Just a small favor

I am driving across the state today after I get off work.

While luckily it looks like the weather is headed towards warm and snow on the roadway won't be an issue, I have a small favor to ask of everyone.

Could you all please stay of the freeways for like an hour this afternoon? Pretty please.

I just really don't want to deal with rush hour traffic. You all are only driving half an hour to an hour, I have a 6+ hour drive in front of me.

I don't think it's too much to ask.

Plus it's a great way to give back to the community (a.k.a. ME).

Thanks in advance!


Le Internet

I have a lot of online accounts and commitments.

Don't believe me, here's proof:
Yahoo! email, two Gmail emails, Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, 20Something Bloggers, a family network.
I get emails from NYTimes, Women's Health, Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works, Southwest, Piperlime, Amazon, and probably a number of others I can't remember.
I have a blog; I read a gazillion blogs (give or take a couple).
I am addicted to online games such as: crosswords, sudoku, text twist, jewelquest, and whatever else catches my eye.

It's a little much. Sure it was easy to keep up with it all the past few months, but now that I am working again(all of 15 hours a week) will I be able to handle it?!

Plus I keep am always thinking of other possibilies. Should I join Tumblr? I don't know much about it, but I know it's cool. At least that's the word on the street.

I think it's a pretty common problem these days. The internet offers so much, but can definitely be dangerous.

What are your addictions, commitments, etc. and does it ever get to be too much?


Blizzard 2009

I don't really like to blog about such mundane things as the weather, but today I just can't help myself today. It has been ridiculous!

It started this morning with blowing wind and rain. By the time I was walking to my first class for work, it was raining hard enough to change the shade of all my clothing. Later in the afternoon it hailed. And by the time I was leaving campus it was snowing.


I know literally speaking it is still winter. Spring doesn't come until March, yada, yada. But I live by the ocean, meaning it's supposed to be a mild climate here.

Well, except for the fact that I am practically in Canada.

It's very likely Dad won't have school tomorrow, and luckily I don't work on Thursdays, but I am driving ACROSS the entire state on Friday - come hell or high water. Or come snowstorm, I supposed.

For now, I am going to enjoy the view and sit next to the fire in my sweatpants.

But it's still ridiculous that there is probably at least an inch of snow on the ground - when I left work an hour ago it hadn't started sticking yet.

The big dog, Jackson, was outside for about ten minutes and came back in with his back covered in snow.

Ridiculous! (I obviously don't know what else to say about it.)


Bigger is Better

Yesterday my dad and I took the flat screen TV to Costco to trade it for a bigger model...

...for less than $20 more.

My mom, siblings and I had purchased it for him, for Christmas. We even managed to (mostly) keep it a surprise.

At the time of purchase it was bigger, clearer, and just better than anything else we'd ever had.

Not surprisingly, the purchase of this product just opened our eyes to the glory of HDTV (and DirectTV, which was got after the purchase of the television). We can't get enough. My dad even said that he doesn't care what we watch as long as it's HD.

It was easy to see, after realizing the glory that is HDTV, that bigger would be better. And when my dad spotted a bigger TV for practically the same price we sped home to load up the TV and grab the bigger one before someone else did.

And we got it.

The new plan...to upgrade every two-three months (or, because of Costco, before 90 days pass).

Soon our TV will cover the family room wall, I'm sure of it.


You know you're a grown up when...

You're excited about refinancing a car loan. It's true.

After officially starting my job last week and knowing that my first pay check is coming (i.e. I have income to report) I visited my credit union about refinancing my car loan.

It was almost two years ago that I purchased my car, Gwyneth. She's a lovely 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid with lower than average miles and way higher than average MPG. I love her except when i want to accelerate quickly or climb a steep pass. (She's a little lacking in the power department.)

At the time of purchase I was able to get my own loan because of a large down payment. I didn't have amazing credit, mostly because I hadn't done anything to build it. This meant my APR was way higher than I would have liked, but I thought having a loan in my own name would be better in the long term than cosigning.

So here's the good news from my recent visit:
1. The APR on my loan will basically be halved.
2. I am going to pay off my loan over a year sooner than originally planned.
3. My credit score has improve 100 points in less than two years.

