P e r s o n a l B l o g/T w i t t e r . : : . W r i t i n g B l o g/T w i t t e r

the kind of wake-up call you don't like to get

Have you ever seen a picture of yourself and thought: so that's what I look like? Yeah. I saw a picture of myself from last night and had to flip to something else really quickly. I know I've gained weight, going from a busy, up and active lifestyle to sitting behind a desk and on my couch has really taken it's toll.  I know and understand this.  There's only so much I can do as far as eating small meals, choosing non-dense foods, not drinking DrPepper, cutting down on my sugar before I really have to figure out some way to exercise.  I know how much weight I've gained, I try to ignore it but it's still there and I'm very conscious of it.  Of course everyone has their quick fix answer: get out there and exercise! Go do something! Yeah, that's all very easy and simple to say - but practicing it is difficult. I gave up my gym membership I used about 50% of the time to move into a more expensive apartment - I cannot afford a gym membership.  The plus side was that my apartment had a mini-gym.  Not a lot of stuff, but enough that I could use two or three machines and get a nice, half hour work-out in.  I did this for several months, getting more regular and evening off to exercising 3 to 4 times a week.  Then the weather changed and now you can't even step foot in there!  Seriously, I've tried going in at different times but nothing is ever available and there's always people in there.  So my other alternative is to exercise out-side. This worked well for a few days, and taking long walks in the park was very nice - and then the skies opened and it's been rainy and/or cold for a few weeks now.  The last option I have yet to try is exercising in my home.  This is iffy just because of the space issue.  I don't have anywhere to put a stationary bike - I've thought about that one, believe me - if I did have the space I'd have one.  I'm very much considering trying to get a Wii and a Wii fit.  I've heard a lot of good things about them and the size is something that could be easily stowed away at my house.  Now the problem is coming up with the $$$ for one.  I know I'm making a lot of excuses, and I also fully admit that unless I'm willing to do something I just have to accept my weight and live with it, but I'd prefer to figure something out instead. 

Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better Than You!

I am so frustrated right now with customer service reps it makes me want to yell and throw something.  I deal with customers, helping them solve stuff and I really do try to be as helpful as possible and I've been told I do a great job.  Awesome!  And then I get customer service reps who say, "Oh, that's not my job.  I just do..." And when they are enlisted to fix my problem only give me a solution that's really 95% unacceptable and just doesn't work and refuses to understand why I can't be more like them.  I'm just super frustrated and want to yell at someone or something - so no one should call me because I won't be a friendly customer service person - except I went on lunch right after all of this happened so the world was saved from my tickedoffedness.  This has yet caused more issues because something got uninstalled for IE8 and I had to spend an hour figuring it all out before now the two browsers will coexist without sucker-punching each other.  Blah!

For the most part I am feeling better, but it's in waves.  For a while my head will sort of explode in sneezes and sniffles and I'll feel icky - then I'm just fine.  Got really bad yesterday afternoon so I called the church and said maybe it wasn't a great idea for me to be there last night considering my immune system was probably all weak and kids carry everything - also that I was sneezing and kids catch everything.  It seemed in everyone's best interest if I just stayed home.  Which was good because I watched the latest episode of Kamen Rider W. The female lead still annoys me, I still really like the two detectives, and the Dopants are pretty nifty.  I do, however, want green slippers now.  Also got the apartment mostly cleaned up.  I need to finish washing clothes, put them away and vacuum everything.  Between sewing and having snippets of thread in places, bits of trimmed yarn and the normal Chinchilla mess it's necessary that it happens today.  Also want things tidied up since people are meeting at my place to go to the Pocket Sandwich Theater tonight.  I'm excited about this, personally.  I always love their popcorn throwing plays.

I downloaded TweetDeck last night - I think that might have been a bad idea - yet another thing to distract me from everything else I should be doing. It like, turns Twitter into an instant messenger and makes it far too easy to use and organize - key word: organize! I like to organize things and make them custom to how I like it and when I can do that, I'm more likely to use something.  It makes me wonder if I shouldn't have separate twitters for things like NaNo that's for a specific group or whatnot...I wonder if it's too late to do this.....

Yes, this is a dismally uninteresting blog.  However, most of the excitement that has been happening has been in my head and figuring out stuff for my NaNo novel.  I'm getting more and more excited about it and slowly wondering if I'm more excited about the world building than the actual writing of the book. Makes me wonder how it will go!

Help me with some development for my NaNo novel!

Well, I need to create the religion for my novel. So - what I need are some really crazy things this culture can't do or has to do because of religion. Be creative, I want some of this to be really rediculous. The novel is very early Victorian and slightly Steampunk in nature and religion is very, very important and the entire country is guided by a triad government which the most powerful person is the head of the church.
Now gimme something good!

What day is it again?

*note - I held off posting this yesterday because I wanted to include pictures for reference  :)

I have to keep reminding myself today is just Tuesday.  I feel very unconnected and confused about dates and times.  I took yesterday off just because.  I could have come in, but I was just physically so exhausted and icky that it was a better to just take the day off and stay at home.  I watched two movies: Valkyrie and My Bestfriends Girl.  I was dreading watching Valkyrie because it had Tom Cruise in it and I sort of lothe him and find his performances lacking - but there was something about his character that really worked and I liked the movie.  My Bestfriends Girl, however, I hated.  Really - I could have stomached the humor, but it was the rediculous ending I couldn't accept or be happy with.  Really, a guy is going to fall in love with a girl, get his bestfriend to date her and when they really do click everything will be okay, some way, somehow - because they are in love? Yeah, with all the issues the characters had - it was stupid and rediculous and should have ended as badly as it was written.  Yeah, that's what I think.

I also picked out all the stitching I did the other night on the Bridesmaid dress and got it almost completely done - which makes me so very excited.  I just need to have someone help me pin the hem and finish that bit up and we're set!  I have learned a very important lesson: beaded fabrics and sheer fabrics in general are a big no-no.  I'm going to have to wear something under it so it doesn't scratch me raw.  My own fault, not blaming anyone else! It does look very pretty, though.

And I kept knitting on my new scarf project for Sam - my knitting in the round scarf.  I realize I need a row counter.  I'm keeping tallies on a sheet of paper and I'm pretty sure I have yet to do exactly 20 rows of one color before switching to the other.

Played around with the yWriter software more and it's really helped me think through some of my story. I added a lot into the middle where I'd sort of lost sight of what was going on and I think I have the ending part down, though that bit is completely up in the air and I can do a lot with it.  That's where I'm incorporating a lot of my more absurd ideas.  I really need to make some of my dislikeable characters - which is really hard for me, but I need some.

sickly weekends

It's getting close to 2am and I still cannot sleep.  It hasn't been anywhere near as crazy a weekend as I anticipated it would be, but it was still kinda crazy.  Friday was the Halloween party and it was really awesome.  I had fun hanging out with people and rocking my awesome Bearded Lady costume.  Yes, I was the Bearded Lady!  It went over surprisingly well, I was pleased.  Many people were jealous of my amazing carpet.  I sort of felt achy and soar throatish, but considering the best place to be was out on the patio because the house was so packed, I chalked it up to being outside and having to yell over music and people to have a conversation. 

Woke up Saturday and well - I was really sick.  I felt awful, took medicine and sort of meandered around the place, putting stuff away and making a pitiful attempt at cleaning up my place.  Canceled working at the church and hanging out with people to just curl up on my couch and try to feel better.  I didn't get any sewing done at all, which was a huge bummer, I didn't feel up to messing with it at all.  I did get dishes washed and some other stuff done.

Today was the NaNo party.  I got up in time to get ready to go and make it there on time.  I must have taken my cold medicine too soon because I was a bit over-medicated and super loopy for most of the party - which was a bummer.  The party was fun, we ate stuff and talked, met people, and played a fun genre game.  Getting really excited for NaNo!  I downloaded this program called yWriter, which is supposedly a word processor for writing books.  I don't think I will be writing my actual novel in it, but the organizational parts of it are great and really help me.  It's free so I've downloaded it and I'm outlining more of my story, thinking some of it through and what not, setting up a more detailed out line.  I also setup a Dropbox, which will be useful for synchronizing my laptop to any other computer that has a Dropbox.

After the party I went over to my friend Kara's place and we hung out.  Got to watch the latest Tool Academy - the Tool I wanted to see gone finally got the boot.  I know who I want to see win.  We'll see how it all shakes loose.

