Monday, March 31, 2008

weekend in pain

I've hurt my back. I'm not sure how it happened, but it probably has to do with either the intense exercise I did on Thursday or the fact that I tripped over a curb on Friday afternoon and fell on my face. Well, not on my face exactly, I caught myself, but I would have fallen on my face if my arms hadn't taken most of the punishment! So I spent the weekend on a heat and massage mat, taking Advil and wishing for something a bit stronger. It's feeling better today, but still not 100%.

I did manage to do some knitting while lying on the heat/massage mat, and because of the wonderful laptop purchase, I was able to do a little writing too! Not nearly enough, but it wasn't a completely nonproductive weekend.

So it's Monday and I'm heading to work in a few minutes. I'm taking publicity photos for the theatre tonight, so I'll get to see how the show is coming together. It's always fun to see show during the rehearsal process.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

the best laid plans...

I planned to come home after work, make a nice dinner, eat while watching a couple of things Tivo recorded for me, and then work on the Draha outline. I planned to do these things, but none of them happened. I actually came home, made a sandwich (peanut butter and honey) and then went to my sister's house to collect some clothes for the kids so they could stay with me tonight. She's really going through a rough time and is having trouble sleeping. I think she just can't stand to be in that house without her husband. He's a jerk, but he lived there for five years and I remember exactly how horrible it was to come home to that empty house, at least at first. It's comforting to be in a house with other people, so I understand why she would rather be here than there. Plus, her house is a bit creepy. I wouldn't want to sleep there!
Anyway, I think the stress is getting to her. I'm not sure what to say other than that it does get easier. I can't really compare my divorce to hers, because she has three kids to consider, so any wisdom I may have about the situation wouldn't really apply. All I can do is be there for her, which is absolutely the plan.

So things didn't go as planned, but hopefully I can get things done tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Little Lucy

I just had to post this, mostly because it's too cute! Noah got a new puppy. Her name is Lucy. They tell me she won't get much bigger than she is now, which is really hard to believe because she's so tiny! I really want one, but I have allergies, so I'll have to go on some kind of medicine before I get a pet, plus my current residence doesn't allow pets, so I'll get one when I move (someday...)

Monday, March 24, 2008

A little taste of Spring

I just wanted to share the pictures I took of the flowers in my front yard this afternoon. After tonight's cold snap, they will probably die, so I wanted to take pictures today to show how lovely they were. Enjoy!

This last one is in honor of the childhood memory story. This wisteria bush isn't nearly as big as the one that covered the tree I talked about in that post, but it is still beautiful.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday

Today was wonderful. I got up, got ready and went to church. When I got there, someone was sitting in my usual seat. I looked around and realized there were no seats available in my usual section, so I walked all the way to the front (You know what they say about Backrow Baptists? Every person who goes to my church is a Backrow Baptist, so the front rows are always free!) I sat down and looked up at the choir, wondering who they were gesturing to and why - and then realizing they were gesturing to me! The director's daughter was waving her hands and mouthing something to me and my mother was motioning for me to come up there. Well, it was in the middle of announcements, so I couldn't do that, but then I realized what they were saying. They wanted me to put on a robe and sing with them.

They were doing an Easter Cantata a little later in the service and the choir was looking a little slimmer than usual. They wanted me to sing with them! The fun part was, I hadn't even opened the book, much less learned the songs. I motioned back to them that I didn't know the music, and they motioned back, come up anyway! So I slipped out, ran to the back, put on a robe and arrived at the door to the choir loft just in time to slip in, unnoticed, as the congregation participated in fellowship time, which is a time when the pianist plays a hymn and everyone greets everyone else and says how happy they are to see each other. It's a very friendly church.

So gasping for breath, I took my place beside my mother, wishing I had spent a little more time on my hair and makeup now that I was standing in front of everyone, and quickly looked over the cantata music. It looked fairly easy, so I knew I should be able to sight read. And so that's exactly what I did. (Thank you to my Sight Reading and Ear Training instructor at the University of Mobile back when I was a voice major! Your lessons served me well yesterday!) The first time I heard the music was when I was trying to sing it, and didn't do a terrible job, if I do say so myself. It turns out that the director was so nervous about the choir being small that he called his two adult daughters and asked them to sight read the canata too. So there were at least three of us up there who had absolutely no idea what was going on! It was a lot of fun!

