

Now, being single during the holidays has never really affected me until this year. Perhaps I'd never felt discriminated against because half of the children in my family were unmarried. Many of my friends were still unengaged or single, and I wasn't out of college yet.

But a lot of things have happened in the last year. My brother got married, leaving only my 25 year-old sister and me single; about 10 friends got married, and I graduated, of course. You might ask, "What does graduation have to do with anything?" A LOT. As soon as I graduated, I felt the stresses of adulthood looming over my head constantly -- including the stressful thought that "one of those things you do as an adult is get married." I realized that in 5 years of college, I only seriously dated 2 people. What happens when my dating pool becomes smaller? Because it does get smaller. Once you graduate from college, the number of young people your age surrounding you has decreased by about 10,000, depending on where you went to school. You get a "real" job and suddenly realize that nearly everyone you interact with on a daily basis is married. And most of those people have cute, adorable children who do such silly and sweet things that you find yourself wishing you had some kids, too. This inevitably leads to the reality of your situation, which is that you have no spouse to have children with.

And then the holidays come, and everyone throws a party. Work parties, family parties, and friends' parties. Of course the parties are fun! Of course the company is great! But -- what's this? The invitation says, "You and a guest"? "Oh no," you think. "Can I come up with a date who's willing to come to a work party with me in 2 weeks?" So you're once again reminded that you don't have a special person to share the joy of the holidays with (except your close friends and family, but those don't really count).

I think I know what you're thinking. "Oh, nobody cares that you're an odd man out!" It's sometimes frustrating. I want to say, "YOU don't care because you're married! But I CARE!"

Yes, this sounds depressing, but in all honesty, I'm not depressed. And I'm not "bitter." I know I won't be single for the rest of my life. And I also know that being married does NOT mean that all problems immediately go away. I'm also not saying that single people should wallow in their loneliness and become anti-social. But I AM asking any married person reading this post to remember what it's like to be single during holidays. When a single friend doesn't want to participate in an activity involving lots of couples, remember that it might be because it's not always fun to be alone in a group of married people. Also, if you're having a party, remember to invite lots of single friends, and encourage people to bring other friends, not just dates!


Thing I'm thankful for: Bedlifters.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Matt Damon Is Married


Well, girls, Matt Damon got married yesterday. Now, I know celebrities almost never stay married, but I really hope this works out for Matt Damon. He seems like a pretty decent guy. Anyway, here's the MSN story:

Matt Damon Marries Girlfriend in NYC
Dec 9, 2:06 PM EST

The Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Matt Damon married girlfriend Luciana Bozan during a private ceremony Friday in New York City, his publicist said.

Damon, 35, and his bride exchanged wedding vows during a small ceremony at an undisclosed location, spokeswoman Jennifer Allen said. Bozan's 7-year-old daughter witnessed the ceremony.

There were no other details. Asked if Damon's friend, actor Ben Affleck witnessed the wedding, Allen said no.

It was the first marriage for Damon, the second for Bozan (who previously used her married name Barroso). They will split their time between homes in New York and Florida.

Damon's publicist wouldn't discuss an "Access Hollywood" report that the new Mrs. Damon is pregnant.

The Oscar-winning "Good Will Hunting" screenwriter and actor met Bozan while she was working as a bartender in Florida, Allen said.


Thing I'm thankful for: Good friends who always think about me and invite me to stuff.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Backstreet's BACK, and Big Willy Gets a Hug

Note: Pictures below!

So I met Will Smith tonight. And the Backstreet Boys. Okay, okay, so I didn't really "meet" the Backstreet Boys because I entered the girl-filled press room just as they were leaving. BUT just wait 'til you read what transpired between Will Smith and my sister Summer!

Before I get there, though, I'll start from the beginning (since I'm such a beginning-to-end kind of storyteller).

