09 May 2010

Well, it's a new month, friends. It has been for several days, but, if you've been keeping track of the insanity that is the Middle Tennessee area, you'll forgive me. Nashville was hit by a flood the likes of which the state has never seen and hopefully never will again. The Cumberland River overflowed, drowning the downtown area, and where I am currently staying, well, was one of the hardest hit regions. Luckily, there was no damage to our house, but a lot of people lost everything.

Some people were forced to evacuate via boat after being stuck on their roofs. My sister's house had 6 feet of water in the basement. 6 FEET. Many of the money making industries, like Opry Mills and Opryland Hotel, were completely inundated with water. A building floated down a major interstate. I'm not even kidding about that.

I was driving down some of the neighborhood streets that I know so well, and it looks like a disaster zone. There is trash everywhere, water-damaged furniture stacked on the side of the road. Some areas, over a week later, are still blocked off due to excess water.  An acquaintance of mine lost her job because the theater where she works is not worth rebuilding. They're going to have to tear down and rebuild a lot of things.

But Nashville will get back on its feet. It may take years but for the first time in a while, I am proud to be a Nashvillian. We're good people who jumped at the first chance to help someone. We went back to work on Monday (well, those of us that could get to work) but also looked for opportunities to send money or assistance to those in need. Even TPAC (our local theater production company thingy) set up a relief fund by selling various memorabilia.

Anyway, I better go before I tear up. It's that time of the month and EVERYTHING is making me cry.

16 April 2010


show.me.your.teeth, originally uploaded by JujuJuniper.

Okay, I'm trying this to see if I can get this damned thing to show up. If it doesn't work, I'm deleting this post.

Move along. :D

22 March 2010

Caffeine is my fickle friend.

I can't decide how I wanna do this whole getting my fiction writing back on track. Do I want to go ahead and restart the "A Million More to Go" blog or do I want to start from scratch and create a website (free because I am poor)? TOO MANY DECISIONS!!

I am creating waaaaaay too much stress for myself right now. But it's going to be worth it because I say so. I've got big, important ideas!

I have gotten back into those delusions of grandeur. You know the ones: someone totally famous and influential will read my stories and contact me about wanting to start a television show! Someone else will want to do a comic! Bungie or Epic Games will send me 100,000,000 emails about coming up with a video game! Movie companies will fight over rights but I'll say, "Hell, no, producers! I am retaining control of my art!" And they'll all say, "Okay, ruler of the literary world! You're bigger than JK Rowling and Stephanie Meyer combined!" The Oscars/Tonys/Emmys/Grammys/etc. will be swept by my genius creation!

I may have gotten carried away. Back to work, I suppose.

(Oh, and if you're confused, just click here. Audio, done by yours truly.)
"Can you go down to the basement to get (insert random thing my parents apparently keep in the basement)?"

This question terrifies me to the core. When I was younger, I had Cocoa, a 110-lb Weimeraner who could scare away anything by just standing there. Now, I have Maggie, the pint-sized Corgi, and Zola, the snorty Bulldog who will just lick you and smell your pants legs. These are not very effective in combating the evil that lurks in the darkness of basements everywhere.

I can't really explain why I have this fear. It's not like my parents' basement has the horrifying heater monster (or whatever that thing was) in "Home Alone," but it's just creepy. My dad has his workshop down there, and Christmas presents are wrapped during the holiday season. A lot of childhood memories have retired there, so it really should NOT be as scary as I make it out to be.

It could go back to the fact that I watched "Unsolved Mysteries" way too much as a kid. People find dead bodies in basements! Anything related with the dark will mean that you will be kidnapped and raped!! And only Robert Stack (RIP, Scary-Voiced Man) and his pleas will have your case be solved. This is why I avoid phone booths. You'd think it's because I have a cell phone, but it's not. It's because some girl was calling her boyfriend in a reenactment on "Unsolved Mysteries" and then she was violently shoved in a green pickup and NEVER HEARD FROM AGAIN. It's also why I always carry a sharp object with me when I have to let the dogs out after it gets dark. The wind bristling through the bushes just has to be a murderer who has staked out my home and now is his perfect opportunity. And it's why I run up the stairs when I turn the lights off to go to bed.


Alright, now I'm going to have trouble sleeping tonight. And I'll be using the front door entrance to get to my car for the rest of the week.