It was incredibly encouraging I've done the right things over the past few years. I haven't overextended myself - especially considering the state of everything these days.

So that's how I know I'm an adult. I'm so freaking excited about this!


Dear MTV,

I have a gripe with you.

You never play the shows that are listed on the guide. Ever. Well, that's not entirely true.

But seriously.

If I just happen to pick America's Best Dance Crew as a show to watch, I don't want to see the Girls of Hedford Hall (or whatever the heck it is). Thank you very much.

Also, when The Real World turns out to be a movie that's a cross between the roller derby and hip hop dancing/step. Well, that was just a weird sort of surprise.

Could you get your act together?! I can't imagine it is really that difficult to play the programming you've already decided on.

Of course, I'm not a big TV exec so what do I even know.

I'd just like to know what crappy TV I am getting myself into ahead of time.

Thanks. I'd really like to stop losing sleep over this issue.


Not okay at all

I've been all over the place in terms of blog ideas today.

I was going to wax poetic of my love for Ellen DeGeneres and her show. I was going to point out how few real skills we have as a society...as in we-could-survive-on-our-own skills. I was going to tell you the oh, so exciting story of my first day of work.

But then my neighbor called me about five minutes ago because they were robbed sometime today.

Funny thing, my best friend made a comment this afternoon about how weird it was my family never locks our door.

Which is true, we only lock our door when we go out of town and at night.

The funny thing is we've never had a problem. It probably helps that there are always a few cars parked at our house, as well as two rambunctious dogs who bark at just about everything (except, unfortunately, today's burglars).

Our house is actually very rarely empty, too. My mom is at home a lot, as am I (recently).

So I guess we aren't a good mark.

But it's scary when your next-door neighbors have a computer and TV stolen, as well as most of the house searched. The house was even locked up.

I'm a little annoyed that I didn't notice anything - easy say in hindsight - since I was home for the whole day except for about an hour long period.

Anyways, my point is safety first people. Don't just lock your doors. Set up booby traps. Rig up some sort contraption.

Ok, not really. But seriously, this is scary. I'm glad I have my 110 lb. dog to protect me tonight.


End o' the day

I just thought I'd wrap up the day with a couple random thoughts. Because I can't hold back and just have so much to share. Or I'm bored. Whatever.

  • I L-O-V-E the new Pepsi commercial. Song: Forever Young. With flashbacks between back in the day and now. One of my favorites from the Superbowl. If you haven't seen it check it out:

  • I got my tax refund today. That makes me more happy than I can express. To make financial matters even better I work my first day tomorrow. Soon I'll be rich! Or at least not poor.
  • As part of my television addiction I have been consumed with a lot of reality TV lately. First, The Bachelor - Jillian was kind of my fave. Second, on American Idol tonight Paula seemed like she spent the night trying not to cry. Also, rough performances. Third, the Biggest Loser always makes me feel like a slacker. Yet I still find myself on the couch.
  • I died my hair the other day. I am happy to have it all one shade, instead of two toned. It was supposed to be the color below, a dark golden brown, yet still my hair has a red glow. Left over from months ago.

  • The dogs have been completely out of control today and I am going a little crazy. They are currently racing around the family room fighting and sounding like a herd of bovines. At one point I went grocery shopping so I didn't have to deal with them. That's desperation.
  • If I'm not spending money on makeup/shoes, I'd probably blowing it on music. I have recently been enjoying Rock N' Roll by Eric Hutchinson, overplayed on VH1 but enjoyable none the less. Ingrid Michaelson, pretty much everything with a couple exceptions. Start a Band with Keith (Urban) and Brad (Paisley) is about as fun as it gets. And yes I am on a first name basis with the boys.
Okay, the end.

P.S. Thanks to Jay for the reminder, I never think of that. Obviously.

Hook, line and sinker.

I like playing with make up. Trying new looks out. Playing with colors and products.

Unfortunately this also means that I am easily tempted to purchase makeup. It's my latest obsession.

While I may not have spent money on shoes recently, I have definitely spent money on makeup.

Nothing reels me in more than a free gift with purchase.

You know what I am talking about...spend $29.50 and get this free gift set valued at $55. Or spend $50 and get free shipping.