After the cantata, my sister took the kids to their dad's family for their Easter celebrations and I was alone in the house at last! I did laundry all afternoon and into the evening. I still have one load to do, but I can do it tonight. It's so nice to look in the closet and see all your clothes hanging there, and to look in the laundry hamper and see no dirty clothes to wash. I do hate doing laundry, but it's one of those things that must be done.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Saturday: On the Hunt

Late this afternoon, after I spent most of the day in bed with a crushing migraine and then zombified by the migraine medicine, we had an Easter egg hunt in my front yard. Noah and I hid eggs (half real, half plastic filled with candy) for the little ones to find. Kohl and Hannah were precious, looking all over for the eggs, missing the most obvious ones and finding the more difficult ones, running around the entire yard, trying to beat each other to the same egg. Kohl still likes to follow his sister around, so he kept missing eggs because he is always a couple of steps behind her, but we encouraged him to go out on his own a bit, in a different direction, and he found some eggs by himself. That seemed to help him know that doing it alone is better, so he started being more independent. I love when something clicks in a child's head. You can actually see that light in their eyes turn on when they really get a concept. I could see the light go on inside Kohl when he realized he needed to hunt alone.

After their search, they decided to hide eggs and Noah and I had to find them. We raced across the yard "looking" for the eggs that were hidden in the most obvious places. The only bad thing was that Kohl thought it would be great to hide one of the real eggs under the house, so he tossed it under there. We had to crawl under the house to retrieve it, otherwise the smell in a few days would drive me away from my home! That would be bad, wouldn't it?

After Noah and I finished our hunt, the kids ate the real eggs and then decided to hide the plastic ones around the interior of the house for several hours, alternating who got to hide and who got to search. It was adorable.

Friday, March 21, 2008

A truly Good Friday

As always, when I spend time with my sister's kids, the days turn into a blur of activity, laughter, and fun. I was the only family member who didn't have to go to work today (yay for my job!) Rather than sitting around the house all day, I decided to have what was later dubbed "the day of awesomeness" by my 12 year old nephew.

We started the day with some errands (yeah, fun... but they had to be done) we went by the bank and then to the post office so I could mail out two swap packages for Monthly Adventures on Ravelry. One was sadly overdue but the other was early, so hopefully that will redeem me in the swap keeper's eyes.

We had pizza for lunch at my favorite little pizza place. Noah wanted a sandwich, so I sent him to the sandwich shop next door with some money and he brought his food back and ate it with us.

After that, we went to the movies to see Horton Hears a Who, which was entertaining to all of us, despite the range of ages represented. We chose that one because my youngest nephew (who is a rambunctious 4 year old) has crazy love for elephants and when he saw the previews for this movie his eyes sparkled the way kid eyes do when they are excited about something. I had to take him after that, it's such a beautiful thing to see! Anyway, he sat still through the entire movie, eyes glued to the screen. He never sits still, so I know he enjoyed it.

After the movie, I took them to the community park in Fairhope. There's an ice cream place just a block away, so we walked over and bought some ice cream. It's actually frozen yogurt, but they think it's ice cream, so I'm not going to tell them it's not! Anyway, it was about 80 degrees outside, so a perfect day for ice cream. They played in the park for several hours. I played with them for awhile and then sat down to work on something new that I am knitting for yet another Ravelry project. The place can take over your life if you let it, trust me!

We went back to my house at around 5 p.m. because they were getting hungry and I didn't want to buy dinner after spending so much money already! So that ended the "day of awesomeness." It was a lot of fun, and gave me the periodic taste of motherhood that I need to satisfy that particular craving for awhile. One thing having the kids around all the time has done for me is to make me realize that being a mom is great, but it also changes everything about your life. It has also confirmed what I've thought all along - I'm not ready for it! Also that I don't want more than one or two if I do ever have any. I think that's why being an aunt is so great for me. I love them as if they were my own, but because they are not mine, I don't have to do any of the difficult parenting stuff. It's a good position to be in, I truly believe that.