Summer's friend Kirsten is married to a stone worker. That is, he lays stone floors, sidewalks, fireplaces, and so on. Well, he (Shaun) does stone work for one of the Backstreet Boys, Brian Littrell. When Shaun found out Summer was going to the Q-100 "Frosty the Showman" concert, he told her that he could make a deal with Littrell. He would cut $200 off Littrell's bill, if Littrell would get Summer and her friends backstage passes.

Well, you know how a friend of a friend's backstage passes never quite work out. But Summer and Susanne were going to get those passes, no matter what! Honestly, I didn't really care about seeing the Backstreet Boys, but Summer thought that if we were backstage, we might run into Will Smith, who was scheduled to be the final and climactic act of the night. So we tried to find our passes. These "passes" eluded us, though. Apparently, our names were not on any lists. So from portal to portal of the Philips Arena we went. Were our passes at Will Call? No. Were they with the usher near our seats? No. Were they at Guest Services? No.

Several phonecalls to Shaun later, however, and we finally made it on a list. Here are our official backstage wristbands:


This "list" included about 30 other girls who had won free tickets from the Q-100 radio station. They were dressed from head to toe in sparkles, skin-baring tops, and high heels. Make-up? You bet. And lots of it. We found out that we were being sent to a room below the main level for a short chance to meet the band. So we went from cold cinderblock-wall room to cold cinderblock-wall room, waiting to find out what was going on. Here we are, waiting:



Finally, we got to a waiting room with an adjacent press room. The Backstreet Boys had just finished their Q-100 interview, and all of us were going to meet them for a few minutes. This is what I waited for? Backstage pass, huh? We were supposed to be wined and dined. We were supposed to be backstage!

But we weren't. Instead, I got this crummy picture of one Backstreet Boy, and I don't even know who he is.


So amid the rush and confusion of Backstreet Boys, Philips Arena workers, and excited girls, we got shovelled out of the press room and into the waiting room again. Since it was mostly empty, except for a few groups of new people, Summer had the bright idea to just wait there -- in case Will Smith came by. We asked the new people if they were waiting for Will. Indeed they were. He was about to have an interview in the same adjacent room! So we waited around and pretended like we were supposed to be there.

Well, you can guess what happened after that. We were able to slip into the press room for Will Smith's interview. But what you can't guess is that Will Smith didn't just answer questions; he went around the room shaking hands. And when he got to Summer, she didn't just shake his hand. She practically jumped on him in excitement! She gave him a HUGE hug, and he was like, "Uhhh. Hey." And everybody laughed. She didn't plan this, so I don't have a picture (Don't worry; there are other Will pictures.), but she was really excited afterwards.



Then we were able to listen to his interview:







Summer's excitement quickly turned into embarrassment. Throughout the interview, Summer kept saying things like, "I'm so embarrassed. I probably scared him. I feel so bad. I wish I hadn't done that. I'm a grown woman with children! I should apologize."

"Hm. Those are only her feelings," I thought. "She's not really going to apologize." But she really did! After the interview and marketing photos and just before he left the press room, Summer strategically positioned herself by the exit door. As he came close, she said to him: "I'm sorry I scared you. I shouldn't have hugged you." Or something like that.

He said, smiling, "Oh, no; it's okay. It got me pumped for the show."
"I almost knocked you over!"
"Well, I was about to take you down myself!"

They smiled and laughed, and Will Smith gave Summer Snow a hug. And I got it all on camera:


Here is my favorite picture:


On our way out of the "backstage," we even got some free drinks!


Next up: the actual concert! But we had to wait, some more. (There really is a lot of waiting at concerts, now that I think about it. I think I was standing for about four straight hours.)


When the show finally started, Will (We're on a first name basis.) came out in a type of sleigh contraption. I guess since the show was called "Frosty the Showman", and he was the the "best" saved for last, he decided he would arrive in Santa fashion.


It was "snowing."


When he landed, he wouldn't talk until the crowd screamed as loud as they could. He kept acting like we weren't making enough noise.