Those suckers get me everytime. In fact, I'm better off not even looking at makeup unless I actually need to purchase something.

This tendency has also led me to have one of the diverse collections of products ever. I don't buy a bronzer based on what is recommended by every consumer and magazine out there, I buy it based on what else I can get for my purchase.

Thanks to a lack of income in recent months I haven't gone too crazy with the purchases, but I haven't exactly abstained either.

I can assure you though, when I take to the streets my face looks good.


I like it like that

I like to be organized. I really, truly do - contrary to the often times chaotic appearance of my room.

I like lists. I like efficiency. I like knowing where things are and what I have to do.

The to do lists are less to help me remember and more just to help me get my priorities in order - figuring out what I have to do and what order it needs to happen.

I like to be organized so much, in fact, that the first thing on my to do list for my room at my parent's house is to put in some sort of closet organizer system.

I enjoy sorting through my things and getting rid of the unnecessary.

You wouldn't necessarily guess that looking at my room. That's due to a combination of having more stuff than I have room, having had my life spread across a couple states this past year, and the addition of a few things that aren't even mine.

Those factors combine to a rather maze-like, crowded bedroom. Someday I'll be able to change that.

Nothing would make me happier this spring than being able to get organized enough to have a garage sale this spring/summer.

I don't know if it will happen, but a girl can dream


I've got sunshine.

Yesterday I complained about a lack of sunshine around home this time of year. Just to spite me it has been sunny all day today.

I'll take that kind of spite any day.

To celebrate the weather and wear out the puppies, we went for a walk down at the marina.

Nothing says relaxing stroll in the sun like 150+ lbs. of dog on a leash. But hey, I got a work out, right?!

The dogs are now passed out on various pieces of furniture trying to recover from their exhausting 45 minute walk.

The poor things.

The best news of the day, the weather is supposed to stay like this until Friday.

This weather will in no way improve the tone of my skin, but it does lift the spirits.



I have been blessed with incredibly fair skin. So fair that in the winter I sometimes blend in with white/light clothing and snow in pictures.

It's a fact of life that I've learned to deal with.

To make matters worse, I live in a place that does not get an incredibly amount of sun. Mostly we get rain, which means clouds.

The winter is even worse. It's dark when you wake up and when you get home. There isn't a lot direct sunlight available to use.

It's bad enough, I don't think anyone would save money with solar panels.

We actually have some walkway lights that are supposed to solar powered. In the winter, when we need them the most, the lights only provide a faint glow. You mostly just have to hope that the steps haven't moved/aren't icy.

The only good news is that winter doesn't last long here in the NW. The climate is pretty mild and it is already starting to feel like spring.

The bad news, my skin color will still be reminiscent of a ghosts for a few months to come.


I'll show you.

I'm trying not to be too bitter right now.

See my parents are somewhere in the air between home and Cancun. Jerks. I mean, I hope you have a nice week and a half vacation in 85 degree weather.

And I'm here. With the dogs. And brother, who is in the house occasionally - he has more of a social life than I do.

I'm trying to keep positive by remembering all of the international lotteries I've won. Just five minutes ago I checked my email and had won another. I'm still waiting for the funds to show up in my bank account. It was okay to give the person from the UK lottery my account number, right?

Totally joking. I only gave Sir William Bennett III my social security number. I'll be fine.

So take that parents. Enjoy your vacation at the five star resort with multiple pools all containing swim up bars. And a soaking pool in your room.

I won the British Lottery. And the Nigerian, and the Canadian....


Check out those ankles!

I have a penchant for historical novels, including my guilty pleasure the romance novel.

But please don't lecture me on it, I fully understand the crap that fills those stories. That's why I get them at the library and try to avoid buying them.

As I lay in bed last night, reading the latest library rental, I had a thought.

What the heck happened to fashion?!

In some ways there has been a role reversal. Men wore tighter fitting trousers, versus their much baggier counterparts today. Women went from concealing to exposing pretty much as much as possible, either skin or shape.

Women, I think we lost out. Think about it.

A couple centuries ago we could turn a man on by showing our ankles. And they could never really tell the size of our thighs because of our skirts.

Now girls/women are wearing tighter, skimpier clothing to get attention.

