When I woke up this morning and actually became coherent (which takes a while for me in the mornings), the first thing I thought about was my friend T!! Her C-section is scheduled for today, and I can't wait to hear the news that her new baby boy is born and safe!!! I can't get down there to see her until mid-October, but my heart is with her. Hopefully her boyfriend will give me a call when everything settles down. It is just so neat to think that a brand new life is coming into the world today. I know it happens every second and all day long every day, but it is still a miracle every single time. Happy Birthday Jody!
I had a great time in GA with my family, but I was so happy when I pulled up to our house yesterday and I got to hug my gorgeous fiance! The trip home was wonderful and it is always fun to spend time with my family, but it was so busy the whole time and I feel so incredibly tired today. It took poor G about 20 minutes to get me up this morning and out of bed. I missed him so much. I would have given anything to be able to just snuggle up next to him all day today and recover from the running around and driving and all that from the past five days.
Instead, I have a list that feels like it is ten miles long of things I have to get done this week. I know that I have to get my butt in gear and start making up for taking some days off last week. And on that note, I need to get started on my day. I hope you all had an amazing weekend. My girl T is going to have her baby tomorrow if she hasn't already gone in to the hospital, so everyone be praying for her safety and happiness!
I have a list as long as my arm of things to get done today. I am heading down to Georgia again tomorrow and I will be there until Sunday. I hadn't planned on going home until Thanksgiving maybe, but my sister called and asked me to come home for a "Sex and the City Spectacular". The local theater is playing 5 of the most popular SATC episodes on the big screen, having cosmopolitans and contests like "best shoe" contest, and then showing the full movie. It's a six hour Sex and the City evening, all for just $5.00. Of course, you'll have to pay for the cosmo's and food, but how could I pass up a chance to watch five episodes on the big screen? Lord knows, I have seen every episode more than five times on a small TV screen. No matter how many times I watch it though, I always love it and could watch it again.
My only concern about it at this point is what the hell am I going to wear? I know some people are going to go all out in their fancy clothes and expensive shoes, but I honestly don't want to wear a dress and high heels for a six hour event. Anyway, I shouldn't worry about it too much because my sister will surely not be dressing up fancy. We'll just go and have fun and not care too much about how we look. My brother and his wife are also going, which is awesome.
Still, there is so much to get done today before I can even think about heading out. On that note, I am going to get started on this list and get as much done this morning as humanly possible. I will be back to post next Monday at the latest.
Today is officially 2 years from the day that I met G face to face. We had been friends for a while online, but 9/22 is the day we finally decided to meet and see if there was real chemistry. I remember being so nervous and wondering if I was stupid to be driving four hours away to meet a guy from the internet. After I walked off the elevator and saw him, though, all of my fears about him being a psychopath went away. :) He was gorgeous! We got along so well and had such a great weekend together. There were a few things that needed to be cleared from our path before a serious relationship could begin, but we eventually overcame those obstacles and fell in love. He is the single most amazing man I have ever known, and our love for each other is a kind of love that I had given up hope for, thinking maybe it didn't exist. Now I know that it exists, and it is worth the wait. That very first weekend, he got me a dozen beautiful roses, and the card said my first name and his last name together because he actually couldn't remember my last name when he ordered the flowers. Who would have known that soon I will actually have that name for the rest of my life? Happy Anniversary my love.
As for new ideas, after finishing my story last week, I wanted to start thinking about what to work on next. I have a novel started, but I am not sure that it is where I need to go next in my writing. G and I got to talking about it and an idea progressed from our talks. It's still in the early development "what if..." stages, but I think it's really an amazing concept. We went to dinner and discussed the idea with excitement, and then came home and talked about it for hours, up until early in the morning. I am really excited about getting to work on this idea and starting a new novel.
First things first though. I have to get to work this week on editing and polishing my novella to get it sent out. Most publishers take 6 weeks to 6 months to even get back to you about whether they want to publish it. And if they say no after 6 months, you have to start all over with another publisher. It's not going to be a quick and easy process, but I am ready to get it started.
Okay, so G was not keen to writing a 7 things blog today. That's okay, though, because I do have some good news of my own to share. I have finally finished my first rough draft!! After a year of working on stories and never actually finishing them before moving on to something else, I have actually finished something. I worked through all of my self-doubts and I ignored that little voice that said, "This isn't very good. You should work on something else."
I know I am going to have to work hard in the next few days to edit my story and get it ready to send out, but I just so happy to be this close to sending something out to a real publisher. The story ended up being just over 15,000 words, which isn't quite long enough to technically be a "novella", but some publishers would call it a "Novelette."