21 March 2010

I actually LIKE cooking (I just hate cleaning it up).

I am taking on a new responsibility. I will be cooking an ethnically diverse meal one day a week to expand my parents' culinary horizons.

See, I absolutely adore eating foreign cuisines. Part of it is because I cannot stand the apparent blandness of most "American" food. I'll take Cajun or some Deep South cookin', sure. I don't particularly like German and Irish food, as it seems to be rooted in some sort of carbohydrate hell, but I can appreciate a good potato now and then. My favorites, though, are Indian, Mexican and Japanese.

Anyway, last night, I made a Mediterranean-inspired pasta dish (vine tomatoes, artichoke hearts, asparagus, minced garlic and olive oil) and they actually liked it.

What shall I make next week??? Maybe felafel again? Or maybe something with some curry ... If anybody has any ideas, let me know!!!

20 March 2010

Exercise Chronicles, Part III: "Being Sick and Exercising Do Not Mesh Well"

The title is full of gospel-style truth.

On Tuesday, my body went into a weird vomity place where it stayed for three days. I had to take off an entire day of work that was spent either trying to sleep or staring into a toilet. I couldn't keep anything except Gatorade in my system and, after the first day, I just kind of gave up. But, I was so dedicated (read: stupid) to this marathon training that I got on the treadmill, against my better judgment, and did my training program with nothing to sustain me.

Now, I'm no doctor, but I can safely say that I probably would have gotten better sooner if I had just laid in bed, drinking hot tea, plenty of water and munching on saltine crackers.

I did get one thing out of this experience, though. I have GOT to start paying attention to what my body is trying to tell me. If you can't stand up for more than five minutes without feeling like you're going to throw up, you probably shouldn't be putting on your running shoes to go jog three miles.

Just sayin'.

Anyway, I have successfully defeated the monster that is a stomach virus (at least I think that's what it was). Everyone kept asking me if I was pregnant, which was funny the first time, but once that became the first conclusion people came to when I explained my upchucking extravaganza, I got a little annoyed. I was like, "I go to three, maybe four places: work, gym, park, home. Unless sperm has now become airborne and subsists of really hardy little upstream swimmers or God has decided it's time to start immaculately conceiving children again, there is no way that I am with child. So my symptoms, I believe, were some devious little virus.

And I will officially start my training again, after assessing how my body handles the strain. I feel all grown up now. And kind of like an athlete. Weird. :)

26 February 2010

Exercise Chronicles, Part II: "I am officially insane."

All of yesterday, I wore 2.5 pound weights around each of my ankles, and I'm doing the same thing today. You wouldn't think that small amount of weight would make a difference, but it does. It felt really funny trying to walk, let alone run. It was like trying to wade through thick sludge. Plus, everybody was looking at me strangely because of the weights peeking out from underneath my pant legs.

I can't really explain why I feel this is necessary. For the majority of my young adult life, I've had body issues. I've never been fat, I suppose, but I've always felt subpar. I would work out constantly and got too thin there for a while. While I knew that I didn't weigh enough, I felt good. I felt pretty and fit and I could eat pretty much whatever I wanted. Now I'm at the ultimate low place, at least for me. I have gained weight and I just feel blah.

I just wish I could get to a point where I was comfortable with myself. It's true when someone says that anorexia is an incurable disease; therapy would probably help me but a part of my brain just eeks out when you talk about going to see a therapist. Paying somebody to talk to? Um, I can just talk to my mom, right? She's free and has a ton of emotional support just waiting to be dispensed. Or my dad. He's a pillar. My sister could probably also be an ear. But I almost feel like it's trivial. There are people in Haiti that have lost everything; children are starving; the elderly are being forgotten. Sigh.

Sorry, I've just been going through a rough patch. So I'm going to think of the sunshine coming my way tomorrow. Maybe spring really is just around the corner.

21 February 2010

Week in Review

This past week has been interesting. For one, I hate snow. I hate ice. I hate being cold. And yet, it all managed to happen ALL AT THE SAME TIME. And then, the weather turned friendly, with sunshine and warm(er) temperatures.

I didn't have work on Monday due to President's Day, which I guess was kind of nice, but there's a lot of stuff I needed to get done at work (review applications, call people, go through item d's, submit new budgets, etc.) The middle part of the week was kind of a bust because I was playing catch up.