I'm going to try sleeping soon, but I'm not sleepy and feel crappy.

frusterating fittings and facings

Yes, I changed my layout - again! The Halloween one was getting on my nerves and just looked silly.  No, this one isn't tons better but I like it more and yes, the banner is silly and I did make it myself.  For Facebook readers just imagine fun pictures around these words, kay?  :)

I'm going to point to InkyGirl again today, she clued in on a 60-second-writing tool that I'm very interested in trying out later.  Right now I don't have the concentration to stay dedicated to one thought for that long.  (It's taken me several attempts to write this much today).  Also, my pastor's wife, Lisa Young was on the the Today Show, yesterday and he blogs about it here.  The interview is very short, if you fast forward through where they talk about other prominant women in the Christian community, but it's good and reminds me why I like them even though I've never met either.

They bring up an interesting point - how working women are much less likely to attend church while women who do attend church are more likely to not be in the workplace.  I'm not sure what that says as far as a social dynamic, but I find it interesting.

In completely unrelated news! I picked out yarn for a friend's scarf - now he doesn't know what colors so there won't be pictures of it until the scarf is finished and ready for delivery/pick-up.  I'm going to try something a bit different with this one and that is knitting it in a circle.  I've read over on The Well-Dressed Hedgehog about her experiences knitting in the round and I've looked at some other things so we'll see how I manage.  I think it'll be okay, but I'm also thinking I need two more skiens of yarn... I didn't think I'd get to it until Saturday but after a frusterating night last night I started it and did about six rows, so it's at least started.  It won't get a lot of attention though until after I finish The Dress.  I'm also just going to give in and pay for knitting lessons, though it'll be more like December or January before I make the effort because there's just too much going on during November and I have enough scarves I can knit to keep my knitting itch satisfied.

Tonight, after the block party for finishing the updates at my apartment complex - I started the charge to finish the bridesmaid dress I've been stalling over.  It's time I finish it and get my apartment back to looking nice - and not like a hobo lives there! I also need to do t-shirt surgery on my NaNoWriMo shirt since it's far too large to be much fun wearing and our kick-off is on Sunday.  I will be baking cookies and maybe a cake if I feel like going and looking at fun pans and getting all the necessary items for that - which probably means no cake!  I have a lot of stuff going as it is for the next month!

Anyways, the dress... I decided that I didn't want to run the thread through the fabric where you would see it in order to hem the dress, so I cut another piece of the plum poplin and made a facing out of it.  I am at a loss for words how to describe it easily to someone who doesn't know anything about sewing so I'm going to pretend everyone knows what I'm talking about...  So the facign was a TERRIBLE idea to add; for some reason it makes everything lay funny, it won't sit right, and it makes the straps and zipper difficult to deal with.  I absolutly hate the straps that come with the pattern; they are designed to have a slight curve to them, the idea is that the curve will help them stay up and on the shoulders easier.  On me, while the inner edge of the strap is flush with my skin, the outside part of the strap is an inch to an inch and a half above my shoulder.  It looks silly.  I did - however - manage an amazing zipper job so I'm bummed about loosing that sucess to the fact that I'll have to rip out the facing and straps.  (The zipper must come out because the facing connects to it.  I *can* only rip out the top part and resew only that little bit - we'll see)

For a while I was agonizing over making the bodice fit snugly, but then stepped back and realized that the dress has a billowy figure anyways, so having the bodice fit like a glove and the rest loose and flowy was silly.  There's enough shape to the bodice that me having difficulty breathing is silly.  Plus, without the facing, if I really feel the need, I can always tack in the side seams a hair. 

As tonight is the Halloween party and my magnificant costume, it's going to be Saturday until I can finish the dress, and I'm going to push myself to do just that.  Finish the dress and clean the place.  If I can't finish my latest novelette like I'd planned before NaNo, I'm going to finish this stinking dress!  It also needs to be dry-cleaned I believe, there's some strange spots on the poplin that I have no idea where they came from and now I'm too nervous about it to just wash it outright in my own washer.

Hermeneutics - an explanation and a rant.

I feel like talking hermeneutics, now I'm not doing a whole lot of research as I type this, I'm just sort of talking out of my own experiences and studies here so I may get some terms crossed; hermeneutics and exegesis were used almost interchangibly in some of my experiences.  Hermeneutics, which I misspell regularly, is basically interpreting the Bible; a few years before I took Hermeneutics at SAGU they changed it to Biblical Interpretation or Interpreting the Bible, I forget - but it wasn't called Hermeneutics and I was sort of bummed.  I wanted to be all fancy and say, "Oh, excuse me, I have to get to Hermeneutics now."  Not really, that was a silly statement.  Anyways, Hermeneutics - I would have liked to have taken further classes in it but the offerings in the Undergrad Program were a little sparce.  Basically what it is is looking at a passage of scripture, I think we went through Psalm 1 in that class, and bringing out the historical context of the passage, extracting the central idea of the text - or principal, and communicating that by bridging the gap of time and culture.

You see, the Bible was written as instruction, letters, documents, journals, and other forms at the point of conception.  It was written during a specific time and place and to a person or people who were dealing with very real circumstances.  Using commentaries on the scripture, books on the historical period of the writing, and other texts, crossreferencing a passage you can begin to get more understanding of what was really being communicated.  The English language is much, much different from the origional languages the Bible was written in and some things just do not translate well at all, which is unfortunate.  In our language we have only one real word for love - love.  You can "love" someone, and depending on body language, connotations of culture and intention it can mean a world of different things.  That's about as far as we can get.  In the Bible there are several different ways of saying love, each communicating something different that is lost when all are simply translated as love.  "I love you," coming from God as opposed to a spouce is very different, just as in saying, "I love you," to your child is very different from telling your morning cup of coffee you love it.  Also, somethings were written to a people who were living in other cultures, lost or imprisoned or persecuted and that doesn't really communicate to every day America very well.

The key comes in looking at the different elements of a passage, really understanding the setting and people and mood, and then figure out the main idea, or the BIG idea of what was being communicated.  Often it should be condensed into one, simple sentence a person can communicate to another easily.  Lets take tattoos since people always like to quote that at me.  In Leviticus the writer was writing to the Hebrews who were living among a people who tattood themselve in memory and worship of their ancestors - thus when the Hebrews began doing this they were participating in ancestor worship - which is a no-no.  For a long time women were not allowed to uncover their heads in church - they had to wear hats.  That was because in the Old Testament it was considered offensive because woman came from man and was man's glory where man was God's glory.  Women covering their heads was a sign of respect, except it became twisted and for hundreds of years a woman with an uncovered head was very, very taboo.  The writer of Leviticus was reminding the Hebrews that they served one God and should not fall into idolitry.

Learning how to communicate the Bible to modern culture is difficult and many flounder and fail - but not for a lack of trying.  Digesting the Bible, researching and finding out what it really says is a long and very labor intensive process; I personally love it! I love learning new stuff - it's fascinating!  Combing through all of that information for the real nugget of what the writer was trying to communicate can take a very, very long time because you're looking for the main thing, not for the thing you want to talk about or promote.  Communicating timeless principals takes time and great care.  We had to read a book called Preaching with Freshness in my Biblical Preaching class and it was amazing; the author really communicated a dry subject with color and life that made me want to follow his lead.  Exegetical preaching is my favorite.  I really like how hermeneutics and exegesis work together to dig out the "meat" and serve it piping hot.

My last semester at SAGU I was asked to preach for Campus Days, and I remember being so honored and flattered.  I spent hours upon hours combing over the message I was going to give - fully aware that everyone expected something of me.  I know people were expecting me to have power point, video, props, people, and maybe a skit - so when I went up there with a few sheets of paper, a duct-taped Bible and just a mic at least half of the audience of 5,000 probably wondered what had happened with me.  Sometimes those are good ways to communicate what you want to say - but I had something to say that didn't need those - that would only be a distraction.  I can still remember the title of the message, "Today is the Tomorrow that we Worried About Yesterday."  Yeah, try saying that a bunch of times.  The idea I wanted to communicate was something alone the lines of: what are you really thinking about? Stop and smell the roses.  I had three points and I took extra time and revamped my message so that I spoke to the visiting highschool kids, the student body, the visiting ministers, and the faculty of the college.  I remember the hours I spent with teachers on the research, how many times I practices and asked oppinions and when it was all said and done - I still go back to school and people remember what I said.  It's sort of freaky - I don't mind being in front of people, but I don't need it.  Instead I choose to be flattered that I really did my homework; that I studeied the text, I figured out the Big Idea, and I communicated it to exactly where my audience was in such a way that it impacted them, or they were able to carry it away with them to chew on later.