I am going to spend some time today looking over different submission guidelines to find the order that I'll send it out when it is ready. Some places actually have a 6 month decision process and don't allow you to submit to other publishers while you are waiting for their answer. That really sucks, but no one ever said getting published was easy. I'll keep you updated on how it's going! Hopefully I will soon be able to say that I am a published author!
Tonya tagged me, so I think I'm supposed to figure out 7 "funky" facts about me. That shouldn't be hard to do, as long as funky also can mean weird. :)
- I am addicted to office supplies. Post-its, colorful papers, notebooks, and especially pens. I have so many pens that my fiance made me go through them and put some away in a box. They were taking over my desk. I have been slowly bringing some out of the box, though, and am now back up to 4 full containers of pens on my desk. What can I say? I need a different kind of pen in a different color depending on my mood!
- I cannot sleep on my back. I know that doctors say you should sleep on your back or on your side, but no matter how hard I try, I always end up on my stomach. G and I even bought special pillows that are supposed to help us sleep on our backs, but I just can't do it.
- I am obsessed with Hello Kitty. I have loved Hello Kitty every since I was a little girl. My very first diary was a Hello Kitty diary. As I grew up, though, I left those kinds of things in my childhood. However, when I was in college, I went to visit a friend in Boston and she took me to a Sanrio store that was full of Hello Kitty items. After that I was rehooked. I have Hello Kitty everything!
- Sex and The City's characters feel like my close personal friends. I don't know if it's because I used to dream of having a life like theirs and living in New York City or if it's more about the fact that even though they are glamorous and in a big city, their struggles are the same as any woman's struggles... but no matter what the reason, I felt like I was losing my friends when the show went off the air. The movie comes out on DVD this month, and I am so excited. Also, I am going home to Georgia next week to go to a Sex and the City night with my sister, brother, and sister in law where they are playing 5 of the best episodes on the big screen, followed by the movie. Six hours of pure SATC. I can't wait.
- When it comes to writing papers or figuring out my schedule, I am the most organized person on the planet. When it comes to my space, I am the most disorganized person on the planet. I can't keep my desk organized, but my schedule is color coded and crazy organized. It's weird.
- I sing in the car. Okay so maybe that doesn't sound very unusual or funky, but I certainly get some strange looks. I don't usually sing when there are other people in the car with me, but when I'm alone... I let it all out. Sometimes I will be at a stoplight and blasting it out to a good song and I will look over at the car next to me and they will be staring at me like I'm a freakin' crazy person.
- I play piano with my fingers all the time. I can't help it. When I hear a melody on TV or in a song, I play the tune on a non-existent piano. Even when there is no music to be heard, I usually have something playing in my head and will play it with my fingers.
My sister talked me into watching the premiere of "The Biggest Loser" last night. In the past, I have only seen portions of a couple of episodes, but last night I stayed glued to the tv for 2 hours. I felt sort of stupid, because I was already crying a little bit in the first 15 minutes of the show. Am I a dork or what?
Seeing these people who are overweight and just want to lose weight so bad, but have been unable to really make big changes in their life on their own was very moving. I have never been quite that much overweight, but I completely understand the struggle. If I had not changed my eating and exercise habits in the past year, I would probably be where they are within a couple of years (or less).
There was this portion of the show where they brought the teams into this medical room and talked to them individually about what is going on inside of them. The doctor would show a regular, healthy set of lungs and heart and then he would show them what theirs looks like. That was hard to watch. Just seeing the fat covering their lungs and making their hearts work so hard was difficult to see. Based on their current health conditions, they also calculated what their physical age is compared to their chronological age. One girl was 26 years old chronologically, but her physical age was 47. That is scary as hell! I mean, just realizing that most people don't live past 80, for example...even though she is only 26, she physically is only looking at 33 more years of life, tops, if she doesn't change her ways. Chances are, she would die at age 59. Isn't that horrible? I am so glad that she's on the show and making changes in her life.
The question I have is, what is my physical age? Lord knows I have abused my body in the past in several ways. The good news is that I have lost 17 pounds and am still working on getting into shape. The show really made me realize how much being overweight can really do to your health. I am definitely going to stick with the show and see how these people find the motivation to keep going. I know that I feel motivated to work on this morning, so that is exactly what I am going to do.