Strange Days

I haven't been myself lately. I've been busy...very busy, and a little edgy lately. Last week I almost got into a fist-fight at 3 am with a drunk. I am usually pretty laid back (partly it's zen, and partly it's that I don't give a sh1t), but something just set me off. I came back from a club and it was late, but I still had to walk the dog so that he doesn't pee on my floor and then act like he

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Journal Topic: Childhood Memories

Explore a memory from childhood, finding all the details you can.

We never really liked sitting still, especially in my grandmother's house. The grownups all talked about their illnesses and their problems. We didn't care about such things and were unable to sit still through all of it, especially without squirming, snickering, and making faces at each other. We were required to sit there for a few minutes at least. Mom called it "visiting" and we were glad when our few minutes of visiting ended. We could go outside and play after answering a few questions about school and homework, soccer and softball. My sister and I felt free when we opened that screen door and ran out into the front yard. It was the perfect yard for children, complete with a huge oak tree right in the center with branches low enough for us to climb if we gave each other a boost and a lift. My sister would go up first. I would help her up from the ground and then she would take my hands and lift me onto the branch. From the highest branch that we could reach, we could see the whole neighborhood, which was more a little collection of homes than a real neighborhood, one of which belonged to our aunt and uncle. Our two cousins lived there, and we would usually meet up with them and play in the yard until our parents were finished visiting.

It seems half of my childhood was spent in trees. The tree from my grandmother's yard was one, the tree in my cousin's backyard was another. We built a tree house in that one, and would collect what we called "dirt bombs" which were really just clumps of dirt from a nearby field, and we would wait for my older cousin to walk by and pelt him with the dirt bombs. It was especially fun for me because I really, really didn't like him. Another significant tree from my childhood resided in my own front yard. I named him Bob (I have no idea why) and he was magnificent. His trunk was so large that I could never manage to put my arms all the way around it, although I did try many times. I even asked my dad to try and he couldn't either. It was the only way I could get him to hug a tree, and then we called him a "tree hugger" for days afterward. I think my love for the environment and my desire to protect it came from loving that tree. Bob had weathered Hurricane Camille, and as a result, was slanted at a fairly severe angle for a tree, roots showing above the surface of the ground. A wisteria bush was planted there, tangled in the roots, and when spring came every year, the vines that wrapped around Bob, all the way up to the topmost branch, would explode into beautiful purple blooms. Sometimes, when the wind would blow hard enough, you could stand under the tree and be showered with the blossoms. The scent on the air during that time of year was amazing. I'm pretty sure that's why Spring is my favorite season to this day.

I wouldn't trade my memories of playing in my grandmother's tree, or my cousin's tree, or Bob in my own front yard for anything. However, I do wish I had spent more time visiting with my grandparents. When they are gone, you can't visit with them anymore.

I'm fairly certain this isn't exactly what the topic meant by exploring a childhood memory. I know it probably meant one specific memory, but I chose to treat it like a writing exercise just to let my mind wander and see what came out. And how appropriate that my mind would wander to trees and flowers on this day, the first day of Spring!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I was off yesterday and I went to Ikea for the last things I needed to finish my kitchen. It's not as loathesome a place during the week. On the weekend there's always thousands of people there and every single one of them is in my way. But if you go during work hours, the silence is deafening.When I bought the kitchen cabinets from them several months ago, they supposedly sold me everything I

Monday, March 17, 2008

An Irish Blessing

Happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone! In honor of my Irish roots, I'm posting this blessing to all who may stumble upon this blog today.

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

We sang a lovely arrangement of this blessing when I was in high school concert and show choir. We always ended every concert with it. I absolutely loved the arrangement and have loved the sentiment since first hearing it. Have a wonderful day and don't forget to wear green!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

the joy of family

One thing about family. They are there to pick you up when you fall. They did it when I had difficult times, and now it's my turn to do it for someone else. My sister is getting a divorce. It's really about time, I've been hoping she would do it for ages now. She will be better off without him, that's for sure.