The effects of this concert were pretty spectacular, actually. There were fireworks, breakdancers, and of course, Cirques du Soleil:


Perhaps you can see DJ Jazzy Jeff on that podium. Celebrities definitely look larger-than-life on that super-super-size TV screen. I bet they love it. I know Will Smith did. He really knows how to make a crowd love him. And the cheers and screams he gets in return? Loves it. You can just see the joy on his face. And that's pretty cool. I think that's why I like him so much. He seems pretty thankful for what he has.

Another thing about him -- he likes to talk! During one schpiel about dreams, I thought, "I bet he wanted, or would like, to be a preacher. Later, he said he had wanted to. (That must've been before he started making millions of dollars.) :)

Anyway, he talked and talked and talked (much like I'm doing now), but I didn't mind. He seems like a decent enough guy.

For the finale, fireworks exploded, and TONS of large-size confetti came out of somewhere. Pretty, huh?


And so that was the end. The place was a mess!


I definitely had fun. But I wished he would've played more of his recent songs. He wanted it to be more about rap, I guess.

All in all, it was a good night. On our way home, Summer and I even saw a few snowflakes! They definitely didn't stick, obviously, but it was the perfect ending to our night!

Thing I'm thankful for: Summer letting me sleep on the way to D-ville. Thanks, Sum! And thanks for the concert ticket!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Sarku Japan

Lauren and I went to Arbor Place Mall tonight. Whenever I go to Arbor Place Mall, I get chicken teriyaki from Sarku Japan. Tonight I was especially mesmerized by the frying of the chicken. I don't know why, but I can never really focus on anything else when I'm watching someone cook my food. Especially at Sarku. Because they cook SO much food SO fast.

Well, tonight I was watching "Lazarus" cook the chicken. Just before the chicken was ready to be scooped onto my styrofoam to-go box, he scooped a big, ooey-gooey clump of raw chicken out of the chicken container for the folks behind me in line. As he was moving it around a bit, I thought, "OH MY GOSH! He's going to use the same spatula to scoop my chicken on my rice! How un-hygienic! Oh noooo!" I was pretty much in the middle of an obsessive-compulsive's nightmare, when, to my surprise, Lazarus set down the raw chicken spatulas and used a different set for my chicken! How did I miss this spatula switcharoo?

But I did. And that's my story. Not a really good one, I know, but I wanted to say that I love Sarku Japan. And I LOVE how they cook their food. And I love that extra pair of spatulas.

Thing I'm thankful for: Hot chocolate on a chilly night. YUM. (Incidentally, I think a lot of the things I'm thankful for is food. Maybe I should re-think some of my "thankful for" listings.)

Sunday, December 04, 2005

My New Job

Tonight I wanted to post. "But what do I have to post about?" I thought to myself. Jacki suggested I post about my new job. Duh! I completely forgot that I haven't posted about my job!

I started on Thursday. Everybody asks, "Why Thursday?" It was December 1st. Anyway, I got to work at 8:00, and my boss gave me a tour of the department. The tour took about 3.2 minutes because the department is located in a small house. Right now, I'm working at a small desk in my boss's office, but in about a week, when the maintenance men finish building some walls, I will have my own office. It has windows, built-in bookshelves (YESSSSS!), and a door to the outside. It's a pretty large office, but since it's really just a room in an old house and right next to the kitchen, the other workers have to go through my office to get their coffee and whatnot. Argh. BUT a divider will be put up.

Oh well. The department's getting business cards made, and once my office is set up, I get to go to Staples for office supplies. Niiice.

So what do I do? Because it's a new position, it's a tad ambiguous. But I'm supposed to be editing and organizing UWG's website content. Thursday and Friday, I had to look around the university's website and take notes, and get used to navigating a Mac. I also edited a short faculty and staff e-mail newsletter, which was fun. Also, I spent some time looking at other American university websites.

All in all, I like my job. I'm not quite settled yet and my responsibilities aren't fully formed, but I really like my boss and the people I work with. I can already tell it will be a perfectly pleasing work environment.