My love has especially requested seven layer dip for lunch today, so that is what I will be doing this morning. Not that it will take me all morning, but that is my first priority this morning. I don't think there are actually seven layers, but basically, it's just a big bowl of refried beans, cheese, sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, and salsa. It's good, though. Which is why he has been thinking about it, haha. We made a special trip to the grocery store last night just to get the ingredients. Oh, and we got the really good chips on sale. You know, those ones that are "gold" or something? They're basically just thicker chips. We usually don't get them though because they are always more expensive. Not this time, baby. It's going to be a good lunch today.
Breakups are always difficult, but you eventually move on and get over it. Even if it's a breakup that you initiated, it can still be hard to get over the passing of a relationship. Then there is that moment, maybe months or even years later, when you see them again, and it takes you by surprise.
I separated from my ex-husband two years ago and after he left for Arizona, I didn't see him again... until yesterday. And where I saw him was the most unpredictable place, really. A friend that works with my mother called her early yesterday morning to tell her that she had seen my ex on CNN. So then, my mom called my sister, who then called and texted me. The story about him was a good story, a sweet story about him and his dog. If it was anyone else in the world, I would think, "How sweet" and move on. Instead, it was just a weird experience, seeing him again.
It's funny how just seeing his face and hearing his voice seeped into my happiness a bit. It's as if he is a reminder of a past I don't want any part of anymore. I like the new place I am in these days, and I love my new life. I am definitely not going to dwell on this because in the big picture, it doesn't mean anything. I just thought I would mention it, because it was a little bit like seeing a ghost.
I promised myself that I would get off of my lazy ass and go to Jazzercise three times a week, no exceptions. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. So far, over the past two weeks, I have stayed true to that promise, and it has paid off. I have definitely felt more energy and had some positive changes in my body already.
In a way, I think I am writing this to sort of physch myself up for going today. It's Friday. There are no acceptable excuses for not going. I realize this.
But I don't want to go. The period has come and there's probably nothing that sounds worse to me right now that dancing and jumping around for an hour in tight pants.
And I know they say that exercise can help get rid of cramps, but I think that is very unlikely. I have never once felt the urge to exercise when I had cramps. Usually I am doubled over or laying in bed wishing that I could just rip it all out. Sorry for the possibly graphic image that creates, but I'm just being honest here.
I am just going to have to force myself into the other room to change into workout clothes. I know that once I get there, I will be glad I went. I'll just keep repeating that to myself until I get there...
Happy Weekend :)
Isn't it funny how this used to be just another day to all of us? A day of no real consequence unless it happened to be your birthday or something like that. Now, it's a day that haunts everyone in this country, and perhaps even around the world. It's a reminder that even the toughest, most untouchable countries are vulnerable to terror. It's almost hard to believe that was 7 years ago.
There are other things on my mind today too. The rain, for example. We have gotten so much rain lately, and today is no exception. It's cold as well, for the first time in months and months. I guess Ike is affecting the majority of the country, and they predict rain for the next 7 days or so here. I would have much preferred a sunny day today.
Also, my friend K is having an ultrasound today where she is supposed to find out if she is having a boy or a girl. I am so happy for her, and I can't wait to find out! That will be joyous news for today, regardless of whatever else happens!
The other sinking feeling that I know will be nagging at me all day is that today is the day a man from my past goes up against his parole board. I got a letter from the department of the Army about a month ago informing me of the upcoming hearing. He's only served 3 years of an 8 year sentence and they are thinking of letting him go. How is that justified? I feel so powerless. I hope they realize that serving less than half of his sentence would be an injustice to me and to another woman. I am not sure where she is today or if she's thinking of him, but I send a prayer her way.
Why is it so hard sometimes for me to maintain? What I mean by that is... well, for example: I have a large L-shaped desk where I spend the majority of my time. I feel like I am cleaning it up all the time, and yet I also feel like it is always a mess. The same thing goes for my closet and my bathroom. I just cannot seem to get them super clean and then maintain that level of clean for any significant amount of time.
G and I recently spent a couple of hours seriously cleaning out our kitchen. Our counters were so cluttered, so we put away anything that we haven't used recently (like the coffee pot). We scrubbed the counters and the floors, wiped every little thing down and had everything neatly organized. I think that was almost 2 weeks ago? Maybe a week and a half. Anyway, we have managed to keep it just as clean. I need to mop the floors again, which I probably should have already done once since the big clean, but at least it looks great in there overall.