Which brings me to a whole other set of problems. I may have written about this before, but the guy who had the job I have now basically didn't do anything for the last month he was there. He had a lot of problems, mainly psychological ones, but he also just could not keep up with the work. So he just let it sit there and dodged phone calls from the nursing homes who were rightfully wondering what the hell was going on. So now, I'm calling the nursing homes and letting them know who I am and that I'm working on the mess left for me. They're pretty understanding, although now I'm getting calls, asking how far I am and if they'll be able to get any information. So we're both being patient with each other.

Moving on, I had to spend four hours of my day on Friday, driving to McMinnville, a town I had heard of but thought that maybe it only existed in some farmer's mind. But no, it's there. It's in the middle of nowhere, but it's there. I was able to meet a few other people that are in my field (nursing home case worker for the state), which was nice. I've been emailing these people for weeks now, and now I can put a name to a face. It's kind of strange, since a lot of the people I had assumed looked a lot different than they actually do. I'm also amazed at how the majority of state employees are older people, ones who have been there for a long while. I think I was the youngest person in the room.

Then, for Saturday, my body thought it would be fun to be sick, so all the things I had planned for that day were shot. I had wanted to wash my car, clean my room, set up a Quicken account, go on a hike, write a few chapters/short stories, etc. Instead, I watched "Howl's Flying Castle" and "Sliding Doors," played Lords Online (which is such a waste of time) and signed up for Gilt. I wondered about time zones and how someone (or someones) determined exactly how to divvy them up amongst the world. I even got a lot of plot holes worked out for my story. I read a lot of blogs (I'll fill you guys in on these later), posted on Tumblr and generally got nothing done.

And today (Sunday) seems to be no different. I was supposed to go to lunch with my family and a friend of my sister's who is moving back to Utah. I was going to do some laundry but the washer appears to be broken. Even though it is gorgeous outside, I don't feel it's the best thing to put my body through exercise, just in case it's not completely over this bug I have. I may end up going to the park to walk Zola and Maggie, but that's probably a pipe dream. (I wonder where that phrase comes from ....)

Here's hoping that this week will be much better and more productive than last week. I only have a few more reviews to do and the weather looks wonderful, according to Weather.com, but we all know how weather forecasters can be blowhards.

14 February 2010

Now, on to Arbor Day.

Oh, Valentine's Day, how I have loved and loathed you over the years.

Now, however, it seems our relationship, be it benevolent, malevolent or ambivalent, has somewhat ended. I had completely forgotten about your existence, very similar to how I forgot that I have dated certain guys over the course of my romantic history. Despite the media's influence, I was neither thrilled nor dreadful of your advent, and now, since you will soon pass into yesterday in a mere few hours, I don't think that today has been bad. I was able to get four shirts for under thirty dollars, bought new mouthwash and lotion, and even ordered some very cute tops from the Calvin Klein website but a few minutes ago.

Granted, my hope to go ice skating with the females of my family - my father has a certain animosity towards anything involving skating, as he usually spends most of his time either hugging the wall, falling or complaining that the previous things were occurring, so he would have none of it - was squashed, as the Sports Plex was not willing to be open past 3:30 p.m., so I opted to spend time with the mother-person. I don't even think we really fought today, except when my mom was phantom-break-pedaling because I didn't stop a mile before a stop light.

And I was able to have a Valentine: little Zola, who will love me unconditionally, as romantic entanglements come and go. She woke me up with sloppy puppy kisses, one of the best (and sometimes worst) ways to bring in the morning.

I do have but one regret: Mass Effect 2 was not in stock at Blockbuster. But I ended up renting Miami Vice and Howl's Flying Castle, as well as purchasing Idiocracy for $5.00.

Happy Valentine's Day to all.

08 February 2010

Does anyone else start giggling every time the chorus for "Sexy Bitch" (or "Damn, You's a Sexy Chick," if it's being censored for the kiddies) comes on the radio? Because I do.

Pop music has not been known for its Shakespearean lyricism, unless Ol' Will penned such a masterpiece as, "Baby, have some trustin', trustin', when I come in lustin', lustin', 'cause I bring ya that comfort. I ain't only here 'cause I want ya body; I want your mind, too. Interesting's what I find you*. And I'm interested in the long haul. Come on, girl. Yee haw."

