My weekend… the blog-approved version*

Today has been an exercise in self-control. I woke up at 11:30 to a phone call from Amanda. After my sleep-deprived brain talked her ear off, almost without censorship, I had breakfast and showered and watched the TiVo’ed episode of McLeod’s Daughters (fantastic!). But I was thinking way too much and didn’t want to, so I indulged my OCD tendencies and cleaned the stove top and the outside of the fridge (even organized the magnets). I pulled out my iPaq for some mind-numbing games of Mah-Jong and Pyramid, did some laundry, played my guitar, read a little. All the while, my thoughts were still going nonstop, though a bit quieter. I made dinner, watched some TV. Now I’m tired enough to go to bed (short day!), and thought maybe writing some things down would help sleep come easier and be hopefully interrupted.

Spent Friday afternoon at the State Fair with Amanda and had a good time. After she left to spend the weekend with family, I cleaned house (to be fair, a lot was done while she was still at my house, but I was feeling restless). The living room is actually livable now.

I slept in Saturday, tried to be lazy as I showered and dressed and got ready for the day, but I was really getting ready for a date with no real plans and no place either of us had to be later. I was nervous, anxious, tense. I was carrying my phone in my pocket, so when he called I answered on the first ring, silently berating myself for doing so.

I’m going to see if I can keep this short. Prince Charming picked me up and we went to play Frisbee in the park. We walked around downtown Minneapolis holding hands (stopped to play another round of Foosball – my win, but he was without his glasses, so my 16-14 win doesn’t seem like that great an accomplishment – so I’m now up one game, 2-1), played Scrabble back at my house, grabbed dinner, and watched TV (he picked out Amelie from the roommate’s collection, and then we flipped around cable for a long while). We got cozy on the couch, more so than I’ve been with other guys (though not by much). It was so… comfortable and nice, though that’s probably not how he’d want me to describe it. I love talking with him and spending time with him (he even got the Matea seal of approval). He’d make a really good friend, though I kinda want more (which is technically what dating is, I suppose).

I finally kicked him out at 2:45 a.m. – amazing, since he picked me up at 2, almost 13 hours earlier. He kissed me goodnight, sweetly, and soon after journaling I lost consciousness in bed. He’s all I dreamt about – modifications on how the night could have gone, things that happen in the future, things I probably subconsciously wished had happened but I got in the way of myself.

And then I spent all day Sunday stressing and obsessing and wondering and trying not to do all of it. I wanted to call people and talk, and I didn’t want to at the same time. I’m all confused and don’t know what I think or feel at all, where he’s at, what might happen next. My tummy feels all tingly-weird, like just before going on stage to speak or perform.

He makes me feel good about myself and I’d like to see things work out. That’s a start.

*I have to remind myself that close friends like Amanda and Liz read this frequently, and so I probably shouldn’t post every single thought that comes into my head.

Speaking of Liz, where are you? Are you in this state? Ohio still? Your phone keeps cutting out on me!!! (And when you called on Sunday I was with Prince Charming, so I didn’t try too hard to call you back. You understand.)

What A Way To Wanna Be

Every once in a while, I run into someone for whom it seems their whole goal in life is to make others smile. Like the bus driver who gave all the women flowers as they exited the bus. Or the guy who walked in a door behind me and asked me if I was a natural redhead and said it was beautiful (no comments on the dye job from the peanut gallery). They’re just little things, but so totally random, and they make me feel special and loved by the universe, if I can say something as nebulous as that. I think it must be really fun to be them, to be such a source of joy for others, to do or say something and see an instant smile on a stranger’s face. Sometimes I’d like to be a person like that. Of course, my fear of strangers and loathing of social interaction in general get in the way of this, but if I were a different person, if I weren’t so shy or socially distant, I would love to make strangers smile.

When Betsy and I were in high school, or maybe I had just graduated and she had just finished her freshman year at U of I, we got together weekly at Starbucks to catch up, talk faith, and enjoy the summer. I remember several times, having gotten tired of the air conditioning or perhaps just wanting movement, we’d take our coffee and go walking, usually over a bridge that crossed the Fox River (there are a couple of these in close proximity to the different Starbucks we’d frequent). Being the 17-year-old that I was, I would make the effort to look guys directly in the eyes and smile, taking joy in the fact that they would stand a bit taller, put a bit more in their step, and generally continue on thinking that someone saw something special in them. (This of course being long before the multitude of life experiences that have made eye contact difficult for me.) I loved that. I wasn’t trying to hit on them or even talk to them – I don’t think we ever did. They were just smiles, something that (hopefully) brightened a stranger’s day.