My sister and I have never been really close. She tends to keep people at arm's length, especially people who are in her family. In recent years, we have formed a better relationship, but still there was always distance. We are really different people and have very different lives, but we are sisters and nothing will change that. This weekend she reached out, and it was a truly amazing experience for me. I think what she is going through right now will help us grow closer, because I will be there for her throughout the ordeal and beyond. Hopefully we can be the sisters I've always wanted us to be.

I spent a lot of time with Noah this weekend. We didn't do much, just went to see a movie and then played computer games while watching Psych (my newest TV obsession) on DVD, but it was great quality time. That kid is growing up to be an awesome person. I can't wait to see what he becomes.

happy at Habitat

Work is still great! I love Habitat and I love my position. We are interviewing people for a new position in my department, which is very exciting. I will have two people in my department when we hire this one. That's quite a change from being in charge of an intern or two, but I know I'll be able to handle it! I'm also looking into certifications in my field. There are two that I can get, but I still have to wait two more years to apply. I'm going to use those two years to study and become proficient in all areas of fundraising and public relations, so that when it's time to take the tests for APR and CFRE, I'll be ready!

new stuff

I worked on two confidential knitting projects, finishing one and getting about halfway on the other. Ravelry is so awesome, I'm part of a group that swaps once a month and it's really helping me branch out with my knitting.

I bought a laptop this weekend! I've needed one since the first one I bought crashed (after about 5 years of solid use, so that's pretty good) and I happened to have the money for a very nice one that I found on sale. It is great, and will do everything I need it to do, especially for my writing and for the times when I have to go out of town for work. It just about killed me to be without a computer last week while at the conference.


I worked on the Draha outline over the weekend, but haven't updated the progress bar. Another really important breakthrough came in the form of a dream on Friday night. I remember most of it, but I need to really reach back into my memory and see if I have all the details. It was great and I want to make sure I get it all down on paper.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Free Plug Fridays

Although this is St. Patricks Day weekend, you don't need to wear a green t-shirt and make a drunken ass out of yourself with all the rest of the aging frat boys trying to re-live their college days. ("you don't know, man, it was willlld, my boyz can DRINK, man, you don't know, you have no idea how fcuked up we used to get every weekend"). So I'm going to give you some other things to do with

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Blog Thoughts...the spinoff

I've been thinking about starting another blog. Not like the stock picking blog, which nobody reads, but a secret blog that nobody reads. I was talking to my sister the other day and it turns out she found out about my cyber outlet for life's frustrations. At first I tried to deny it.Sis: [cousin] told me about your blog. It's hysterical.Me: I don't know what you're talking about...I don't have a

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Fairhope Film Festival!

See my (sadly neglected) entertainment blog, The Casual Critic, for details about the first annual Fairhope Film Festival, taking place in April of this year! The official website of the festival is here. I am so excited that there is going to be a film festival in my beloved town. It really is a great destination for such an event, and I hope it becomes a very successful yearly event for the town. I'm thinking of volunteering in some capacity, but because of work commitments I may not be able to do it this year. But regardless, I will find the time to attend as much of the festival as I can, because I think it could be a wonderful thing for my little town!

Fairhope Film Festival announced!

I totally just copied and pasted the press release from their website, but I figured they would be okay with the free advertisement. I am SO excited about this festival, as it is being held in my hometown! I will absolutely be a part of this festival as much as I possibly can! I do hate that it's being held on a Thursday - Saturday because I will most likely miss most of the Friday daytime films, but I will attend as many as I can. Fairhope is an amazing place to visit, so if you are looking for something to do in April, consider the first annual Fairhope Film Festival!