I think what bothers me so much about some of the things I've seen on blogs and twitter over the last two or three days is that people aren't carrying with them the pieces they've heard - or they aren't even hearing them communicated in such a manner that they can be digested.  I think too many people who do bother to go to church are hearing a lot of stuff they just can't understand or connect to.  I think that's one reason why my church is growing and continues to be so big; our pastor speaks to where people are.  I'm not a huge fan of topical messages, and sometimes I feel like I'm not hearing enough heavy stuff, but I also have to keep in mind that I want to talk origional languages, history, context and root meanings - not everyone is into that sort of stuff.

Really I feel like too many people miss the big picture: Love God, Love People.  That was my old church's motto, so much the youth pastor got it tattoo'd on him, twice I think!  Far too much time is spent worrying over what books or music is acceptable or what people look like - focusing too much on what's out side and not enough on what's inside.  I love to sit and talk to people; I've had some of the most fascinating conversations talking to people at places like Buffalo Wild Wings while my friends drank a beer and I sipped on my water and we talked God.  People don't want to be hussled or yanked about like our parents and grandparends were; I don't know if the play Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames would be as sucessful now as it was then - the scare tactics aren't as scary as the Saw series, or Quarantine or any other horror/thriller.  I really feel that people need to be communicated to like adults, and not have things dumbed down so much.  Telling people they're living in sin or doing sinful things entices no guilt in today's culture.

Yes, I'm poking my finger at a lot of stuff that has me sort of ranting and whatnot.  There are no quick fixes; denominations are too far estranged or entrinched over their doctrines, people are living their lives to some degree of happiness and the world continues to turn on in time.  I just needed to vent my frusterations, again.

blogging about other blogs

Okay - so I'm going to promote some other blogs really quick.

First up, Criss - a fellow NaNo'r and a local ML - posted this small blog and video on how to confront racism, or sexism or whatever it is that's going on in a very tactful manner.  I think it's good advice and something many people wouldn't clue in on that a person's actions might not define their person and there are better ways to deal with something than just pointing fingers - because once a finger is pointed someone gets defensive!  I really like her blogs - you might need thick skin to read some of what she says, but I like oppinions and she's very oppinionated.  Her latest blog hit a growing frusteration in me with some of the silly things that go on in Christian culture.  InkyGirl - who I think I've mentioned often enough that everyone knows I'm a fan of her - posted a blog with a video about a Church Book Burning for Halloween, where they are burning everything from Harry Potter to Billy Grahm and all translations of the Bible save for KJV.  I won't rant on it since I did include my comments on both of those last blogs in their comments and if you're that interested in my oppinions you can read them there instead of me hammering it all out again.

Also, if you aren't familiar with the International Justice Mission I would strongly suggest poking around their site.  They posted a report about eight persons who were rescued from slavery in Chennai, India.  I really have problems reading this sort of thing and not getting upset.  I know a lot of the time I kick myself for having such a tender response to stories like this, but I just can't help it.  They do a lot of work internationally to get rid of slavery, human trafficking and a lot of other things that people might not realize we can change.

Lastly, a story that made me cry.  I refuse to not feel moved by stories of people who are in the military and their experiences.  I still cry every night when they run through the lists of people who have been killed overseas in the last few months and every time they do a story on someone locally who was killed during their service I get really choked up and cry.  This was posted on the NaNoWriMo site a few days ago and I just read it yesterday.  It's really good to hear about how people can stick together and make it happen.  Basically this woman in the Marines was stuck doing forward pushes during NaNo and hand wrote her entire novel and through the combined efforts of her fellow Marines she was able to get her hand written novel typed up, and flown on several helicopters to be validated and registered as a NaNoWriMo winner.  I don't know why I tear up at stuff like this - but I'm at least at a point now in my life where I don't feel self conscious about admitting that this story really inspires me.  I wanna do the Time Warp.  :)

I spent the better part of the last two days with one of the worst migraines I've ever experienced.  My mother is now over reacting and thinks something is dreadfully wrong with me - because my head hurt.  I got the full gambit of questions; where did it hurt? How did it hurt? Did it hurt from the back of your head? Behind your eyes? Did you experience tunnel vision? Were colors more bright than normal?  Really.....my head hurt real bad, it pounded all over, and when it was finally gone it was gone.  That's it.  If they continue then yes, I would see a doctor, but considering it's the first time in years and years and years that this has happened - not that big of a deal! Crossing my fingers it stays away and there isn't another episode.

My calendar is looking rather full now.  Today I have my tattoo work, tomorrow is The Mix at church, Thursday is The Office, and Friday is the Homegroup Halloween Party. That's not even touching on this weekend which is Church on Saturday - don't know if I'm volunteering or anything - and Sunday is the NaNo Kick-Off Party and Patrick will be in town sometime Saturday and Sunday and I'll work in hanging out with him somewhere; not sure where but yeah.  Things are getting busy....  I'm a little worried since I've gone to such great lengths to ensure my November will be conducive to a good writing schedule and now I suddenly feel like it's all moot because I'm going to be real busy.  I really, really want to win at NaNo, I'm going to need a lot of encouragement from my Writing Buddies I think...

Oh - and now I have to come up with a Halloween costume... I don't think my SCA gown will work, and going as a Derby Diva is just sort of boring to me.  I'm starting to fret about that - and it's only a few days away! I wonder if I could sew something....Or what would I sew if that's what I wanna do?  *fretsfretsfrets*  I GOT IT! Oh my goodness - my costume will blow your mind.  Look for pictures next week!

Twilight....no one told me this was a comedy!

I finally saw Twilight - and I don't get it.  Really - I don't.  I think I laughed through most of it - Amanda offered for me to go see New Moon with her roommate and her - I think I would get lynched if I went to the midnight showing.  I just really thought the whole thing was a bit ridiculous.  Bella was a brat - from the perspective of the movie she has tons of people who are trying to be friendly with her and instead she would prefer to be all angsty and alone and selfish and whatnot.  The guy - Edward - can you say pedophile? The glittering made me laugh so hard my head started to hurt again.  I did think the baseball bit was very ingenious and I applaud the author for that bit.  The rest of it I just thought was odd and not that great.  It doesn't seem to me that the characters learn from their actions.  The relationship Bella and Edward share, the complete infatuation, just seems unhealthy - but I guess that's part of the story - their crazy infatuation drives them to do silly things.  Please keep in mind I know nothing about the story other than what I saw in the movie and the trailer for the new movie.  I was not impressed or tempted to spend my money on the books and invest the time required to read them.

Migraine Monday's

Okay, this isn't my best morning, especially to undertake something like write a blog which involves me thinking back through the last few muddled hours to whatever I did whenever - but I'm gonna do it!

Treated myself to a small shopping trip to Target and got more than I intended, but I'm super happy with everything I bought - so that's a good thing, right?  I hope so - I've already worn most of the stuff I bought! LoL.  Got to see Couple's Retreat Friday with Amanda and Sarah - unfortunatly it was a bit of a disappointment; I'd expected funnier by far.  There were some very funny parts and plenty of chuckles to go around, but not the deep insanity I felt the movie had been capable of.  Oh well, there are several other movies that are out or coming out I want to see so there's something else to look forward to!

Saturday I thought would be more productive.  I got up at a reasonable hour and did some cleaning up of the apartment.  Not enough, honestly, but it was Saturday morning! I do recall finishing my brothers scarf, which is quite longer than I thought I'd make it, but oh well!  I watched Dragonball Evolution; I really don't recall putting it on my Netflix or even why I would want to watch it.  The first few minutes were rather painful to watch, but a friend I was IMing who had seen it suggested I watch it like I'd watch any 80's cheesy movie; that helped and I actually enjoyed it.  It's jam packed with cheese, but it was still a nice, short movie that fit into my Saturday really nicely.  I think that's about all I did that was really useful.  I got ready, actually curled my hair! That doesn't happen very often.

I got these two fun little headbands with embellishments on them; one has a flower that when worn actually is almost flush with your skull.  I don't like big, poofy stuff.  Another one is a crust of seed beads and some garnet stones, very a-la-Roaring 20's I think.  With my hair curled and down it looked super nifty. 

I volunteered at church this weekend and boy was that interesting.  I worked with the media department.  Call time Saturday was 3:30 - service was at 6 and we seriously practiced the service from before I got there until about 5:45.  Really!  I was supposed to do A4V training but they were short grips so I was a grip; this means I helped move a pedal board on stage and off stage twice, spent the rest of the time in a side-room watching the service.  It was alright, nothing amazingly difficult, but necessary to how Fellowship does stuff.