And it infects EVERYTHING. Ke$ha** says, in way too white of a voice, "I'm talking 'bout everybody getting crunk, crunk; boys tryin' to touch my junk, junk ..." ETC ETC ETC. I mean, this is stuff children with dirty minds can think of, and it's selling like hot cakes. Or whatever, you pick your phrase.

But then we have Taylor Swift with her simplistic "bleachers rhymes with speakers!!" mumbo jumbo, and instead of me laughing, I'm now kind of irate. Add Lady Gaga's*** "disco stick" and we have ourselves a veritable cornucopia of blech.

There is a reason I stick with the likes classical music, Fleetwood Mac, Imogen Heap, Placebo and Rufus Wainwright. There is actual thought in their words - unless it's classical and then it's just music, but still.

Now get off my lawn.

* What the craptastic syntax???
** What's wrong with a plain old "S," Miss Sounds-like-I'm-Perpetually-Drunk? I will forever be stumped by this weird trend of spelling things oddly. Like Le-sha (pronounced Ledasha, duh). Whatever happened to Joan? 
*** Don't get me wrong. I love me some Gaga, but I get tired of hearing new euphemisms for male genitalia.

04 February 2010

Of all the gin joints in the world ......

I just had lunch with an old friend of mine.

To be more accurate, he is technically an old boyfriend; while the truth is much more complicated, I'll just say we dated for about a month before he basically said, "I'm not ready" by being evasive and ball-less. We were able to get past that once I realized I wasn't interested anymore, but for a while there, we really couldn't work together. Oh, did I not mention that we were both servers at an Olive Garden? Where teamwork supposedly is key? 'Cause we were.

Anyway, we managed to get our friendship somewhat repaired once he apologized for being an insensitive ass, but then I left the restaurant for a job closer into town. We hung out a couple of times after that and talked on the phone intermittently, but eventually, as it almost always happens, we lost touch. I thought about him from time to time, wondering if he was doing alright.

See, this guy was a rather interesting individual. He was a drug addict and heavy drinker in his early life until he became a Christian in his mid-to-late-twenties, which totally turned him around. The kid with no ambition in life wanted to become a prison preacher, and he had started in that direction. A few times, he started drinking again but was always able to get himself back on track. We had exceptionally deep religious conversations compounded with frivolous video game arguments, at which we always laughed at the juxtaposition of the two topics.

I had always thought that he would land on his feet and hoped for the best for him.

Then I saw him in my office today. As many of you know, I work at the Dept. of Human Services, or, as it was formerly called, the welfare office. It was just strange to see him there, sitting among the other people applying for assistance. Not strange because I think he's better than that - if I had known such services were available when I was going through my rough financial patches, sure, I most likely would have done so - but strange on another two levels: 1) I never thought I'd see him again and 2) he's always been able to make do.

He had this sheepish look on his face when he recognized me. Of course, I was just surprised to see him period, but I'm sure the expression I had on my face didn't help his embarrassment. Luckily, I was not assigned his case - conflict of interest and kind of uncomfortable - and he gave his case worker his number to give to me. I was in an interview with another client at the time, so I called him once she left to see if he wanted to go to lunch.

"Sure!" he said.

Then he asked me to pick him up because he was walking. "My car was impounded."

We went to Ruby Tuesday's (their spring roll thingies are really good, surprisingly) and talked for a good hour. It was just nice to see him and be able to tell that, while he's not in such a good spot, he's still okay. He's had his problems over the past year but he's still positive. Again, we discussed faith and Final Fantasy XIII and giggled at the pairing. We compared each other's past year histories and laughed at our relationship follies. He then made sure that I entered his number into my phone and had me drop him back off where I picked him up, saying that he wanted to go down to the movie theater to apply for a job.

After letting him out of the car on the square, I drove off, thinking about how different our lives had turned out. When we met, we were both measley servers at a chain restaurant, forced to wear white button down shirts and garish ties, and now I'm on the employed side of the office, whereas he's in the lobby. I feel bad for him and wish him the best.

And I really hope the theater is hiring.

28 January 2010

Tumbling along ....

Well, I've done the unthinkable and started a tumblr (and for the life of me, I cannot type tumbler correctly at least three times). I haven't decided what exactly I'm going to use it for but I'll keep everybody posted!