As for starting a salaried job, I will say that it's difficult for me to get used to. It's especially difficult because I work at the college I graduated from. So I still feel like a student. When I go to work each day, I feel more like a student assistant than a full staff member. I still feel like I have to ask somebody if I can go to the bathroom or something. Friday, my dad asked, "You know you can take breaks, right?" "Breaks?" I said; "Oh yeah! I can just take a break without asking!"

So that part is a little weird. But I'm sure those feelings will pass. Maybe not as quickly as they would for other people because I'm used to being the youngest in my family. (Oh. I forgot to mention that I'm the youngest staff member at work, too. By like, 10 or 15 years probably.)

That's about it for now. Wish me luck!

Thing I'm thankful for: I don't think I can say this too many times -- having a job!

Case In Point

Tonight I stumbled across a blog that I thought was extremely noteworthy. A lot of liberals won't like it, but when you find a thorough and well-written blog, you have to share it with the world. It's called "Case In Point", and the description reads: "Exposing the danger of political correctness".

So I offer you 2 posts one of the contributors wrote. I've pasted one here; the other can be found at this link: "One Marine's Words". Below is one of his posts about Christmas.

Signs of Christmas

We've started looking for signs of Christmas. It's hard to find them these days.

The American Family Association reports that they perused the commercial ads from last Sunday's editions of two southern newspapers, the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal and the Memphis Commercial Appeal, looking for signs of Christmas.

Of the eleven major corporations placing 260 pages of promotional inserts in these newspapers, only one - McRae's/Belks - mentioned the word "Christmas."

The others managed to market all the accoutrements of the season in the most generic way. Imagine the contortions they must have gone through to avoid saying...

Christmas trees.
Christmas lights.
Christmas ornaments.
Christmas cards.
Christmas gift ideas.
Christmas candles. Christmas wrapping paper.
Christmas ribbon.
Christmas candy.
Christmas wreaths.
and of course, Christmas stockings.

I'm sorry. They are just NOT "holiday" stockings.

Guess they didn't want to offend anyone. Except the Christ-ians. But they're always fair game, being part of the oppressive majority against which the minority must always rebel. And if that argument doesn't work, how about this - Christians are, by definition, forgiving folks, and won't retaliate against ignorant offenses.

Of course, they can always choose where to spend their "holiday" money.

Do you want to know the ten companies that eschue the "C" word? Best Buy, Dell, Kroger, Lowe's, Office Max, Penney's, Sears, Staples, Target, and Walgreens.

***
UPDATE: It looks like Boston got a "Christmas tree" after all! The Nova Scotian donor of the annual tree said he would rather feed it to a chipper than let Boston rename it a "holiday tree." He got his way.

***
UPDATE TWO: The mayor of Encinitas, California, says his town is sponsoring the Encinitas Christmas Parade on December 3. "Somewhere, somehow - nobody seems to know who" -- had changed the name to the Encinitas Holiday Parade. The mayor changed it back. Now, the Girl Scouts Seacost Service Unit, the Leucadia Town Council and the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Southern California have decided not to participate. Their loss.

***
UPDATE THREE: Speaker of the House Dennis Hassert has proclaimed that there will be no holiday tree, as it has been called in recent years, at the U.S. Capitol. "The Speaker believes a Christmas tree is a Christmas tree. It is as simple as that." Score one more for Christmas!


Thing I'm thankful for: Twinkling Christmas lights.

Friday, December 02, 2005

I'm Grace Kelly . . . But Really, I'm Not. :)

Ever wonder which movie star you are most like? Well, now you can take a quiz that will let you know! It's completely scientific and accurate!