Sunday I was at the church a little after 8am and actually did A4V training.  I really wish I could have been in there on Saturday to test drive the equipment during rehersals since my training was watching the other guy run the Nuendo programt he first service and than handing it over to me for the second.  I jacked up a second of the recording and I hate that it happened.  All the shortcuts for ProTools that I know don't translate to Nuendo.

Now unless you have some audio program knowledge you're probably going "Huh?".  Let me explain!  The audio set-up at Fellowship is pretty cool.  There are three audio boards going at the same time.  One board is backstage and caters to the monitors and the hearback systems so the band and speakers can hear themselves.  I, personally, really like monitors and secretly hope they need someone back there to help out with stuff because I'd like to do that.  Then there is the ever obvious Front-of-House board that controls what the audience hears.  I think that's rather self-explanitory.  They  mix for the life audience.  What isn't really normal for even most big churches is the A4V board.  They have a digital board where they record the audio for reproduction.  Now in order to reproduce something, the have to record it somewhere.  I am acustomed to using an audio software called ProTools which is Mac based. I really like it, it's what I learned on, it's what I'm really comfortable using.  However, there are other programs out there.  Fellowship uses Nuendo, which I've only ever opened, looked at, said "That's cool," and closed it.  So I'm not really comfortable using it since my fingers want to do things frum muscle memory since the work space looks very similar to ProTools.  That's bad because what the I key does in ProTools isn't the same thing in Nuendo!  It was still really cool to sort of learn it on the fly like that but I think I'll google the Nuendo manuel and read up on it and the shortcuts before I go back so I don't make the same dumb mistakes.

So there were two services Sunday and afterwards I just wasn't feeling well. A headach had set in sometime around the end of the first service and had just gotten more and more terrible through the second service.  I left church, swung by Target to buy a sweater I'd said no to on Friday that I just really, really, really wanted and standing in line to pay I felt very, seriously physically ill my head hurt so bad.  Got the sweater, went home and curled up on my couch for a few minutes. I felt so bad I was nautious but I hadn't eaten anything since about 8am.  Forced myself to eat a peanutbutter & bannanna sammitch and curled up in bed for half an hour.  Got up, felt even worse, finally tood some Excedrine and drank two bottles of water just in case I was dehydrated or something.  Even though I felt terrible I still went to Group Sync; I was the first person there besides the group leaders so I sort of felt bad for getting there so early but they're nice people and we chitchatted about how poorly I was feeling! Such a thrilling topic, I know!  I really regretted coming after the group started, you never realize how loud some people are until your head hurts.  Towards the end of the time I felt better and joined the group going out to eat Chinese food.  Poor Sam - he had to listen to us talk about girl stuff and I'm sure it was more than just a little weird for him at times.

Theeeeeeen I went back to my other friend's house and we watched the last two Tool Academy episodes, which was really exciting.  One of the guys I really wanted to see succeed got kicked off and the results really were not pretty.  However, the couple I want to win the whole thing are still in and looking really good.  Tool Academy 3 is being casted right now, which makes me super excited to know that there will be another season to fanfare about and make an event out of.  :)

Last night the migraine came back and I emailed into work, only to recall that I'm supposed to be the only person here - so I really have to come in, even though I would much prefer to curl up in a box, under my desk and wrap my sweater around my head.  I can make it 8 hours - really I can....


I realize as I'm starting to schedual when I'm volunteering at church that - I need a new planner or system of keeping track of dates.  I have a kitchen white-board where I keep track of stuff that's super handy with it's cork-board and little area to scribble notes - but I can't carry it around with me!  I used to carry around a large, blue leather one when I was juggling school, derby, work and everything else.  When I dropped down to just derby and work I got a smaller one that's now been all used up and I've sort of just been coasting by and 'remembering' what is happening when.  I think that's about to get really out of hand.  I don't have the internet on my phone anymore so using something like Airset is out and the calendar on my phone is just sort of a hastle because it doesn't synch with my Vista laptop.  I'm slowly starting to want an iPhone which I really don't want - except everything in the world is made for an iPhone now.  Of course I wonder if I can afford one, what with them costing aroud $200 and then the monthly charges for things like unlimited texts which I would need.  See, I also want a GPS for Christmas - but with an iPhone you get it all.  It's so frusterating.  I don't really want an iPhone - except I'm just being obstinate by not getting one.

I'm also getting more and more frusterated with knitting.  I really like knitting, and I would love to understand the whole knittese language - but everyone charges a hefty sum for simple knitting lessons.  I'd love to take a real class on knitting but I really can't afford what people are asking right now.  I'm going to have to really push myself to muddling through self-help videos online which are good, but sometimes I just can't get it exactly right.  I think I'm pretty close - but it's sort of clear that by the knot of yarn that gets pushed around that what I'm knitting looks nothing like what the person in the video is working on.  I think I'll have to worry about knitting in December as November will be plenty busy enough.

NaNo - I just want to keep upbeat and remind myself it's right around the corner.  Thursday InkyGirl shared this link with really good information on how to create better characters via her Twitter.  A lot of it to me is sort of obvious stuff, but sometimes reading it again helps reinforce something or gives you a new idea.  I really need to sit down and define my characters; the world has progressed a good deal, but the characters are far behind that.  I need to fix it.  Maybe tomorrow, though it might be next week before I really get there.  I'm getting some good ideas for how to develop Rocco, but Nattie needs some help - and she's the MC!!!

I had the grand idea to go home yesterday, grab my camera and take a nice walk around the park, snapping pictures for practice and getting a good, long walk in.  However, as I passed the park on my way home, it was all taped off and there was a full fledged production crew there and they were pointing mommy's with buggies away from the park and on down the road.  I figured going there would be a bad idea, especially if I had a camera in hand - so instead I did things like: wash dishes, clean the kitchen, pick up salvedge material, get all my pattern pieces in one spot, take out the trash, lots of small things that went a long way in making my place look much, much neater.

However, everyone who was supposed to come over sort of forgot to tell me they weren't coming until - I had steaks in the oven already.  I wasn't exactly thrilled because I don't know if I can really eat all that meat before it goes bad now without eating more than I should to just prevent it going bad.  Blah.  The Office was grand though. 

This weekend will be busy, busy, busy.  I have the shopping itch so I'm thinking of going to Target and poking around a bit before heading home.  If I have time I want to go for that walk with my camera before I meet up with people to go see a movie or go hang out or something.  There are very loose plans.  Saturday I'm hoping to get over to the yarn shop in Dallas to look around a bit and then back home to get ready for church.  I'm doing AV training and the new series is about being the biggest fans.  I think I'm going to wear my derby shirt and take my skates incase I want to stay for the tailgate party later.  I think that could be fun since I don't really know anyone; just skate around the parkinglot and stop and talk to people.  I have outdoor wheels and I can change them myself so it shouldn't be a problem.  Plus it would probably be good for me to get out and skate a bit.  Sunday is similar in that I'm volunteering at church and then have small group tomorrow night.  I'll probably go straight home and collapse on my couch and go to sleep early.  So busy times ahead of me!

tracking numbers people!

All I knew Tuesday was that my camera had been shipped, I didn't have a shipping number or anything.  I wish I did because then I wouldn't be calculating the probability of when it would get here.  Well, if I did have a tracking number I'd probably be like this.  Yeah, I'm easily amused.  I got it yesterday but only had time go to buy film before I had to head out, already late to where I was going.  Crazy days!
My dad had surgery Tuesday and all accounts say he's doing fine.  My mom was there with him. Apparently after he came out of the surgery he was very surprised that he was in such a state that he would not be able to care for himself; this was very surprising - at least to him.  We knew he would be out of commission for at least a day, my mother and I politely snickered out of sight.  I love my dad.

My sister is in a custody hearing today as well as yesterday over her daughter.  That's all I'm going to say on that sensitive subject other than prayers would be appreciated.

So I ran to Kroger for something Monday I believe and now I really feel like the holidays have arrived; Promised Land milk co has released their Cinnomon Vanilla milk - which is a seasonal item only.  I love their dark chocolate milk - who else has DARK chocolate milk? No one I know of! It's amazing!  Anyways, their CV milk is great too and I couldn't help myself.  They come in small 2 serving containers only and I'm okay with that.  I can't drink a whole lot of milk - even of the flavored variety, but occasionally it's a great treat!

I keep trying to remind myself to blog about these funny things that keep happening to me, but when I sit down to actually do just that I just sort of forget everything.  It's frusterating.