FAIRHOPE, AL. – February 29, 2008 – The 1st Annual Fairhope Film Festival (FFF) is thrilled to announce the complete lineup of films slated to screen at the event, April 3-5, in Fairhope, AL.
This new festival has received numerous entries from all over the world and has selected 15 great pictures that boast a wide variety of dramatic, documentary, short and student films. Among these films, 5 of them are World Premieres; 2 Features, 1 Documentary and 2 Short Films. The FFF is also proud to showcase "Racing Daylight", an Independent Feature staring Academy Award Nominee David Strathairn, as our Opening Night Premiere Film (Thurs., April 3rd).

Visit for more information; updates regarding film schedules, venue locations, and tickets will also be found on the website during the next few weeks.
The complete lineup, by section and with synopsis descriptions, follows below.

"Racing Daylight" is a ghost story, a murder mystery and a love story which crosses time; told as three short films in two different times (1860s/present), and from 3 points of view, it stars Academy Award Nominee David Strathairn (Bourne Ultimatum, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Good Night and Good Luck). Dir. by Nicole Quinn

"All Along" - Richard Harrison has a wife, job, and two teenagers. While every midlife working stiff descends into daydreams in order to escape mundane reality, Richard doesn't merely scratch the surface of his fantasies, he physically enters them for moments at a time, until he's forced to snap back into reality with humorous results. This film stars Krista Allen (Final Destination 4 "filming", What About Brian "TV", Feast "Project Greenlight"). Dir. by Robert Masciantonio

"Cold Play" is the psychological suspense story of a trophy wife's desperate attempt to break free from her dangerously possessive husband. Cold Play is tense, sexy, psychological thriller with lots of twists and turns and a shocking ending. Dir. by D. David Morin and Geno Andrews *World Premiere*

"A Thousand Hills" - Awkward 13 year old David tries to save his family's farm from an evil land-developer using the only thing he has - his voice - to make a CD and to win the heart of Kelly, the prettiest girl in school. Through many ups and downs he learns who he can trust and who he can't as he grows from a boy into a young man. This film is based upon true events. Dir. by Mary Allison Wilmarth

"Train Master" is the tale of a grandfather (Jeremiah) who works for Western Railroad in the Northwest; his two grandchildren share his passion for trains. A wealthy heir to a railroad line on the East Coast purchases Western Railroad and kicks Jeremiah out of a job, leading him to despair. The two grandchildren along with a few friends end up on a runaway train; the grown men are forced to make amends and strategize a solution to save the kids. The film tells of an adventure between friends, family and the value of respecting others. Dir. by Phil Bransom


"Forgotten Coast" - On August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina swept through the Gulf. You may think you know about the effects of this storm, but you are wrong. This is about the people of the Mississippi and Alabama coasts, struggling to reconstruct their lives and adjust to their rapidly changing culture along the Forgotten Coast. Dir. by Jamie Christensen Johnston

"In the Wake of the Assassins" - In the mob-controlled town of Phenix City, Alabama in the 1950s, a crusading lawyer is assassinated after he is elected attorney general on a platform of 'Man Against Crime'. His son reluctantly takes his place, vowing to clean up Phenix City and find his father's killers. Dir. by Robert Clem *World Premiere*

"The Reckoning – Remembering the Dutch Resistance" - The Reckoning is not only a true and historic documentary about courage in the face of extreme prejudice and war, but it's also about a love story within this genocidal madness that ends in tragedy at a German concentration camp. Dir. by John Evans

Short Films:

"Jim and Jung" - Quirky, paranoid and obsessed with fortune cookies, Jim is forced to face his fears after a fortune prophecies of his certain doom. However, when challenged by his equally underachieving yet loyal friend Frank, Jim finds courage, love, and life where he least expects it. Dir. by Matt Paulson

"The Gift Wrapper" - The Gift Wrapper is a Christmas Tale about a girl who wraps gifts with lots of love and care, until one Christmas love finds her and that becomes the best Christmas gift one could ever get. Dir. by Daniela De Carlo *World Premiere*

"Boyfriend Latte" - A sassy young female executive has a deep desire for a boyfriend who will be honest, true, faithful and passionate, but can a woman and a take-out coffee have a real long-lasting relationship? Dir. by Mark Sanders *World Premiere*