(Note: This is probably a girl-only quiz.) :)

1. Which describes your perfect date?
a) Candlelight dinner for two
b) Amusement Park
c) Rollerblading in the park
d) Rock Concert
e) Have dinner and see a movie
f) Dinner at home with a loved one

2. What is your favorite type of music?
a) Rock and Roll
b) Alternative
c) Soft Rock
d) Classical
e) Christian
f) Jazz

3. What is your favorite type of movie?
a) Comedy
b) Horror
c) Musical
d) Romance
e) Documentary
f) Mystery

4. Which of the following jobs would you choose if you were given only
these choices?
a) Waiter/Waitress
b) Sports Player
c) Teacher
d) Policeman
e) Bartender
f) Business person

5. Which would you rather do if you had an ! hour to waste?
a) Work out
b) Make out
c) Watch TV
d) Listen to the radio
e) Sleep
f) Read

6. Of the following colors, which do you like the best?
a) Yellow
b) White
c) Sky blue
d) Teal
e) Gold
f) Red

7. Which one of the following would you like to eat right now?
a) Ice cream
b) Pizza
c) Sushi
d) Pasta
e) Salad
f) Lobster Tail

8. Which is your favorite holiday?
a) Halloween
b) Christmas
c) New Year's
d) Valentine's Day
e) Thanksgiving
f) Fourth of July

9. If you could go to any of the following places, which would it be?
a) Reno
b) Spain
c) Las Vegas
d) Hawaii
e) Hollywood
f) British Columbia

10. Of the following, who would you rather spend time with?
a) Someone who is smart
b) Someone with good looks
c) Someone who is a party animal
d) Someone who has fun all the time
e) Someone who is very emotional
f) Someone who is fun to be with

Now total up your points on each question and find your character below:
1. a-4 b-2 c-5 d-1 e-3 f-6
2. a-2 b-1 c-4 d-5 e-3 f-6
3. a-2 b-1 c-3 d-4 e-5 f-6
4. a-4 b-5 c-3 d-2 e-1 f-6
5. a-5 b-4 c-2 d-1 e-3 f-6
6. a-1 b-5 c-3 d-2 e-4 f-6
7. a-3 b-2 c-1 d-4 e-5 f-6
8. a-1 b-3 c-2 d-4 e-5 f-6
9. a-4 b-5 c-1 d-4 e-3 f-6
10.a-5 b-2 c-1 d-3 e-4 f-6

NOW, Find out which Movie Star you are:

(10-17 points) You are MADONNA OR TYRONE POWER: You are wild and crazy and you know it. You know how to have fun, but you may take it to extremes. You know what you are doing though, and are much in control of your own life. People don't always see things your way, but that doesn't mean that you should do away with your beliefs. Try to remember that your wild spirit can lead to hurting yourself and others.

(18-26 points) You are DORIS DAY OR ROBERT YOUNG: You are fun, friendly, and popular! You are a real crowd pleaser. You have probably been! out on the town your share of times, yet you come home with the values that your mother taught you. Marriage and children are important to you, but only after you have fun. Don't let the people you please influence you to stray.

(27-34 points) You are DEBBIE REYNOLDS OR DONALD O'CONNOR: You are cute, and everyone loves you. You are a best friend that no one takes the chance of losing. You never hurt feelings and seldom have your own feelings hurt. Life is a breeze. You are witty, and calm most of the time. Just keep clear of back stabbers, and you are worry-free.

(35-42 points) You are GRACE KELLY OR CAESAR ROMERO: You are a lover. Romance, flowers, and wine are all you need to enjoy yourself. You are serious about all commitments. A family person. You call your Mom every Sunday, and never forget a Birthday. Don't let your passion for romance get confused with the real thing.

(43-50 points) You are KATHERINE HEPBURN OR SPENCER TRACY: You are smart, a real thinker. Every situation is approached with a plan. You are very healthy in mind and body. You teach strong family values. Keep your feet planted in them, but don't overlook a bad situation when it does happen.

(51-60 points) You are ELIZABETH TAYLOR or CLARK GABLE: Everyone is in awe of you. You know what you want and how to get it. You have more friends than you know what to do with. Your word is your bond. Everyone knows when you say something it is money in the bank. You attract the opposite sex. Your intelligence overwhelms most. Your memory is the next thing to photographic. Everyone admires you because you are so considerate and lovable. You know how to enjoy life and treat people right.


Thing I'm thankful for: Fridays! Full-time work puts a whole new perspective on Fridays! But I still like Sundays best.