So I'm fairly obsessed with all things NaNo right now.  I've just about slacked off all my other writing responsibilities, which I warned people about nearly a month ago.  Instead now I'm piddling out one of my ideas I had for NaNo but thought it would loose juice after 15,000 words - I think I might have been wrong, but it's not really something I would have like to have dedicated a whole month to developing.  I'm slightly concerned I might have a too serious idea and I might dig myself a hole with it, but I do believe in this 'world' I've created for the story to take place in and that it's a good idea.  I've started following my fellow DFW NaNo Rhinos (apparently the Rhino is our mascot) on Twitter.  I've sold out fairly quickly - thank you very much.  I've streamlined so my Twitter updates my Facebook and Myspace status; granted I don't check Myspace but like once a month, at least it's getting some action now. 

I recognize that I'm very addicted to Inkygirl.  I keep getting dragged into her links to blogs and articles about writing and all sorts of crazy things.  It sparked a conversation with a friend and the idea was produced that I might be a good book editor - but I'm not sure that I would like to loose my desire to read because that's what I do for a living.  I duno - it's an interesting idea and I won't lie - it's tempting - but it's something that needs to marinate.

Volunteered at church last night! At the youth group.  Got there late apparently - wasn't sure when I needed to be there so I just showed up.  Wound up helping a guy named David and he showed me how to run the check-in kiosk.  It was cool.  Met a few people, probably won't recall any names next week - but I have established that I'll be there.  For now I'm a Greeter - hurray! Basically I walk around and talk to people and whatnot and I can stay for the service or leave.  I've also talked about helping out in the coffee shop.  I'm supposed to talk to the media coordinator for when I'll work with them too.  Looks like I'm going to be getting busy!

Oh gosh - how is it Thursday already?  I'm starting a body-detox thing; one of those Acai berry thinggies.  NOT DIET PILLS - a body detox.  Dear lord, I said I was doing that last night and got the full brunt of someones wrath about how I was screwing up my body.  By trying to get toxins OUT of it?  Okay.  Yes, you do loose weight when you loose the toxins, but I'm doing this because even exercising and cutting back on portion sizes isn't doing anything.  The idea is that I'll get rid of the toxins so my system can only be handling my intake.  It makes sense in my head.  I'm sort of anticipating it'll make me a little cranky - but it's only two weeks.  Hopefully now that the weather has cleared I can go for another power-walk in the park.  Hoping to take the new camera along today and snap some test pictures.  It's a cute little park, so it will probably be a lot of nature shots and pictures of the ducks, but I need practice on this type of camera again.  The focus is very different.

The Office is tonight, my place is still a mess - and all because I've sort of been ignoring The Dress.  I need to put the straps on, hem the top of the dress, put the zipper in and zigzag the edges on the skirt seams and then hem it and I believe at that point I'm done.  I think it's going to go for a professional dry clean after that and then sit in a protective baggie until the wedding.  However, it needs to be finished and I need to start working on that. Blah.  I'll work on it tonight, and probably knit some. 

Haven't really made any plans for the weekend other than church activities.  Toying with the idea of driving up to the yarn shop in Dallas and poking around there.  A certain someone requested a scarf so since my brother's is almost finished I figured I have time on my hands to do something per request. I have the idea of doing some scarves as Christmas presents too, so I guess I need to start working on that project... Oh - and I should be getting Twilight in on Netflix sometime before the weekend; I can finally figure out what some of the craze is about it.  I very much doubt I will read the books - I've heard too much how flat the characters are and how little real development goes on.  I feel like if I really had to read it I would roll my eyes and suffer through it - so I'll just watch the movie.  ^__^

I am looking forward to The Vampire's Assistant and I'm really looking forward to Monty Phython's Terry Gillman's film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, which is also Heath Ledger's last movie.  Johnny Depp, Jude Law and Colin Farrell all supposedly stepped in to help finish the film after Ledger's untimely death.  We still have yet to see Couple's Retreat so I'm going to give a little push to the girls about going and seeing it this weekend or else giving up on it in favor of the one's I'm more interested in seeing.

Anyways - off to work I go!  Full day ahead of me since today is Webinar day.

some days you just......

Okay, so I saw this and it made me giggle.  I'm not a Grammar Nerd, but I find it funny.  Also, my friend sent me this.  I request it for my birthday.

Well my dad is in surgery today, so just a bit nervous for him, even though it's not a big deal - someone's still cutting my daddy to bits and that makes me nervous.  He's having like three sleep apnea corrective procedures done all at once and will be a bit cranky for like the next month probably - even though the doctor says he should be fine in a few days.  If it's an excuse to be cranky - he'll take it! I love my dad.  :)

Mondays are always weird.  Yesterday I woke up just fine, got to work and got a bunch of stuff done all at once and then it took me the entire afternoon to do like, one thing.  I guess I burned myself out doing everything else too quickly.  I'm also far too critical of my own work - I think it's sloppy and I should do a much better job.  Mistakes annoy me and I get really upset with myself.  That should be a goal - establishing a steady work pace and go with it.

One exciting note about yesterday, I'm jonesing so much for NaNo I went on and started this ridiculous shortish story.  In my head it's a spin off of Beauty and the Beast, though I think it's been warped enough now that it's not really that similar to it.  The first two sections are on my Booksie page - and it's called Beauty and the Beast - Or Not for now - I think it needs a more fitting title.  It's very silly and nothing in it is supposed to make perfect sense; it's really just supposed to be funny.  I really should have revised it before putting it up because I think the intro is a bit rushed but I really don't want to take forever getting the story set up when the actual story shouldn't be that long.  I'm toying with the idea of doing a lot of short stories that continue after this and all sort of tie together.  ((as a side note, and so very selfish - if you do click through on the Booksie page, click the Like blue box at the bottom of each chapter.  it gets me better ratings and more searchability.))

Anyways!  My Olympus camera shipped, so I'm a bit excited about that.  It should probably be here by the end of the week.  I feel like there's a lot I should be saying but I'm drawing a blank.  I just really want to spend the day writing, so maybe that's where all my words have gone.

So I did my little two mile walk/jog thing on Saturday, and I think I might have strained something.  Which is weird and I suddenly feel extremely fat and horrible for that.  My hip joints actually hurt which I don't know - maybe it's from derby falls?  My shins also hurt, and it's been long enough I shouldn't still have stress fractures or anything.  It puzzles me.  If the weather stays clear I want to go out and just do a long, easy walk to just get out and do something now that I've given myself a little bit of time.  Using the gym at the apartment complex now that the weather's changed is just about impossible; there's always people in there and I just got tired of going back and back and back to see the same person using the equipment.  I'll have to figure out something else.

I got a new background for my laptop.  It's a looking towards NaNo one.  It's fun.  ^__^  I'm also quite entertained by a user named Inkygirl - she does comics.  (Countdown Continues, NaNoWriMo Prep, Countdown to NaNoWriMo Begins)  I think she's fantastic, and makes me giggle.

I believe tonight I will be seeing the latest episode of Tool Academy.  I'm very excited.  I love my trash TV.  I also have the latest episode of W downloaded but again, have yet to watch it.  Typical of me, I know.  I think my Netflix are coming in today too!  Geezes.  Tomorrow night I will be volunteering at church, so that should be interesting.  They're doing a Trunk or Treat on Halloween and I'm toying with the idea of participating and setting up my Jeep as a car to get candy out of.  I have speakers I could use to play music and stuff and I'm sure I would dress the Jeepie up and do something fun and silly for kids.  Maybe I could talk Kara into it and we could team up and use both our Jeeps for like one big, fun activity Trunk or Treat station.  I don't know - I'll talk to her tonight about it. 

I'm rambling and I need to get to work.  Ciao!

lazy weekends

Well it's defiantly the weekend!  I haven't left my apartment much, which doesn't really bother me.  It's rather chilly outside so staying in is just fine by me.  Cooked last night and watched Defiance; a movie on WWII Jews who survived in the forests of former USSR.  It was long, very good, inspiring, and depressing.  I'd suggest it if you like heavy drama.

Saturday started out with a jog - which turned into a two mile power walk.  For one, I need much better shoes to jog in and the trail at the park down the road goes up and down a lot; I'm too fat to jog that!  I came back to my apartment and made pancakes - I've never made pancakes before! My first one turned out...less than perfect. Ended up cutting it into bits and just dipping it into syrup since it was so deformed!  The others all came out pretty well! And yummy.  The leftovers are in the fridge to enjoy later! Today was really movie watching day.  I watched The Spirit, which I surprisingly enjoyed.  I'm not a fan of Eva Mendez, but I liked the movie.  I also watched an old, live action Beauty and the Beast.  I think I recall watching it on tv when I was much younger.  Did a church meeting for volunteering which was pretty cool.