"Creepers" - A group of clumsy rainforest creepers secretly become super heroes who stumble through rescuing their fellow creatures from the sabotage of the sinister creeper at the local festival. (Animation) Dir. by Mark Simon

Student Films:

"Dark Devotion" is a story about Emily who is in a dream world. She is overcome by her past and must face the emotional cancer of her mother, if she is to have any hope of waking from her deep coma. Dir. by Jordan Kamellard

"Taste of June" - A young girl falls in love with the boy of her dreams, much to her overprotective mom's chagrin. Dir. by Amirah Hakim-EL

"Finding Harvey" - A couples' heartfelt attempt to restore what was rightfully theirs flirts with the felony of kidnapping and also paves the boundaries to adulthood. Dir. by Dina Kadisha

At the heart and soul of every festival, you can find the volunteers. The FFF truly believes that Volunteering is extremely important and we are currently looking for more people willing to be part of this new and exciting film world and culture. Please visit for more info on how to become a FFF Volunteer.

About FFF
The Fairhope Film Festival (FFF) is striving to create a truly unique experience in the world of cinema. The FFF will bring a collection of films to the local community on the Gulf of Mexico; movies centered on a central theme..."Romance". The FFF is also determined to become an ongoing, annual tradition showcasing talented filmmakers from around the world. The FFF is committed to giving filmmakers the best experience possible: extensive promotion of their films which are screened several times in theatres packed with attentive audiences, while enjoying the hospitality of the staff and volunteers in a storybook type charm destination which Coastal Living Magazine described as one of their top 10 most Romantic Destinations.

FFF Mission

The Fairhope Film Festival is dedicated to presenting independent film and providing cultural and educational events in the gulf coast region year round.

This festival will be held on Thursday, April 3, 2008 – Saturday, April 5, 2008. For those who are not able to attend the festival, the top 2 films will be shown on Sunday, April 6, 2008 after the festival is over.

back again

I forgot to write that I would be at a conference Monday and Tuesday of this week. I'm back now and I feel like I learned a lot at the conference. There is so much that I want to do in my position, so much I want to accomplish. I know some of the things I learned at the conference will help me with that. I also met some great people that I can't wait to get to know even more, especially our closest affiliate. They are actually located in the county where I live, and I'm going to meet up with their volunteer coordinator and talk with her about the various ways we both recruit volunteers. We sort of share a volunteer base, so it's nice to be able to talk about that and help each other.

So today it's all about catching up and getting things accomplished. I have an application to finish and a few packets to create.

Tonight I have to create and send the publicity for the next show's auditions and I need to schedule a photo session for the current show. It'll be a busy week of catching up, that's for sure!

Irony, thy name is Spitzer

What's happening to Elliot Spitzer is ironic. He prosecuted money launderers and prostitution rings, and he gets caught because of suspicious bank transfers which leads authorities to his whore mongering. To make matters worse, Spitzer signed a law that increased the penalty for sleeping with hookers from 3 months, to one year in prison.Unlike Alanis Morissette, I can use the word ironic in a

Friday, March 7, 2008

family drama

There's more family drama happening. I'm not really sure what is going to come of all this, but I know what I'd like to happen. It's completely frustrating when you know that someone is not doing what is best for them (and their family) and you can do absolutely nothing to convince them that they need to make a major life change. I've tried, but it's like talking to a brick wall. Unfortunately, the decision (or indecision in this case) is hurting more than just the person in question, it is affecting the lives of others. I just have to do what I can and not worry about the rest.

Today is Noah's birthday. He's 12 years old! I love this kid more than anything else in the world. I hope he has the best birthday ever and that the rest of his life is filled with love and laughter, because he has done so much to fill my life with those very important things. Isn't he beautiful?

Be Kind Rewind

Interesting fact. I no longer own anything that can rewind. It's true. With the addition of my new Tivo to my entertainment center, I got rid of my VCR. My stereo doesn't even take cassette tapes! But even though I no longer rewind, I still thoroughly enjoyed the film, Be Kind Rewind when I saw it on Tuesday night.