When I worked in San Francisco, I loved serving food at the soup kitchen, especially because it was a comfortable environment to show a stranger unconditional love. I loved teaching the students what to do when delivering meals to AIDS patients or shut-ins, and then watching them go to work at bringing food and love into another’s life. In high school, I used to write letters to some of the girls in the junior high youth group, knowing how special it made them feel to get real mail.

I try to say “Thank You” to my bus driver upon exiting (unless the ride has been particularly horrendous). I’m cordial to the checkout girl (or boy) at Target or the co-op. I say “Thank You” at the end of business phone calls, even when the person has called me. I’m not rude to waiters and waitresses, try not to get upset at the telemarketers who continually call our house looking for the Yangs, and have yet to actually lose my temper at work (though I’ve come very, very close). I know those things matter, but they seem… insignificant when compared to some of the things others do.

What have you done lately to make a stranger smile?

Happy Long Weekend

Friday night, I bailed on civilization, and instead spent the evening reading in bed and watching reruns (though Joan of Arcadia was on, and I hadn’t seen that particular rerun, and it was good). I stayed up later than perhaps would have been responsible, except that I had a 3-day weekend ahead of me and I didn’t have to wake up and go anywhere at all! Even Sunday! I was thrilled.

I woke up to the phone ringing at 10 am on Saturday (why I got out of bed and answered it, I’m not sure – I may have been sleep-walking). It was , wanting to know if I’d like to go with her to her parents’ house for the weekend. They weren’t going to be there, she had to house sit and feed the dog/fish, and go to a party. It took me the full half-hour she gave me to decide. Why was this so complicated? Mostly because I was looking forward to my long weekend, and had made a whole list of things I could do, including starting to work on refinishing the rest of my furniture, and make lasagna. Plus, I had bailed on Liz Friday night and had promised to do something with her Monday. The idea of going away and getting away won out (plus, I’ve never actually been to Amanda’s home in the nearly 3 years we’ve been friends, nor have I met most of her friends who were going to be at this party). I finished making Swedish Pancakes (I really have to post that recipe here for y’all), packed quickly, and then we were off.

Her good friend (best friend?) growing up, who is married to another of her good friends (who she actually dated for a while), was throwing a party for her husband’s golden birthday – 26. We got to the farm around 2:30, the birthday boy showed up around 4, and we stayed until one-ish. It was a unique experience, unlike any I’ve ever had (nor would I ever be able to have again without borrowing Amanda’s friends, since I have none that are even remotely close to what they are like), and I’m not really able to describe it, except to say: I did have fun, was not horribly offended, was probably shyer than I should have been (and consequently people there might have thought I was a snob, as is what happens with shy people frequently), and managed to go the entire time without a sip of alcohol (though no one pushed me at all, everyone else was drinking and I was quite proud of myself and happy with them for the whole situation).

Sunday Amanda let me sleep in till noon, at which point she put a note on my door saying she was going into town. I stayed in her old room (and she stayed in her parents’, since she thought that might be weird for me), and it has an east exposure, and the sun just poured in all morning. I kept waking up, but it was good and warm and comforting. Spent Sunday reading – multiple trashy books instead of the good ones I brought with me. We did go into town (Willmar), and both bought pink fuzzy shoes. They’re so fun! Pink suede lined with sheerling, slip-on clog-types. We decided that since we don’t actually go out all that often together, we could own the same shoes. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to wear them until probably October, which is very hard for me since I like to wear new purchases immediately.

Monday involved more sleeping in (though only until ten), confusion over what day of the week it was (Sunday hadn’t felt like Sunday at all, especially with the sleeping in and lack of church), more reading, and Little Debbie (my find at the BigK, which I haven’t been able to find at Target or Cub, but today saw in one of the little marts in the Skyway – oh well). Got home around eight, the cats were happy to see me, unpacked, read some more, and fell asleep much later than I should have.

It doesn’t sound like much of a weekend, and I sadly didn’t take any pictures to prove it, but it was relaxing and a change of pace and scenery, and it helped the twitching in my eye (it’s now more of a flutter).