I was really excited Friday night because I finished my teal scarf I was making for myself. I started on the mix charcoal scarf for my brother I hope to have done by the 24th when he gets here.  The idea is that I'll get to see him - we'll see if it happens!  Either way, the scarf is coming really well.  I was very happy when I didn't drop a stitch at all in the teal scarf and thus far the charcoal one's going great.  I'm making it wider and hopefully longer than a normal scarf since he lives where it's very cold and the idea really is for it to protect and keep warm.  Plus it's out of really fun, soft homespun stuff.  I made a marbley blue scarf out of something similar last year but it disappeared... "disappeared".

Started watching the cartoon Avatar thing since there's a movie coming out based on it.  I'm openly skeptical about anything M. Night Shyamalan does.  Except for The Village, I haven't liked anything he's done.  Of course I haven't seen all his stuff, just a few, but I remain unimpressed with what he does and most especially his attitude the handful of times I've seen him interviewed.  I haven't seen the entire cartoon show, but it's awfully cute and was good entertainment to have playing in the background a lot of the weekend.  I think I'm hesitantly looking forward to the actual movie.

While I'm talking about movies!  Saw Zombieland - finally! Oh my goodness I loved it!  Really, if zombies do ever spring up, I wanna be stuck with Tallahassee no matter how much he wants a twinkie.  I really liked the movie and was surprised by the lack of language and sexual content - really it's rated R for good ol zombie violence.  It wasn't even scary, really, which given how chicken I am about scary movies is awesome cuz I could probably watch this at home by myself and be okay with most of the lights off.  Granted I found the female leads sort of annoying, and I actually like Abigail Breslin, who was in Little Miss Sunshine. However, Woody Harrelson stole the show in my opinion as Tallahassee.  The rules for surviving zombie attacks were fun though I thought they could have played off them more.  Oh well, I loved it!

So all in all, a relaxing, lazy weekend.

Blackened Tilapia

Okay, so I've been telling my bachelor friend for a few weeks that I would do fish and I've not delivered.  Well I made Tilapia and a pilaf tonight.  Okay, so it wasn't really a pilaf, a pilaf is cooked in bouillon and mine wasn't but calling it pilaf makes it sound fancier.

  • Thawed Tilapia Fillets
  • Blackening Seasoning
  • Creole Seasoning (Optional)
  • Basil (Optional)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Butter
  • Rice (Minute Rice, Jasmine, Yellow, Brown)
  • Corn
  • Butter
  • Green Peas
  • Carrots
  • Pyrex Baking Dish
  • Two Small/Medium Sauce Pans
  • One Cup Measuring Cup
  • Spoons
  • Spatula

So you can get Tilapia frozen in bags of ten or so; one bag lasts me quite a while.  I don't love eating fish which is why I put so much stuff with it.  I'm slowly getting a taste for it.   Go about thawing your fillets, leaving them in the fridge or sitting out for a bit is the preferred way; I tend to soak mine in a lot of warm or hot water.  Once they're all nice and thawed out I pre-heat the oven.  Refer to the back of the bag of fillets for instructions.  This bag had 425 degrees, and cooking them for about 10 minutes.  I like to mist the pan with Pam; I had some issues with fish sticking to the pan before.

Now that the oven and pan are taken care of, lay the fillets down and apply a layer of the Blackening powder.  I use Old Bay, and I also apply a very thick coat of it.  For your first time, do a light dusting.  I like it laid on thick, personally.  Over this apply whatever other seasonings you want.  Salt and pepper I would highly recommend.  I added some Basil this time, simply because I had it and that's it.  I'm not altogether sure it did a whole lot for the fish, but it did for the rice - I'll get to that in a second.  This is your fish!

Pop the fish in the oven and think about the rice and veggies.  I did a simple rice and corn pilafish combo, but you can add green peas, carrots or whatever else you like.  I used normal, every day  minute rice I got from WalMart probably, but I've been told I should try Yellow Rice or Jasmine Rice, which I would like to eventually someday.  I prefer the mixed Gold and White corn that Del Monte has in most grocery stores.  When heating up the water for the rice I would suggest adding some Garlic Powder; this last time I added Basil and it was a good addition.  Drain all the water off of the corn when done and combine your rice and veggies.  This makes your pilaf!  When the fish is done and the veggies are done, you are done!

don't drink bong water. ever. okay?

Okay - I don't have a lot of political views worth talking about, nor do I really like to talk current events but I feel that things being brought up today just have to be touched on.  Incase you are not aware of the fact, President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize.  Sounds pretty spiffy huh? Yeah, that was my first reaction: Go Americans! Hurray!  But then I had to pause and wonder - read up on some articles.  You see, I make a point of watching at least one news cast a day.  It's a bit depressing at times but I want to at least be informed of what is going on in the world.  Today President Obama was supposed to meet with a General about sending more troups to Afghanistan; a large number if I remember correctly from last nights news.  As I was reading and watching stuff - I couldn't help but wonder if this is some sort of power-play on the world front.  You see, Obama really hasn't done much, he's said a lot of really good stuff, but we have yet to see the fruit of his words.  Basically he's being awarded something for his good intentions.  I think that while I applaud his win on this unexpected front, I have to say this is a bit premature.  We are entrenched in battles we can't get out of easily, our own country is on shaky ground, and they award him for thinking positive.  It just doesn't add up. 

While I couldn't find the exact speach given, apparently the awarding party said something that leads people to understand that the Nobel Committee was in fact tactfully saying they completely disagreed with the Bush Administration, and are awarding Obama for not being Bush.  I can't vouch for the accuracy of that, but it makes me wonder what other weight or invisible strings are attached to this award. Will it cripple Obama in the future as he attempts to live up to this award? Will he be ridiculed for not behaving or reacting as a Peace Laurette should react?  He's been awarded for his intentions and for what people think he will do - not for what he has done.  That's got to at least affect him somehow.  It's a great weight to have laid on his shoulders and while I believe that publicly he will act with grace, I wonder what this will do to him privately.  It's like Obama isn't even his own person anymore.  He's this world figure we all get to play dress-up with; Europeans want to see him as the Peace-Laurette, Americans want to see him as the Change-Bringer, Africans want to see him as their Road-to-Victory, how many hats can he wear?  It makes me worried.  America's at a very rocky period, I sort of want to be jealous and say - No, no, no world - he's OUR president (even though I didn't vote for him) not your icon - we'll take him back now - kthnxsbai!

Also, sort of big in the news, is that last night NASA shot a rocket at the moon; they're looking for water, not laser shooting aliens.  Now, I understand that finding water on other planets is important.  The wheels in my head churned out an interesting story idea I'll poke at later, but for now I'll stay on topic.  So finding water is important if we plan on space travel and leaving this planet.  However, we are spending billions of dollars on a war, people don't have jobs, and we're going to shoot a rocket at the moon to blow a big hole in it.  They shot a rocket at the south pole of the moon some days ago and it impacted last night.  As of yet there aren't any pictures, but NASA says it was a successful mission thus far and everything is functioning just fine.

I really feel like the logic of the world is failing today.  I'm sure I'm not the most informed person, but the information as I see it presented doesn't look all that good.  Like I said to Dani, it's like the entire world went out and drank bong water last night and then decided - hey, lets make some big decisions today! Crazy people.  I'm just a little less impressed with humanity today; maybe tomorrow will be better.

As a result I have been listening to NPR today; it's strange, I don't listen to all of it attentively, but it's interesting.  Really people just talking about stuff.

H1N1 seems like it's more deadly or at least we're realizing it's more deadly now.  I think I'm actually going to go get vaccinated for the normal flu.  Granted I don't really want to pay for it out of my own pocket, but oh well.  I can get reimbursed for it from my company so I'll do that, turn in my receipt and all will be well!

In other, completely narcisistic news, I have a twitter.  As rediculous and idiotic as I find it, I now have a Twitter.  I feel so narcissistic.  I got it because the NaNo site  keeps going down and the staff posts tweets about why the site is going down.  Also because when my mom's on a bike race or a really long ride, she posts stuff on there andf indind her without a link on someone else's computer is hard.  Now I can be tapped into everyone.  Really I just want it so I can keep up with stuff - not because you all need to know every time I go pee.  Really - no one needs to know that much about my life.  I love you all, but I do want to shut the door in your face every now and then and have some quiet, alone time.