One thing I really liked about this film is that it doesn't take itself too seriously. With Jack Black and Mos Def leading an ecclectic cast of characters, you can't expect it to be serious, right? When Black's character Jerry tries to sabatoge a power plant that he believes is trying to control him through microwaves, he gets more than he bargains for - he gets magnetized. The next day, when he enters the failing video rental shop where he and his friend Mike spend most of their time, he inadvertently erases the video tapes in the shop. The store has been left in Mike's hands while the owner, Mr. Fletcher (Danny Glover in a wonderful performance) is otherwised engaged, so Mike and Jerry have to figure out how to keep the very few customers happy until Mr. Fletcher returns.

The plan is born out of that despiration - they will shoot the movies themselves and rent them to an unsuspecting public. They were not prepared for the popularity of these "sweeded" versions of popular films, however, and they soon receive a lot of requests for a variety of different films.

I'll be honest, the plot surrounding the sweeded films was not as fun to watch as the films themselves. I died laughing at their rendition of Ghost Busters, and the very small piece they showed of their version of Men in Black was hilarious as well.

As it turns out, renting sweeded versions of movies to the public is a violation of copyright, which creates a snag they were not expecting. Their attempts to save the video store from demolition and to save the owner from prison and fines for copyright violations seemed inadequate until the community got together and created their own film.

It is surprisingly touching in the end, but what I personally remember most about the movie is how much I enjoyed the sweeded movies. Back in high school, some of my friends did this to amuse themselves. Who knew that years later someone would make a movie about it?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Journal topic: Strengths

This is the first of the journal topics, which I found here and copied over to my blog to make it easier for me to go through one at a time. I'm going to try to do at least one a week, maybe more, in an attempt to write more here on the blog, even if my daily life isn't interesting! I find sometimes that my days are similar and I hate to write about the same thing every day, so these journal topics are my attempt to mix it up a bit and gain some insight into myself at the same time. My version of the list can be found here, but go here for the entire list and more topics.

Today's topic: What strengths have you developed over your life?
I thought about this a great deal while interviewing for jobs. You know the drill, "what are your strengths and weaknesses." For work, I always say things like: multitasking and the ability to handle stress and deadline pressure. These are great strengths in the workplace and are characteristics that serve someone well in my field, where there is always deadline pressure and stress is a part of the daily routine. I also usually try to fit in there somewhere that I can improvise when things do not go as planned. This is something I've picked up just recently with my previous job experience and I think it's a pretty good skill to have, especially as it translates into daily life. But what do I consider my real strengths? The non-job interview answer is that I'm a survivor. Who could have imagined when I was 18 that I would have to handle a divorce at 23? I know, it happens all the time, but it wasn't something I was prepared to deal with, and it wasn't something I could talk to anyone about because nobody I knew had endured a similar situation.

Another strength I have is that I don't give up easily. When I got the phone call from the stage manager for the current play at my theatre, she said "I hope this won't discourage you and keep you from trying out for other plays." That thought never crossed my mind, really. A few failures do not discourage me from doing what I love, whether it is acting or writing. I was talking to my mother a few weeks ago and I made the comment that everything I love to do, everything that means a lot to me, comes with a certain amount of inevitable rejection. She said that she wasn't sure she would keep doing it if she had to deal with that kind of rejection, but I have learned that it's just a part of the process and if you love something enough, you will handle the rejection the best way you can and keep going. In fact, you find a way to use that rejection as motivation to try harder, to keep trying, and to never, ever quit.

So that this won't turn into a lovefest from me to me, I'm going to stop now, but it was a great topic and a wonderful chance to look inside myself and see the strengths that I have developed, just in the last 10 years or so. It's nice to look back sometimes and see how far we've come. If you decide to use this journal topic, leave me a comment - I'd love to read what you wrote!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Geeks pour one out for their homie

I saw on the news that Gary Gygax died yesterday. If you don't know who that is, it's probably because you were getting laid in high school. Gary Gygax is the guy who created Dungeons and Dragons. You see, before the internets were created, there was no such thing as World of Warcraft and movies like Harry Potter. Special effects were so rudimetary that film studios had to rely on cheap gimmicks

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

knitting disaster!