Oh, sure. I value being able to ride astride a horse and take part in athletic activities beyond the occasional stroll through a park. I am also not sad that I don't have to deal with hoop skirts, corsets, or intricate updos.

But I am pretty sure no man has looked at my ankles and thought, "I'm not sure I can keep my hands off her."

Maybe I'm wrong.


I'll all about helping

A while back, when I was in the throes of unemployment and not nearing the end as I am now, I wrote a post for the president about how much I was helping the economy and the environment by staying home everyday and not working.

I would like to point out a few other ways I am helping our country and our economy get back on track:

1. I don't shower all that often. Gross, maybe. Green, definitely. Plus I have to buy things like shampoo and conditioner a lot less often. How dirty do you really get when you exist in a 2,000 sq. ft. area?!

2. Obvious lack of driving. Besides my trip last week to other side of the street that I haven't really talked about, I rarely drive more than a mile or two every couple days. Combine that with the fact that my car is a hybrid and I can't do a much better job.

3. While I now have employment and, cross your fingers, should be starting in the next couple weeks, I am not stealing jobs out from anyone. My job is there because law requires it and no one was fired to make room for me. I am also thereby removed for the increasingly competitive job market. Your welcome.

4. Because I am living at home with the parents I haven't had to rely on government aid, such as unemployment or welfare. Thereby, saving you, the taxpayer, money.

While there are some cons to my whole situation (i.e. I don't have money to spend to bolster the economy.), overall I feel that I am definitely doing my part to help the country in this dark time.

All I have to say is, "you're welcome, America!"



There is nothing quite like a dog show in HD.


I don't know if anyone else out there likes dogs or not, but I am definitely a HUGE fan. Love them.

And it's been dog show season lately. Rounding out the season was the Westminster Dog Show which. finished up tonight.

This is the grand daddy of dog shows. Nationally televised. Madison Square Garden. Glitter, sequins, rhinestones - and that's just the handlers' outfits.

The champion, best-in-show Stump. The Sussex spaniel is ten years old. He came out of retirement for this. He almost died in 2004. And he is freaking adorable.

His victory is like Michael Jordan being MVP at 70. Or an elderly supermodel. Take that Tyra and all fifteen billion seasons of ANTM!

How could the judge say no to that face?! (p.s. Thanks for the pic, Reuters!)


So close I can smell it

I took my final test for my training today. I'll still have a couple short lessons to complete, assuming I pass, to prepare for entering the real world of transcribing.

But I still feel like I can breath a huge sigh of relief. (Your welcome for the convulted, poorly structured sentence, it's because I love you.)

Three things happening after the test that lead me to believe I most likely passed and can start earning money:
1. I didn't get a parking ticket for not having a campus parking pass.
2. It began to snow with the sun still shining as I drove home.
3. I passed a man on a unicycle on the way home.

If those aren't signs that my stars are aligned, or however astrology works, then I don't know what are.

But I am not celebrating early. That could counteract all of those positive signs.

Instead I will wait on pins and needles. Or put on sweats, find some junk food to consume, and watch some TV.

Take your pick.


Just call me the Dabbler

I am what you might call a dabbler.

I get interested in hobbies, projects, etc. Then I struggle to maintain interest and energy toward that thing, or get distracted by something else.

For example: knitting.

Let me start off by saying that I have only ever knitted scarves. They are simple, straightforward, and easy. I probably have three or four started right now, with I don't know how many others in mind.

I can go to yarn stores and gaze and wander for hours. I'll buy yarn which then goes home to sit in my knitting basket, which no longer can contain all my unopened, unused yarn.

Another example: playing guitar.

I got my guitar when I was 17? I think. I don't really remember which birthday it was for, clearly.

So I've had it five or six years. I can count the number of chords I can play on my hands. I don't really know how to pick. I haven't changed the strings in about four years. And it spends most of its time in the case.

Impressive, I know.

So when I get interested in something now, I am little more hesistant to invest money in it.

Currently I would love to get into photography. Nice camera. Lenses. Photoshop. The whole shebang.

While there is no way in heck I can afford to begin this new adventure now - I haven't a had in job in months - I also wonder if it would really be a smart use of my money when I do start working.