Tonight I have no plans.  I will probably stay home and sew, knit and watch movies.  Tomorrow I have church and then a NaNo Pre-Event thing in Denton.  I'm sort of dreading driving all that way to do something but oh well.  Hopefully get a chance to go see Couple's Retreat or Zombieland this weekend at some point.  My main focus will be finishing the dress, knitting my teal scarf, and prep work for NaNo.  Somewhere in all of that my apartment needs a good cleaning, dirty clothes need to be washed, clean clothes from last week need to be put away, and dishes that were washed last night need to be put away.  I'm hoping for a cool weekend overall; might take some writing out to the patio or even read out there.  Too bad my apartment faces Northgate Dr.  Maybe I'll actually go for that jog? Who knows!

oh the joy a binder can bring!

Okay - so I'm very excited to say that today was very productive as far as my strange, planning thoughts for NaNoWriMo.  I realize I'm a planner; I like lists, details, plotting things into the history and seeing opportunities for the future.  Today I had a huge, enormous light-bulb moment on the aspects of magic and religion in the novel.  There are going to be a lot of things implied and delt with about our current culture in the context of the novel.  There is symbolism for Christianity, Islam, technology, philosophy, feminism, a lot of things that I've just sort of pieced together and stuck in there.  Now do I expect for people to pick these out should they decide to read them? Nope.  Not at all.  :)  I'm very excited because I've really plotted out the big picture as far as World History goes, and I've figured out why the country the story takes place in is even there.  I've figured out how the steampunk elements I want to incorporate in it will work and why some won't.  I think I have an idea for how magic and religion will play out but I'm still a little lost on how the main character will deal with it all.  I need to finish the character profile so her and I can get better acquainted; we're going to be spending a lot of time together!

I even got a little binder today; one of those five star, plastic ring things that are super flexible.  Really I just sort of got suckered into it because it's a great color of blue and has some fun kind of neon paisley stuff on the front.  I did, however, print out a label that says NaNoWriMo 2009 - The Barking Dog on it as yet more motivation.  I tend to write stuff down or have these random thought-bursts and I need a place to keep these things I write down on the back of receipts or on an index card and this binder will be it.  It'll also be where I keep all of my world-building notes because I tend to like to put my hands on papers and look at them.

I also drew maps yesterday but for some strange reason never mentioned them.  Okay, so they sort of look silly but I never said I had artistic ability.  I just needed to draw it all out so that I could figure it out on paper as far as where these places all are.  There are several types of maps too, all on my Flickr account, which show the neighboring countries, the geography, the cities, major roads and towns.  I think I've hit the big points I need to for now and later on I'll probably make more to show the movement of characters and where they all are.

All in all I'm very excited with the way this is going.  I talked briefly to a friend of mine who is in art school about thinking about designing some art for it - but of course that's nothing that needs to be thought about until like, January.  I'll have to finish the novel of course and then decide what I want to do with it, but I imagine I would like a copy nicely printed and bound for myself.  I also know people who are taking bets about how long it will be based on how much I write already; if you've never read anything I've written creatively I would say good for you.  It tends to be long.

It's homecoming season here in the south and I had a lot of fun reminiscing about mums.  If you don't know what a mum is - you're missing out!  I think it's a southern thing really.  I made one like once with my friends just for the heck of it.  I always thought they were a little silly, but they were also fun. I think I was in junior high when I made mine at my friend Carla's house... I think her name was Carla, she was a red head who transferred to our school.  Anyways, we all went to her house and made mums one year and they were huge and we were super cool because of them and it was ridiculous.  I love the memory of it.  I might have pictures around here somewhere - that I'm not willing to share.  I'm pretty sure I sharpied people out I didn't like at one point or another for some stupid reason.  Hilarious memories.

I didn't do anything on the dress tonight - and I didn't even have anyone over.  I should have done something - but I didn't.  Instead I was on my couch and knitted, watching The Office, Kamen Rider, and stuff.  I just did measly house-stuff really.  The place is still a mess but at least I have clean dishes, the trash has been taken out and the Chinchillas are clean, happy, and fed.  The Office Wedding was great.  The intro had me heaving and laughing at the same time.  The wedding was really awesome.  I won't ruin it - I'll just say it was awesome.  I'm really happy with the new W series of Kamen Rider.  I don't know if I've mentioned it or not but it makes me think of the old Dick Tracey stuff. 

Worked on my teal scarf - have maybe a foot more done.  I'm using rather large needles so the knit's rather loose - which is what I'm going for.  I want a useful scarf I can wear in the Texas winter, so I don't want it to be super thick, just something nice.  If that makes any sense at all...

I had the strangest urge to go for a run today.  It's not the first time I've had this; I've considered like jogging around the residential areas behind my apartment complex or perhaps jogging around where I work but I haven't.  Plus, jogging in converse or the other shoes I have isn't exactly pleasant - I tried that.  I'm considering going out and getting a pair of running shoes and trying out the jogging; I might just like it.  Maybe I'll look into the shoes over the weekend.

I curse pre-beaded fabric.

First off, my co-worker emailed this to me - and it made me giggle a lot.  If you're in the need for a laugh - there ya go!  It's religious in nature so there, you're warned.

Second, I worked on the bridesmaid dress a long time last night - actually for several hours.  I hate pre-beaded fabric.  What was I thinking? I was distracted by the pretty, shiny and didn't realize - oh hey, pre-beaded fabric will be sort of difficult to sew! I have this terrible luck with needles, by the way, I seem to break twice as many as anyone I know.  So I went sort of slow and sewed the pre-beaded fabric to the other layer; I did a zigzag stitch since I don't have a serger, surger, um - whatever!  I was wanting to French-seam everything, but after feeling the fabric I decided that it wouldn't work too well and I would end up with a fitting problem.  So I now have all my shiny, beaded fabrics sewn to the under-pieces.  I actually got one shoulder-strap completely sewn up; I added another piece of fabric to the pattern for it so it winds up as a toube of fabric with no exposed edges.  None of the straps on the mock-ups stayed in place very well so I'm anticipating the need for double-stick tape to keep them where they need to be while moving around a lot.

I spent the greater portion of my time after work tonight actually sewing the whole bodice and skirt into their respective pieces.  The beaded fabric wasn't so bad when you just sew in a straight line; I was still awefully careful, but I was able to go a lot faster - which isn't saying much because I still went slower than I did on the skirt.  Sewing the bodice together probably took...three or four hours between sewing it together, shaping the bodice and breaking for dinner... Okay - I didn't spend three hours on it, that's lying.  I stopped every now and then and did something else.

(The bodice unfitted on left, and then fitted on the right by adding darts)

The skirt went much quicker.  I think I should have lengthened it just a tad more, but I'm really liking it, and the pockets really disappear into the skirt, especially with the gores I added in to give the skirt more volume.  It really does weigh down and help the skirt lay nicely.  I didn't actually sew the skirt to the bodice because, well, it's 11pm and I want to sleep.  I'm very happy with the results thus far; I was worried about the darts in the bodice, there are two sets of them, but they turned out alright.  I get some small puckers, but with that fabric you won't notice all that much and pulling the stitches out would only mar the top layer of fabric so I am choosing to be okay with a small pucker. 

I doubt I'll get any done yesterday other than trimming off excess thread as tomorrow night is The Office Wedding.  My apartment is a wreck and I'm not going to get the dishes washed sooooooo, that means that tomorrow when I get home I'll take care of the big things: clean the Chin cage, take out the trash, load the dishwasher and clear off space on the couch for peoples.  The only thing on the dress I would like to get done is sewing the skirt to the bodice as having people at my place who can critique it and help me pin straps and the hemline doesn't happen everyday.  I pinned the bodice and skirt together for picture taking purposes only so I can show off and give the Bride a preview.

Now, with all that said - I will insert pictures and go promptly to bed!

Better than yesterday...

lright, so my hand doesn't hurt! I'm rather excited about that.  I figured it was just over-stress from knitting and I needed to leave it alone for a few days.  Hopefully it won't happen too much anymore.  I can hope, right?  I still want to try to finish this teal scarf in the next couple of days because I need to make my brother's scarf.  He'll be here in like two weeks and I had the grand idea I needed to make him one.  Brillient - huh?  I know I can do it, but I have to really push myself to knit in all my spare time - and I'm already pushing myself to get the bridesmaid dress done... Conflicting interests I believe...

So I was turned onto this Daily Drop Cap project this girl Jessica Hische is doing; it's pretty neat.  She has these large drop caps you can use in blogs on her site.  Katie from Oh My Stars blogged it and now I'm continuing the blogging.  It's pretty cool - I'll probably use a few though it won't look as nifty when my blog syncs to Facebook.  Sorry Facebookies!