I finished my swap hat and for some reason it came out way too small! I'm not sure what happened, but there's no way I can give it to my swap partner. I sent a message to the leader of the swap telling her that I was going to be a bit late sending mine off because of the disaster and I started over. This time I did a gauge swatch and changed needle size. I think that's why it was wrong. So now I'm freaking out a little because the deadline is tomorrow and there's no way I'll get it finished by then! Yikes!

I do hope the swap master is understanding about it. I'd hate to be banned from the swap because I messed up my gift and wanted to start over.

No big news otherwise.

Almost famous

A nice article about the opening of Target tomorrow in my ghetto...errr, neighborhood. On saturday, I was interviewed by Channel 9 news about the development by the metro, and I was on TV at 6 and 11. I told a few people I know about it, but I didn't tape it with my old school TiVo (i.e. my VCR) because, honestly, I only have a couple of VCR tapes (I'm not a caveman, afterall), and I didn't want

Monday, March 3, 2008

outlining, outlining, outlining

I worked on the Draha outline over the weekend, but I don't have a word count. I'll update it later today or tomorrow. The framework of the story is really coming along. I'm glad I decided to start over and outline. It's really helping me organize my thoughts. I'm happy with the new direction and I think it'll make things so much easier when I'm finished with the outline and I actually start writing. My goal now is to finish outlining all five books by October and start over on the first one, probably for NaNo this year. The NaNo goal is only about half of the first novel, but it'll be a good start. Maybe I'll push myself and do NaNo pace through December too, that way I can finish the first book by the end of the year. It's so much easier with an outline, so I know I'll be able to do it. The first NaNo I won was actually easy for me because of the detailed outline I had already created for the story. There are a few other stories dancing around in my head right now, but this one takes priority.

swap hat

I did some knitting this weekend. I need to finish my swap hat. It's not a difficult pattern. I chose the only hat pattern I've done before because I know I can do it and it will look decent. I don't want to try a new pattern when I'm making it for someone else. It may turn out to be a disaster and then what? So I'm sticking with something I know I can do. I got to the point in the pattern where the knitting goes fairly quickly, so I should be able to finish by the deadline, which is this week sometime. I'll have to check to make sure of the date, but I know it's this week. I might sit out the next swap, just to give myself a break and work on some of my other projects. I still haven't finished the purse I've been working on forever. I really want that purse, so when I'm finished with the swap hat, I'm going to concentrate on it.

the kids

I got to spend some time with my sister's kids this weekend, so that was good. They were with their dad on Saturday, but yesterday, I picked them up and took them shopping. Noah's birthday is Friday, he'll be 12 years old, so I thought it was time for him to have a grown-up bicycle. He picked out a great one, and rode it around my front yard for about 30 minutes before I had to take him (and the bike) home. I think he's going to enjoy it. He has a lot of room to ride it at his house, and he has a friend who lives about half a mile away from him down a small gravel road that no traffic ever goes down, so he can ride it to his friend's house when they are going to hang out. He lives close enough to the high school that he could actually ride it to school when he goes to 9th grade, but that road has a lot more traffic, so I'm not sure if it's the best idea for him to do that. It's ultimately up to my sister, but if it were up to me, I would have to really think about it first. On Friday, we made a date to go see a movie. He's having a party Saturday, but I wanted to have him on his actual birthday. That will be fun, I'm sure. He's a great movie buddy!

here we go...

This week marks the beginning of the intense work on the upcoming work project. It's going to be great! I always love being busy at work. I can't stand having nothing to do. That's why I always hated all those retail jobs I had before finishing school. There were times every shift that would be so dead that all you could do was stare around the store looking for something to straighten or clean. But of course, there's only so much of that, so once you go over the entire store, if you still don't have any customers, you're back to staring around looking for something to do. Boring! Anyway, jobs like the one I have now are so much more interesting, because there's no such thing as being bored!