Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Yogurt and Granola

Before I go to bed for the night, I feel the need to blog. There're so many things I could write, but don't because I'd rather just write about mindless things lately . . .

So as I was trying to figure out what I'd write, I decided to get a cupful of my favorite snack: Lowfat Kroger Vanilla Yogurt mixed with Kroger Granola, sans raisins. I used to alternate the layers with yogurt on the bottom, then granola, then yogurt, then granola -- a yogurt/granola parfait, if you will. For the last several weeks, though, I've just been mixing it all together outright. I can never really get enough. I like it better than . . . dare I say it? Chocolate! I know, I know -- what's the world coming to? But I can honestly say I'd rather have my vanilla yogurt and granola concoction than any candy bar.

And this gets me thinking about some of my new favorite things -- the things that bring me absolute delight and make me love this world. They are the things that allow me to zone out and focus solely on them instead of my problems:
  • Drumming (I wish I could be awesome at it!)
  • Rockclimbing (Who knew, right? Little ol' un-sporty me.)
  • Hosting parties
  • Exercising on elliptical machines
  • Driving
I love my life. I love my family and my friends and all of the neat things that I've been able to do lately. Life is good. :)

What about you? What are some of the things you do that make you forget about the stressors in life? What do you delight in?

Thing I'm thankful for: my navy blue Gap sweatshirt.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Valentine's Day Party!

I've never had a date on Valentine's Day, and I really don't mind that. My expectations are pretty low. I still like to have fun, though. So this year I decided that I would make something happen on Valentine's Day; I'd throw a party. When I asked people whether they would come to a party on V-Day, I actually got a lot of crap about it. People thought it would be lame, especially if I put hearts everywhere and decorated in pink. I wavered for about a week, but decided that was silly. I was going all out for my party (or as out as my cashflow would allow) -- heart stickers, sugar cookies in the shape of X's and O's, music about love -- the works.

All in all, I'd say it was a fun party, and I realized that night how much I love having parties. Creating some time and space for people to mix and mingle is my idea of fun. It makes me happy -- as do the following pictures (Thanks to Sally for taking a lot of them; sometimes I hate being the person with the camera . . .).

See All V-Day Party Pictures.

Thing I'm thankful for: people who come to my party. Thanks, friends!

I was Born to be a Drummer!

Just call me John Bonham.

Well, not quite, but I will say this: I have always loved his killer drum solo in "Moby Dick." Now I feel like I know why. It's because I love the drums. I love drumming.

About 4 or 5 months ago, my friend Jared Kranendonk taught me how to play the very, very basics on the drum kit. I loved it then, but it was pretty tough. It's completely different from the instrument I used to play, the clarinet. :) Well, on Monday night, I had the chance to go to Jared's house for a second time, so I used it to practice what I had learned those several months ago. And yesterday, I went over there again, and he taught me something new! He also taught me how to drum to Hip Hop music! Cool!

As I sat there drumming the same beats over and over again -- hey, I've gotta get the basics down pat -- I realized that I had found a new passion. The funny thing is, is that I have hardly any coordination skills. Somehow, though, I think I "get" drumming. Of course I'm not even close to brilliant, but Jared said I was pretty good. Who knows what he really thinks, but he did invite me to play again and said he would teach me more. YESSSSS!

So the night wore on, and I decided that if I were in a classic rock band, I would be a drummer. I don't need to be in the limelight. Behind the band, hidden by a wall of drums is where I'd want to be. Everybody needs the beat for a song, but it's not usually what people pay attention to. Nobody really listens to the beat, but when it's missing, you know something's wrong. That's a lot like my personality, I think -- not a showstealer, but nonetheless important. And I'm okay with that. In fact, I love that. It can be frustrating at times, but I love it.

And I LOVE drumming.

Thing I'm thankful for: Jared's super hospitality. :)

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Waking Up

So after a couple of nights of hardly any sleep, I am exhausted. I did get some kind of a respite this evening, though. I got off work early and hopped into my comfy bed.

When I awoke two and a half hours later (not nearly long enough), I realized I was on my back. And that's what this post is all about. I love waking up on my back. For some reason, it makes me feel quite invigorated. I was in a better mood all around because of it. What's weird is that I go to sleep on my right side. I never sleep on my back, so it was a nice treat.

Anyway, I want to do an extremely informal poll -- what's your favorite way to sleep? On your side, stomach, or back? Do any of you actually sleep on your back? Do you find it as relaxing as I do? Please, leave a comment!

Thing I'm thankful for: helpful friends.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Waikiki Brooks

It's time for a picture or some kind of graphic on this here blog. So I decided to go through my cell phone pictures to see what I have. I found this:

:) Brooks, Jacki, Lauren, and I ate at this Hawaiian place in Toco Hills several months ago. They have this kitschy tree up and a crazy sign. They spell Waikiki with an "e" at the end, which is weird . . . But the food is good.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the picture. I'm sorry I don't have more up. :(

Thing I'm thankful for: talking with boys. ;)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

THIS JUST IN: I Found My Favorite Web Site!

The Speech Accent Archive. Go there now.

(Lexi, you're gonna love it.)

*Update: After browsing a bit more on the site, I found the page that I think most Americans will enjoy -- English accents, which includes American dialects. My personal favorite is the Edinburgh, Scotland accent.