Last night I went over to my new friend's place and we watched TV.  The headliner of the night was of course the Tool Academy; I love that I have friends now who are as into it as I am!  I know it's trash TV, but I don't really care.  I was sort of bummed about who got kicked off; I really thought the other person up for elimination deserved it more because those two aren't even sure they want to be together - the guy who got eliminated is very much talkig about marrying his girl.  Ug!  Oh well, the couple I'm really pulling for is still there.

We also watched the Nightline Debate that was held at our church.  I was totally out of the state when this happened apparently!  Basically Nightline contacted our church and wanted to have a live debate about the fidelity of people in general.  The major question was whether or not people are genetically engineered to cheat on their spouces.  They had a woman on the panel who is married to her husband and has a ten year old daughter and a girlfriend that I assume plays a very public and open role in their family.  She claims the ten year old doesn't understand - I don't buy that.  They also had a gentleman that runs a website designed to help married people find someone to have an affair with.  He himself is married and has children and while he condones affairs, he also says that it's a booming business and he's following the money.  His morals I think are very skewed; on one hand he provides this business but says that he would be upset if his own wife used it.  Both of these people claimed that having an affair could and would strengthen your marriage and make you happier.  Now on the other side you had a gentleman recovering from a sexual addiction who has lived the dangerous road and is now coming back and attempting to reconcile himself to his wife and everyone else.  Then there is our pastor - Ed Young - and I really have to say I respected him for his answers and his preparedness.  He wasn't affraid to say the hard things, point-blank, and while he was able to word some responces delicately, he was always very firm.  Granted for the audience and subject I'm sure he looks like a very narrow minded Christian, but he was true to the core beliefs of Christianity unlike others I've seen who won't give a firm answer on things.  It was refreshing.

So that was really a good time.

I finally decided on a name for my NaNo novel: The Barking Dog.  It's not very interesting, but I'm going to now attempt to weave some stuff around the words, incorporate local myths and a legend or two so it's nice and complicated for the characters.  Also doing a pre-planning session this coming weekend with some other people in Denton.  Hopefully I can finish this dress between tonight, Friday and Saturday.  It shouldn't take too much time now that I sort of have it all figured out. Right? I hope so...  Going to put some work into it tonight; hoping to get all the little edges zigzaged once over and hopefully the bodice put together and adjusted just a bit.  It shouldn't take a lot of time and effort, but I'm going to be excessively careful on all of it.  I'm even breaking out the ironing board to iron all the pieces perfect before sewing them all. 

Well lunch is almost over.  I'm super sleepy - yet again - so this afternoon is going to be misery.

totally tool'en

Oh my gosh.  I want to crawl into a hole and sleep for days.  Yesterday started off not so bad.  Slept in - apparently never set my alarm.  Figured out the sizing and darts on the bodice finally!  I fiddled with the skirt some and added three gores to give the skirt some more flowyness; I liked the affect in the mock-up so we'll see if it translates well into the actual dress.  I would imagine that it would, and the weight of the fabric will hopefully make it all hang nicely.  I'll probably sew some of it tonight; mainly the sheer fabric to the backing and zigzag the edges since I don't own a serger.

I got to go to my small group Sunday for the first time.  It was nice, sort of small and a bit awkward at times, but I met some nice people.  One of whom is an avid fan of the Tool Academy!  We're getting together tonight to watch the latest episode. 

Also went and caught the Whip It! movie with two of my friends; one of whom is a derby ref still.  It was a cute movie - not really accurate on the rules, definatly more theatrics.  Not a whole lot of hitting or speed for the actual bouts they showed but it was fun and I think it'll be good for the sport.  Afterwards they both came back to my place and I proceeded to introduce both of them to the Tool Academy.  They didn't leave until well after 1am.  Tons of fun - but man o man am I tired!

I'm making plans to maybe meet up with some other NaNo peoples before November for some pre-November prep.  We'll see if it really happens!

Lunch is over - need to do some more work.  Hoping for a nap after work, a bit of sewing and then Tool Academy!

Doing it all yourself.

 I think I intended to wake up earlier than I did today.  Regardless, I was off to the pet store and Wal-Mart a little before noon - which is surprising because I usually roll out of bed around 1pm on the weekends.  That out of the way it was time to get down to business, that being getting the mock-up for my dress done.  Now it's worth saying that just about all of my sewing stuff in the process of moving twice - has just about disappeared.  Pins, thread, scissors, measuring tapes - I sort of had to replace all of it.  Thus - why I now sport a black wristie-pincushion with Project Runway emblazoned across it.  It's a super convenient thing to use, but I chuckle every time I look at it.

I cut out all the pieces to only realize there are some I don't need because I'm altering some of the pattern.  There's this band of contrasting fabric on the hem and I'm not going to incorporate that into my dress. I think it would just look weird; the fabrics I've chosen.  I think instead I would prefer to lengthen the skirt, add some more volume to it and if I have enough of the beaded fabric, do a layer of tool on the edge instead.  I think it would look a lot better than the way the pattern calls for it.

I was a bit excited when I realized the pattern calls for pockets.  I can't tell some of my stories, but in previous weddings I've been involved in I've been running around and needing to hold my camera or a phone or lip gloss or whatever.  Having pockets in the dress is going to be super de-duper awesome.  I'm glad I did the mock-up first because I sort of screwed the pockets up the first time.  I sewed the skirt, held it up and laughed at my mistake.

The first mock-up was incredibly too large.  Three mock-up's later I've decided I'll probably need to add darts and maybe do a fourth mock-up.  The last one I did I was on two sizes smaller than what the pattern dictated I should be. I think I could be one size smaller yet, but it's now after midnight and I'm sort of tired of crouching over fabric spread out on my livingroom floor cutting stuff.  I need a more functional table; the pub table is awesomely stylish but I think a normal one would be far more beneficial.  Oh well!

I'm not knitting right now; my left hand's hurting a bit.  I don't know if it's all to blame on knitting - it's the same hand and knuckle even that I broke a year ago almost.  I figure it's just the scar tissue and unworked muscles.

Somewhere in all of this I went to church as well. I was supposed to sit in the media room and observe the service to determine if I wanted to volunteer or not.  I already decided I would so it was just a matter of going and sitting there.  I love how even though I try to be polite and tell people I've done this sort of stuff, they continue to treat me like an idiot.  I don't know that I feel like putting up with that if it continues.  I won't elaborate on it - it's not important.  It's just a normal preconceived notion in the entertainment/media business that women don't know what they're talking about or how to do anything.  My fuse is probably too short on this issue because of my previous job; I'm sure the situation wasn't like that at all and I'm just being crazy, thus why I don't think it's important to discuss the points.

Okay - so I tried a Rachael Ray recipe from her website.  It's her Maple-Bacon Monte Cristo's and it's pretty good.  For just a sandwich it's a bit of preperation but I wanted to make them at least once; I'll probably fix up one for lunch and dinner tomorrow because it's just convienient now that I sort of have the stuff started.  This does create a bit of clean-up the way RR says to do it, so I would suggest making the bacon in the microwave.  I also substituted normal bacon for turkey bacon.  If you can tell from the picture, following the instructions and baking it for ten minutes burned the edges and created a mess on the pan.  I think less time if you choose to do it in the oven, or just do it in the microwave!

You prep the bread just like you would for french toast.  Again, letting the sammitch sit on the skillet for FOUR minutes - you get blackened bread.  Just melt the cheese and you're good.  I added some powdered sugar to my eggs for the bread; if you've had them in a restaurant the sandwich usually comes with a dusting of powdered sugar.

Right! So I'm out.  I should probably be sleeping....

About Me

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Grew up traveling to rodeos with my parents. I've gone across the world thanks to my gypsie feet. I feel sometimes like I've done everything & nothing. I've played roller derby, traveled parts of the world, have four degrees. I've done some things most people will never do in their lives & still I want to do more. I want to work with orphans & teenagers again. I'm a Christian. I have a lot of tattoos. I like art therefore I want to be art. I love people. I started writing years ago when I was a kid. I think at the time it was an outlet for me; I found escape in my word & the worlds I created. Eventually I just started to like creating stuff & that's when I started sharing it with other people. Now I think I write every day. I want to do NaNoWrMo this year. I'm also learning how to knit. I think I'm on my way to being an eccentric old woman who runs around the world doing silly cazy things and knitting while she does them. Be on your guard I have knitting needles!

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