27 January 2010

Your glands are on the adventure of their LIVES!!!

In high school, I had a math teacher, Ms. F, who was pretty much pure awesome on a cracker. She was as passionate about math as I was about anime at the time*, and it was almost comical to see her get visibly excited when trying to explain complex higher math theories to a room full of ninth graders, most of whom had no idea that math could get any more difficult than algebra.

Anyway, Ms. F was probably the only teacher who could get away with using teenage jargon** because she was actually only about 5 - 7 years older than we were. The other teachers who tried generally received eye rolls, even when they were trying to be ironic. The only thing worse than that was when they referenced "cool" TV shows, songs, etc., which were usually already outdated by the time the adults heard about them. One of my teachers consistently used MTV as a resource on all things kid-approved and I don't think he ever knew he was mercilessly mocked.

If you are in education, sure, try to make the content relateable to your students. Keep it interesting, but don't try too hard, or else you come out looking like a doofus. And an outdated doofus, at that.

Take the opening to the chapter in my anatomy and physiology textbook on the endocrine system: "You don't have to watch 'CSI' to experience action-packed drama."

... Um ... what? This is a chapter on glands. Glands. The cells in my body aren't going on "dynamic adventures on microscopic levels." It does not make studying more fun by imagining my hormones as tiny Indiana Joneses, boldly crossing invisible neurological bridges to stimulate my pancreas. Granted, I find the endocrine system fascinating in and of itself, anyway, so the extra attempt just comes off as goofy and not particularly inventive. Maybe someone else is drawn in by that intro, but I don't think that anyone entering in the medical field would find the human body boring. Of course, I loathe cytology (the study of cells), but I doubt that an author inserting a reference to "Speed" would make me actually want to read about the Golgi apparatus.

Now, I'm not offering any alternatives to this approach because I don't have a great desire to pen a textbook anytime soon. But when "CSI" is no longer on the air, the authors/publishers are going to have to update this to another "action-packed" show. This just reminds me of when they update period-specific items, like something that was obviously from a certain era and should remain there. Case in point: Babysitter's Club. Apparently, someone is working on updating the series, which just chaps my ass. And "Fame." The scene where the girl pays for an abortion with a credit card was very shocking at the time; now, it's passe, so they have to come up with something equally shocking, and this trend will just continue until someone realizes that, hey, you know, let's let it be.

Blah, this is turning into a rant, and I have to get a few things done before lunch, so tata, friends!

* I never had to actually sign my name on any of my assignments because I used to draw anime-style eyes on them. It got to the point where this was common practice in all of my classes but only she was the one who didn't really care.

** Funny story: for the longest time, Ms. F would say, "My bag" instead of "My bad" whenever she would mess up until someone called her out on it. And she has this crazy northern accent, so it was a very nasally version, which made it all the more entertaining.

24 January 2010


For a while, I wanted to have my writing separate from my personal blog, but it's just way too much of a hassle. If any of you were readers of my "A Million More to Go" blog, I apologize, but I'm not going to be updating it as of right now. I'll just be posting my stories on here.

Eventually I'll go back to it but for right now, one blog is probably enough for this girl.

Hope everybody is having a great weekend!!!

Exercise Chronicles, Part I: "I Have a Good Ass"

I just received my Yogalosophy by Mandy Ingber DVD in the mail, and I can't remember the last time I was so excited about trying out a new exercise program. Now, I'm not normally interested in anything that a celebrity espouses simply because a name is attached; that is pretty much reserved for a select set of famous people that include Dolly Parton, Sam Elliot, Joss Whedon and, in the case of Yogalosophy, Jennifer Aniston.

My favorite Friend, Aniston introduces the workout in her normal cheerful way, her impeccable physique in the foreground and the California sunshine behind her. It's a short intro and she says "my life" way too many times, but I couldn't help getting thrilled because, well, just look at the woman. She does this workout. And other things, I'm sure, but still.

So I select the first workout (there's 2 on here, plus extra little exercise snippets) with this big grin on my face, as I stand at attention. On comes Mandy Ingber, who has this sort of awkward cheerleader wannabe aura about her, standing firmly at the end of her yoga mat, ready to impart her wisdom.