More Loaded Questions

I have several drafts waiting to be finished and posted on this blog. For the first time in my life, though, I just haven't felt like writing. Maybe it's because I don't really know what's going on, lately. I think I feel like Zach Braff's character in "Garden State," without the drugs. :(

So for right now, I'm going to answer some loaded questions. (See Congealed Goo and a Loaded Question.)

If you could have a view of anything from your bedroom, what would you choose?
The ocean. I would want to live in the mountains, but have a view of the ocean. Does that make sense? Oh -- and I wouldn't want a view of a tropical ocean, but of a turbulent sea along a rocky coastline. And no islands in the distance -- just a vast expanse of dark blue water.

If you were a nationality other than your own, which would you choose? Why?
Hm, this is a tough one. I've often noticed that a lot of the guys I have liked were really attracted to Asian women -- mostly Japanese. But I really like Taiwanese people. Native Americans have wonderful bone structures. Most English people I come across are very well-spoken. But I love German. Oh, this is too tough. So I'm picking two. I'd want to look Native American, but have a Russian accent.

One more --

What one class do you regret not taking, or hope to take, in college?
I regretted not taking genetics. Love those punnett squares and chromosomes and genetic variation. Ah well. Maybe in graduate school? Or heaven?

What about you readers? Please, answer one question or all three, and leave a comment about it!

Thing I'm thankful for: other people's writing.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Fulfilling Work

Many of you wonder what I do. Well, it's not that spectacular, but I like it alright. I edit copy, organize information, and post published material onto my CDC division's Web site. I'm the junior Web developer.

Now what's interesting is what my division does. I always tell people I work for the boring disease center, the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. There are no ebola viruses passing my way. Ever. No, the center I'm in focuses on disease prevention and overall health promotion. My division takes that attitude, and applies it to youth.

One of the campaigns my division organized was VERB. It's received world-wide recognition for the sensational marketing strategy. The strategy consisted of public service announcements, TV and magazine ads, and the dissemination of sports equipment. The whole purpose of this campaign was to encourage tweens to get out and play. It was a CDC campaign to teach youth all over the world to be physically active. Of course, the hope is that this campaign will help to decrease child obesity in the long run, and from the campaign evaluation, it seems to have accomplished exactly that.

Anyway, it's neat to see people caring about other people and about kids. It's great to see the impact of government programs and that if executed well, these programs and campaigns can have amazing results. It's also nice to work for an organization that you believe in. Of course there are things I dislike about work, but overall, I'd say I have it pretty good.

Thing I'm thankful for: vanilla yogurt with granola mixed in. YUM.

Monday, February 05, 2007

I Hate Littering, or A Dating Litmus Test

I've seen a few people littering in the last few weeks. I caught them in the act -- dropping paper cups out of their car windows as they sped down the interstate.

And I was reminded of three guys I dated. One was my first boyfriend. Of course I had a hard time getting over him; the first pangs of rejection are difficult to handle, especially when you're a teenager. Anyway, it was definitely a long time before I knew I didn't like him anymore, and I can trace that feeling to one exact moment in time.

He and I were going to lunch (because we were still friends). It was a nice summer day, warm and breezy. He stopped at a convenience store to buy some cigarettes. (No, no -- oddly enough, this wasn't what made me dislike him.) He purchased his pack, and when he got into the car he rolled down the window. We drove out of the parking lot as he ripped the cellophane off of the box. He then held the piece of plastic out of the window and let the wind catch it. The moment he let go of his trash, I knew I would no longer have the problem of liking him. In that one motion, I was done with him.

Another guy I dated committed a similar act of disrespect. It was a rainy summer night, and he and I were on our way to somewhere, though I can't remember that part now. What I do recall is that he pulled up to a drive-thru ATM machine to get some cash. When the machine spit out the receipt, he took it, then let it fly off into the rain. In that instant, I knew I would never marry him.

It was also in that instant that I realized I abhor littering and the characteristics that so often go along with a person who litters. I decided that it was my dating litmus test. If a person littered, I wanted nothing to do with him, romantically. It may sound harsh, but we've all got to have a cut-off in relationships, and whether a person littered or not was mine.

There was one more guy who did the same thing -- on perhaps a larger scale. He threw all kinds of things into his very own yard. He destroyed other people's property. After one of our initial "hang-outs," I had my suspicions that he was not a person I wanted to entrust my feelings to. I saw that he littered, but somehow I ignored it. I thought that he was just immature, and he might change. I was a bit uneasy, but I kept dating him. Not long after we dated, though, things ended rather abruptly, I would say. In hindsight, I could see that I would've been right not to date him. Why did I ignore my litmus test?!? Maybe I thought I needed to overlook such a paltry dating qualification. But where did that get me? Absolutely nowhere.

So now I embrace it. There are requirements for nearly everything in life, and if someone doesn't have some kind of dating rubric, they'll wind up dating all kinds of fools and jerks. I feel the need to add a disclaimer here, though, and it is, don't set expectations too high. Leave some flex room, but always, always have a list of things you cannot live with, under any circumstance. One of mine is littering. I'm confident of that now. I'll trust the littering test next time.

Now it's your turn. What is, or was, your dating litmus test? You can be serious or funny in your response -- in any case, leave one!

Thing I'm thankful for: popcorn balls.