I also, from time to time, have contemplated expanding my blogging. Maybe a sports blog. Maybe something to do with cooking/crafts/who knows what. Maybe something else.

Then I think of the time it would to really maintain multiple blogs with decent quality posting. And I think of the struggles I sometimes have on this blog just to post consistently.

Makes me think expanding might not be the best idea.

I am, however, pretty sure that I'll be purchasing Photoshop Elements when I am making money again.

And refinancing my car loan, but that's a whole different story.


You can't make me.

I am one of the least confrontational people you might ever meet. Seriously.

I don't like confrontation. I don't like yelling (except due to extreme enthusiasm about a topic). And I get tired of long-winded, never-ending discussions/debates.

I am also a people pleaser, which pretty much goes hand-in-hand with my avoidance of confrontation. At least it does in my head.

I'm pretty sure those two characteristics made me one of the easiest teenagers ever to parent. Except that I hated having to talk about any issues and always blamed crying on fatigue.

But really, I cannot remember yelling at my parents. Ever. In my entire life.

Maybe it happened as a small child, but that was probably only when I was tattle tailing (sp?) on my brother.

The thing is I have had many a serious discussion with people, in my head.

No joke.

Often I'll think about how I would kill conversations that I probably should have. Or I replay past conversations with spins that put me saying what I actually feel as well as coming out on top.

I am always victorious in fake conversations. No one can hold me back.

I'm pretty mature like that.


Two birds with one stone

Today I am presenting you with 25 random facts about myself. I am doing this for a few reasons. One, I've been tagged by a few different people in these notes on facebook. Two, I am running around visiting people where I went to college and need my energy for more important endeavors. Three, I don't have a three but it seems like every good list should.

I am not tagging anyone or asking anyone else to do this. Trying to end this craziness with myself. Anyways, maybe you'll learn something new about me, some of you at least. If, however, you want to share 25 things about yourself, I would be interested in learning them.

Here goes nothin':

1. I have never broken a bone.

2. In spite of that I have had a random assortment of accidents: trigger finger, stapling my fingers together, burning my butt, falling into berry bushes. What can I say, I'm talented.

3. Six months after I got my license, I flipped my car...in a parking lot.

4. I am a country music fanatic. That's the music I listen to 90% of the time. (It's okay if you are cringing right now.) But there isn't much music I don't like.

5. I really enjoying driving and road trips, especially by myself.

6. I have never been in a serious relationship.

7. I couldn't really drive a manual until I was 21, when I purchased my first car - a manual.

8. I have an addiction: shoes. Due to a lack of funds, I have held back from buying a new pair since September. And it hurts me.

9. I love sports. Especially college basketball. I'd list my favorites, in order, but who knows how long that would take.

10. I lived in a dorm for the first time at 22.

11. I did very well on the SAT, but chose to go to community college to play basketball after high school.

12. I brush my teeth religiously, but rarely remember to floss.

13. My Christian faith is essential to who I am.

14. I knit, but only scarves because they are easy and don't take too long to make if I can stay focused.

15. I skipped second grade. I also read to my kindergarten class. What can I say? I was an overachiever back then.

16. I have done lawn care with my dad every summer since before my senior year in high school. This year will be my 7th as a lawn care professional.

17. To follow up #16, I owned a lawn mower before I owned a car.

18. I love to travel, but haven't made it out of North America...yet.

19. Over the past year, I visited 13 states and flew on 20 different planes. I took the time to count that up; I don't have it in my head.

20. I've had a guitar for six years, but can only play a handful of basic chords. Someday I hope to change that.

21. I have a younger sister and brother. That's right, I'm the oldest.

22. I absolutely love to cook. I could spend loads of time looking for good recipes, and then eating them. :)

23. I don't have a clue what I want to do with my life, and it scares me. Least favorite interview question right now: where do you see yourself in five years?

24. I graduated with my college degree and am back living with the padres. Thanks a lot economy; you're the best!

25. I like to be organized, but my room is often messy because I am overwhelmed by all the stuff in it. For the record, not all of it is mine. That's what happened when you haven't lived at home in a couple years.

So there you go. Now you know something more about me, hopefully. Thanks for taking the time to read until the end. Now, go forth and conquer.