And then the workout starts. It's not too difficult, I suppose, at the beginning, as it should be, but it quickly proves to me that this is no cakewalk. There's a reason Jennifer Aniston and Mandy Ingber look the way they do. Within the first six minutes, I look at the screen and yell, "You, ma'am, are INSANE!!!"

But she is just so gosh-darned cute. She has a vulnerability that I like, and there are all sorts of imperfections in the video that I really appreciate. I'm a fan of the Firm (I also just bought their new Wave workout program to alternate with Yogalosophy), and all their videos tend to be squeaky clean. Mandy messes up some of her lines, but she's so endearing that you overlook it. She also tells this silly little jokes that could come off as her trying too hard, yet her giggle afterwards just makes you laugh with her. Plus, she has given me my new workout mantra: "I have a good ass, I have a good ass, I have a good ass ..." Lather, rinse, repeat as needed.

I figure, if I do this workout three times a week, alternating with the Firm and the treadmill, I'll be looking good by summer. Not that I'm going anywhere that I would need to bare my body for all to see (you see, I'm poor and my summer vacation is probably going to be me, Zola and a 6 pack of Hoegaarden on my parents' deck), but I'm just sick and tired of feeling blah. It's not even the size that is bothering me; I'm nowhere near overweight, but I don't like the fact that my jeans aren't fitting me as well as they did a year ago and that I just don't have the same energy.

So this is a step in that direction. And I'll probably be writing Ms. Ingber and Ms. Aniston heavily-all-caps laden letters of appreciation.

23 January 2010

Good enough for government work ....

There is a reason why that phrase exists.

It's no secret that I work for the government. I'm a state employee and, for the most part, I enjoy my job, especially since I just transferred into nursing home Medicaid (or TennCare, for those of you who live in Tennessee) which involves one of my favorite demographics of people. I nearly fall in love with ever single old man I've ever come across - there was one 70-something man who proposed because he got a disability check and could take care of me.

Anyway, I can't go into many details because, well, most of the info is protected, but I have not been more frustrated at my job like I was yesterday. I'm updating files for several clients and I run across one that's been mishandled. And instead of admitting that something was done incorrectly, people have basically said, oh, well, just close the case and let them reapply. Um. No. We effed up on our end, so there is no reason to penalize the patient. Ugh.

I understand why most people have negative attitudes about going into a government building. Many times, before I started working for the Man, I'd gone in and the apathetic attitudes exuded by the people behind the desks makes me wish that I could just inject them with some sort of personality so I could at least somewhat enjoy my time there. I even tried to be nice and I was just met with ambivalence. And confusion.

Granted, I can understand the aloof attitudes, to some degree. I see a lot of needy people and if I was to feel remorse for every single person that walked through those doors, I would be depressed all of the time. But you can't completely cut yourself off emotionally. It's a balancing act.

Take a girl I had to call yesterday and explain to her that she wasn't eligible for Medicaid and that her food stamps case had to be closed because she made too much money. She got angry and I had to transition into my detached mode. I know that she's not angry at me but I've learned that, if I don't realize that and take myself out of the situation, I will get mad right back at her. So I shut my emotions down until she gets calm. Then I turn my empathy back on and let her know that I'm very sorry, I offer her different options and wish her the best of luck. At the end of the call, she's still frustrated but she knows (or at least I think she does) that I had done everything I could to help her.

But there's also the fact that people in my profession become jaded. We see truly needy people and then we see people who wish to scam the system. And many times, it's very hard to tell the difference between the two; you think someone is hurting and then you find out they're lying to you. Happens more often than I'd like.

But I made a decision yesterday that I would not sink into the "government worker" mentality. It's going to be very difficult because of the massive caseload that I have, but it's a goal, one that I think it is worth it. I want to be like Little Miss MFA at my office, who, after 32 years working as an eligibility counselor still has tremendous rapport with her clients and has yet to be in a bad mood in the entire 8 months I have known her.

Sigh. I hope I can make it 5 years, let alone over 30. Can I retire now???

17 January 2010

Will I be watching the Golden Globes?

Probably not.

The Emmys?

I think I have something else planned.

Will I be watching the Oscars?

Meh. Maybe the red carpet part where the celebrities strut around in sparkly clothing. The actual awards show? Nah.