Now, if I can just carry that same philosophy on to my other spaces. The other evening, we were on the computers and I felt a tickling on my arm. I looked down and there was a huge spider crawling on me! I have no idea where he came from! Without thinking, I batted him away from me. I couldn't see where he went though, and with all the papers and pens and books on my desk, he could have been hiding anywhere!! After getting out a flashlight and moving things around, we finally gave up looking for him. In the interest of that NEVER happening again, I got serious last night about cleaning up my desk and getting rid of all the clutter. I organized my notebooks and my books, dusted everything and left only the basic necessities out... and three cups full of pens, but those ARE necessities! Now, let's just hope I can keep it this way for an extended period of time.
I did it again last night. I thought, "Oh, I'll just read for a few minutes before bed." And then I stayed up past 4 AM to finish the book. The whole time, I glanced at the clock and knew with a sinking heart that I would be tired and would not get as much work done as normal, but then I would go back to reading and it wouldn't let me sleep. It was as if it had kidnapped me for a few hours against my will.
The book I was reading was "Trading Up" by Candace Bushnell, and is about a model named Janey Wilcox. If you don't recognize the author's name, I will tell you that she is also the woman who wrote "Sex and the City". Not the show, of course, but the book. The only episode that's really even mostly from the book is the very first one, but the whole series is more about the social scene, and that's what the book is about as well. Anyway, my sister gave me "Trading Up" when I was home this past summer, but somehow it ended up in the closet and I forgot about it. But then last week I saw it and knew it was my next book to read.
I know I shouldn't have stayed up. Even G just walked in and said, "Hey! Are you trying to justify staying up until 4AM by writing about it in your blog?" The truth is, I can't justify it. I honestly just couldn't help it! In my opinion, that's the biggest compliment you can really pay to an author. It was a great book. It was the first book I've read in a really long time where I really did not like the main character... until close to the end when the author gives you a peek into where she really has come from. Usually that kind of information comes towards the beginning to make a character sympathetic. Instead, Janey is hardly sympathetic at all at the beginning of the book. You just read about her because you aren't quite sure what crazy thing she'll do next. Then, like a little surprise, you find out something deeply personal about her that reveals a depth you never expected. And instead of dwelling on it and making a fun book serious, the author only gives you a small glimpse, and then goes right back into the story-telling. Honestly, I loved it. And that's all the justification I need.
As you can tell, we didn't float away this weekend. Thankfully, all we got from Hurricane Hanna was a lot of rain. Instead of the terrible storm I was expecting for the weekend, there were actually some good things that happened.
Last year around this time, or maybe even closer to school starting back, G and I went to K-mart in search of cheap notebooks that were advertised on the radio. 10 cents each. That may not be very exciting to most people, but ever since I was little, I have had a secret obsession with school supplies and office supplies in general. It probably stems from my mother being a teacher and me playing with her neat stamps and notebooks and things when I was little.
Anyway, G and I bought 20 notebooks last year at K-Mart. I used all but 1 of mine. (He used 2 of his, haha.) Knowing that this is the only time of year that school supplies really go on sale, I convinced G to go to K-Mart with me on Saturday in search of the 10 cent notebooks. When we got there, we saw a shelf with a ton of notebooks, exactly the same brand and all as last year, but no price tag. Starting to get excited, we asked a nearby cashier to scan one just to check the price. $1.19! WTF? At this point, I was sorely disappointed becausee it seemed that I had remembered to go in search of notebooks just a little too late this year, and therefore had missed out on all the great deals. Of course, knowing that they can sell these notebooks for 10 cents makes it absolutely impossible to pay over a dollar for them now!
Well, instead of giving up, I focused my efforts Sunday on scouring the internet for news of cheap notebooks. Finally, on a forum for parents, I read some school supply thread that said notebooks were 10 cents at Target, and 5 cents at Wal-Mart. Seeing how Wal-Mart is quite a bit farther away here than Target, I talked G into going with me to the Target, just to see if they were still on sale. As you can see from the picture above, they were! In fact, they were on sale from the sale, an additional 30% off, making each pack of 5 notebooks only 35 cents each. At 7 cents a piece, we grabbed an entire box of them (14 packs of 5). We bought 70 college ruled spiral notebooks for just $4.90. What will I do with these notebooks, you wonder? Some become journals, some become my notes for books I'm reading about writing, others become gaming journals or lists of goals. I am writing a bunch of reality tv blogs this year, so of course, I have one notebook for each of those. I can always find a way to use a notebook.
On another note, the other exciting thing that happened yesterday was that Britney Spears, who had been nominated for 16 previous awards, finally struck it big last night at the VMA awards, winning Best Female Video, Best Pop Video, and Best Video of the Year for her song "Piece of Me". Granted, this did not make me as happy as the deal I got on notebooks, but it still made me smile. She looked fantastic last night, and I am really happy for her. Lord knows she has been such a crazy mess for a long time now. I will cheer on anyone who is making that much effort to pick herself up and be a better person. Good job Britney!