I remember a time - probably when Gwen Paltrow wore that bubblegum pink princess dress for whatever movie she won "Best Actress" back in the 90s - when I looked forward to the award show season. I even yearned to go to Sundance and Cannes.

Then again, back then, I watched television on a regular basis and movies were a major part of my life. Friends was still on NBC and the only reality show was the Real World (and already losing its popularity). Pop Up Video was on VH1, and the Disney Channel had actual Disney cartoons on them.

Ah, those were the days.

Now, I wait until TV shows or movies come out on DVD, rent the first disc from Blockbuster and decide if it needs to be part of my DVD/Blu-Ray collection. Lucky for me, my sister has connections at the local cinema, so I can often get into movies for free to see if they are worth my time. So most often, I don't know about a new movie until it is no longer in theaters.

And, as old fogey as this sounds, I don't even know most of the celebrities nowadays. Leighton Meester? Who the hell is she? Lauren Conrad? Why is she famous? Jason Segel? Yeah, I know who he is but I haven't seen any of his movies, so I can't comment on why people find him to be a good actor.

Maybe it's maturity that's set in, but I really don't have any desire to know anything about celebrities. I was listening to the radio yesterday and Ryan Seacrest (remind me again, why the hell is he famous in any way?) left this blind item: "What famous break up is in the news again?" I actually said this out loud: "I don't know. Haiti?" and put in my Halo: ODST soundtrack. I still have not lost sleep over this; nope, I have lost sleep over my new class, work and general unhappiness with my state of fitness.

Now, considering the reputation the Globes have for being less pretentious than the other ceremonies, I may actually tune in if nothing else is going on. I'm pretty sure I could be studying.

16 January 2010

Juju's Rules

I love the USA Network for many reasons; Burn Notice, In Plain Sight and Psych are incredibly fun, well-written shows and they have Law and Order: SVU, Law and Order: CI and NCIS marathons. We're not talking five episodes back to back, like CSI: Miami on A&E (although that is a favorite way of mine to spend a Saturday night); this is a full weekend of police procedural drama.

Not only does this give me a change to stare at Stabler and Gibbs for hours on end, I also get to play solve-the-mystery. This, however, is a little less fun after you've seen probably every episode ever, but the prettiness on the screen never gets old.

Plus, I get little ideas for my own life. Take Jethro Gibb's list of rules for life. I think I will make up one for myself and start posting up in my room and office/cubie (and yes, I spelled it cubie - pronounced "kew-bee") but I only have a few to start:

1) Never watch reality television if it involves alcohol, dating, "love," roses, people trying to be famous for being famous, etc. This is based on review of the first show.
2) Exercise every day; it can help you clear your mind.
3) Write/draw/be artistic as often as possible.
4) Try not to procrastinate.
5) Take breaks from the internet.

It's not a bad compilation so far, but I've got a ways to go. I'm also allowing for amendments because fluidity is important.

Plus, I change my mind a lot, so anything set in stone is kind of daunting for me.

12 January 2010

Trepidation sets in .......

Yeah, so I start my A&P II class in two days. Two mother-effing days.

I'm pretty much terrified that this is all a waste of $640.00. Please, God, help me not fail this class.


04 January 2010

Vintage JuJu

Every once in a while, usually around the beginning or end of the year, I like to look through the old pictures of my family, partially for memory purposes - it's really nice to see my deceased grandmother looking healthy and happy - and also to laugh hysterically at some of the fashion faux pas from the earlier part of my life. Granted, the early parts of my life were in the 80s and early 90s, which were horrible eras for fashion (And why, for the love of GOD, is 80s back in? Did we not learn anything from the decade of big hair and neon????), so I have plenty of fun choices to mock.

Yesterday, I whipped out the old, crumbling tomes of days past. I couldn't help but think, "Oh, I was so cute! What the hell happened?"

But anyway, here are a few of the highlights:

(Now, I would have just posted the pictures here directly, but Blogger was being dumb and wouldn't let me. So you get a video instead. Whee.)

02 January 2010

So apparently my idea of starting the new decade is attempting to metaphorically kill myself.

First of all, if any of you follow me on Twitter or are my Facebook friends, you'll already know that I have signed up for Anatomy and Physiology II at Nashville State Community College (online, thank you JESUS) and that I might be adding probability and statistics to my academic regimen. Because I am insane.

Now, I don't think I was writing this blog when I was taking A&P I, but I'm pretty sure I can do a quick summary right here: it sucked; I made the worst grades I have ever made in my educational career, spent many fruitless hours studying and crying because I didn't want to fail, and somehow (there must have been a very generous curve) ended up with a B. Whew. Needless to say, I was not much fun to be around during those few months but it was a growing experience. 

I'm also trying to decide to which nursing schools I'm going to apply. I've narrowed it down to three schools: Belmont (they have an accelerated program), Vanderbilt (I would graduate with an MSN in two years) or MTSU (it's not as expensive as the other schools and I'm already accepted down there). I've almost completely settled on MTSU because, like I stated above, it's the most economical; I already understand the dynamics of that university because I went there before; Belmont has these annoying Bible class requirements; and Vandy is just really, really pricey. It isn't that I have a problem with Christianity-related classes, as I'm a Christian, but it just rubs me the wrong way, for some reason. And I also have issues with having an MSN (Master's of Science in Nursing, just in case) because I feel like you need experience do be able to have this degree. It would be like a third-year medical student, coming right out of his academic classes and heading straight into practice, with no supervision at all. I just don't like that idea.

Not only have I given myself the next four years (before I turn 30) to complete nursing school, I have also started hunkering down on the writing. You wouldn't think that writing for an hour a day would be that difficult, but it is. I have a lot of other things, which I will describe later, that I have to somehow fit into a 24 hour period, and my brain is constantly working on this collection of stories. Plus, it's become this sprawling, epic sort of thing, like all of my stories do. I can't just write a simple one-act play. Nope, it just turns into a George Lucas. Argh.

I'm also beginning my training for the 2011 Music City Half-Marathon. There is no way in hell that I can be ready for this year's run-til-you-drop. I'm starting off slowly, speed walking in my new ShapeUps (they totally WORK, by the way - just one day and you notice the difference) five times a week and weight-lifting four to five times a week. But this is kind of one of those must-do things, mainly to keep my sanity. It's my time for prayer and self-reflection; plus I get to watch "Friends."

Kind of using the spiritual aspect of the last paragraph to segue into this one, my sister and I made the decision to read the Bible the whole way through this year, starting yesterday. I read the first chapter of Genesis and I'm wondering if we're going the chapter-a-day route. I'll have to discuss this with her, since I'm kind of hoping we can read it in chunks. Stef, if you're reading this ... :)

And to top it all off, I'm also starting a new position at my office. A few weeks ago, I accepted the position of nursing home case worker at the Department of Human Services, thinking that it wouldn't really start until the middle of January. Well, as luck would have it, the woman who was going to be training me has resigned, so starting this coming Tuesday, I will be training. In addition to my reviewing my A&P I material, I'm going to have to be learning all of the policy for nursing home Medicaid. I mean, I'm thankful, don't get me wrong. It's my favorite demographic of people, but the policy is a lot to take in. I have to know a lot more about their financial situations, and my usage of acronyms is going to start taking effect. My supervisor has already given me the policy "handbook," which is ridiculously long and not very exciting. It's like reading the whaling information in Moby Dick; you know, the parts you skipped over so you could read about Captain Ahab going nuts? Except there are no parts like this in my handbook.

Sigh. I am going to have no life whatsoever. Looks like it's gonna be me and Zola kissing again at next year's NYE bash.

Yummy yummy tummy - nom nom nom

I inherited my father's sweet tooth, and I am really okay with that. It is one gene about which I am not constantly griping (i.e. lactose intolerance, near-sightedness, mouth ulcers, etc.). However, I have quite particular taste when it comes to that sort of thing, close to snobbishness. But I also inherited that from my father; he once told me, when I stated I preferred Pepsi over Coca Cola, that I "must not be American and therefore must also hate apple pie." I always thought Pepsi was also an American brand but I believed it would be best if I let my dad have his moment. Plus, he seemed oddly hostile for someone who doesn't even enjoy eating that much.

Anyway, I discovered this awesome website that will definitely be helping me along in my addiction to sweet things: Cupcake Bakeshop by Chocylit.

Next week is going to be the week of cupcakes, starting with Green Tea Cupcakes with lavendar/ginger icing. Again, yummy yummy yummy - nom nom nom.