All of the coastal counties in North Carolina are under Hurricane Watch/Tropical Storm Warning. Hurricane Hanna is supposed to hit the North Carolina overnight tonight, with possible winds here in Raleigh at 50 mph. They said on the news this morning that tornadoes are definitely the biggest threat, which scares me to death. Wind and rain I can handle, but a tornado is just scary. I guess I should go and get a gallon of water and some basic supplies today, just in case we lose power.
The bad news is, Hurricane Ike looks like it might be headed this way next week as well. Right now, that one is at a Category 4 storm, so even though Hanna may not even be a Hurricane when it hits, Ike would quite possibly be a devastating one. Let's hope it dissipates or something. Wish me luck this weekend. I told my Mom last night that I might float away over the weekend. Her response was, "Okay, well just call me and let me know where you end up!" Haha.
Last night I had a dream that I was in New York to meet with a publisher. People were talking to me about how to manage all of this money I had just made, and others were having me look at possible cover art for the book. It was all very exciting until I woke up. I am determined to work extra hard to make that a reality someday soon.
I am so excited that America's Next Top Model starts tonight! This is the 11th Cycle, and I have seen every single episode of every other Cycle. It's definitely a guilty pleasure, as it has no intellectual value, but I'm not going to apologize for loving it. Tonight is the 2 hour premiere episode where they introduce 30 or so semi-finalists and then put them through tests and interviews to choose the final 14.
Of course, the CW already has the final group of finalists up on their website, along with videos and pictures, so if you want to be surprised, stay away from the cwtv.com site. If you don't really care about the semi-finals and you just want the dish on the finalists for this season, check it out because there are videos and pics that will give you your first impression of each contestant. Also, I am going to be blogging about the show each week over at ANTM Recaps. G's top pics are Samantha and Elina. My top pics are Lauren Brie and Clark. of course, until you see them at a photo shoot, you never know what to expect. Cycle 11 premieres tonight on the CW at 8:00 PM.
It seems that New Orleans dodged a bullet this weekend. Hurricane Gustav had everyone scared and thinking, not again! In anticipation of this major Hurricane perhaps making landfall on the Louisiana coast as a category 4, most of the state's coastal towns were evacuated. I think I heard the weather channel say it was over 2 million people that had been evacuated from the area.
Overall, it seems like the situation was handled quickly and more efficiently than with Katrina, which devastated New Orleans in 2005. Thousands are without power still, but the important thing is that most people's houses and lives were spared. I personally get very wrapped up in Hurricane news sometimes, wanting to watch all night long to see what is going to happen. G agreed to let me keep our TV on Sunday night to watch the progress of the Hurricane. I turned the sound off, but I woke up throughout the night and watched the storm. I don't know why it seems to mean so much to me since I'm nowhere near New Orleans, but I guess it's still a human interest story. I know what it's like to lose almost everything you own in one terrible night, and I sympathize with others who are going through those same fears and experiences.
But with Gustav out of the way and no serious damage done in most major areas along the coast, there is another storm gaining strength in the Atlantic... Hurricane Hanna. And where do expert's say this one is headed? They have said that it is hard to tell at this point, but that it is expected to curve north towards the Atlantic coast of the US, possibly making landfall anywhere from Miami to Massachusettes. G and I don't live on the coast of North Carolina, but we live around 2 hours away from the coast, which means that if this storm hits the NC coast, we will definitely see some severe storms, flooding, and possibly tornadoes here in the Raleigh area.
Historically, they are saying that past hurricanes that were in the same place Hanna is now did not go towards the Atlantic coast, but rather headed into the gulf for the most part. Of course, as we know, every hurricane is unpredictable to a certain extent and who knows where it will go. The forecasters use all of this scientific software to calculate the possible path of the hurricanes, and they are saying that the US Atlantic coast is possibly facing a major hurricane threat. I wonder what kind of storms we would have being only a little over 100 miles from the coast? I would rather not find out!
Of course, the Georgia coast would be awful too... I would hate to see anything terrible happen in Savannah, a city so ripe with history and southern tradition. Also, St. Simons Island is like a second home to me in some ways, and I pray that it is not hit by a hurricane. I guess we will just have to keep our eyes on this new storm and pray that it either dissipates or heads back out to sea somewhere. The most likely scenario right now has Hurricane Hanna hitting Charleston, South Carolina on Friday.