Since the weather is so nice today, I think I’ll stop at Target on my way home (OK, not really on my way home, but being limited to the bus as I am…), make some dinner, and then walk myself over to ProEx to pick up the pictures I ordered on Friday and thought I would pick up over the weekend (but didn’t, since I wasn’t in town). Maybe some more book-reading, some phone calls to parents (need to get a spritz-cookie recipe from Dad), some sunless tanning… my evenings feel so free without that second job. It’s not like I spent my every waking moment working – in truth, I had many nights home in front of the TV. But there was always a bit of tension about that, as if I should be working, studying or writing lessons or planning meetings or calling people ad nauseum. Now I look at a Tuesday night and I really have nothing to do but what I plan, what I design. My time is really my own now. It’s hard to explain, but I guess it’s the difference between having a job where you take work home and one where you don’t. And now I don’t.

Bragging On My Kids (And Me)

So last night in youth group, the adults and kids met, sans moi, and prepared a time so the kids could get to share memories etc with me before I leave (since next week a lot of kids won’t be there and then the following week is our end of year picnic and last event). I wanted to share what the kids wrote down because it made me very happy, the things that they said. If you knew them, especially specific answers, you’d be amazed. It’s such a wonderful gift they gave me, to write down answers to these questions, then share some with me, then we prayed, and I got to take all the answers home with me. Beautiful. I’ll include their names so credit goes where credit’s due, and also because Amanda and Liz know the kids. I also thought I’d stress what I liked best, and add my own comments.

1. Funniest thing you remember Kelly doing or saying

  • The funniest thing I can remember Kelly doing is when we went to the Halloween party at Clearwater and she dressed as Miss Piggy! …And oinked… LOL. -Katie I need to find that picture of me – I really enjoyed this too.
  • The funniest thing I remember Kelly doing or saying involved the Taste of Minnesota, a few missed buses and a long time in downtown St Paul… Also Kelly being able to beat Shane at “Honey If You Love Me.” -Liz
  • Cake fight with Randy. -Tim Can I just say that this may be my favorite memory of my time at the church. I completely forgot to think before acting, but it was a lot of fun.
  • When Jade and I started laughing and got Kelly to laugh is something I will never forget. -Jazz
  • When she was in the “your mom” jokes at one youth group that shut Will and me up. -Shane
  • “Your Mom” jokes and cupcake fight. -Will
  • The cake fight with Randy. -Jade
  • Playing wacky-ball. -Sam Everyone should get to play wacky-ball sometime in their life. It’s kickball, but with a football, and the bases are run 2-1-3-home. It’s a great equalizer because everyone’s bad at it.
  • Getting yelled at at Happys for going down the slide. -Randy
  • Miss Piggy at Halloween Clearwater Retreat. -Ana

2. What has Kelly said to you that will remember most (or that sticks out in your mind)?

  • I will always remember how Kelly always gave me a look when I did something wrong (she smiled with a mad face)… funny. -Katie
  • That I am fine right now. -Liz
  • God loves you. -Tim
  • Kelly always said, “They don’t have to like me!” -Carla
  • I’ll remember forever when Kelly gave Jade and I the “boyfriend” talk. -Jazz I so don’t remember doing this, but I’ve given a lot of girls the “boyfriend” talk.
  • All the different words for “butt.” -Shane and Will patookis, tookis, tooshie, rear, seat… the kids apparently came up with 20 while I wasn’t in the room.
  • That I’m funny and cool to be around. -Jade
  • Everybody is special through God’s eyes. -Sam
  • Randy be quiet. -Randy
  • I loved it when you read “The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe” and then you made the lion prayer thing.

3. What will you remember most about Kelly?

  • The thing that I will remember most about Kelly is her smile/laugh… her smile and laugh are the same… if that makes sense. -Katie
  • Her teaching me about God. -Liz
  • How you stood up for your beliefs. You taught me to stand up for mine. -Tim Since Tim is one of my adult volunteers, this really means a lot.
  • You always had a welcoming smile on your face. -Carla
  • I will never forget how Kelly always made me laugh. -Jazz
  • How she taught us that worship can be fun and not boring. -Shane
  • Her hair. -Will
  • She’s nice and awesome! -Jade
  • She’s a vegetarian. -Sam I love that everyone remembers this, but no one seemed to be able to remember when I stopped being a vegetarian. But the church was great about being accommodating of this for most of the 2 and a half years I was there.
  • The curly red hair. – Randy
  • You’re the only person I know who is like you. You’re your own person. -Ana

4. Funniest or strangest thing you did in Kelly’s presence

  • Me and Ana always did funny or strange things in front of Kelly…. I’m strange… I know it!! LOL. -Katie
  • Broke a fan at church. -Liz
  • Dress up at Clearwater Forest for a party or play. Walk on crutches for my picture. -Tim
  • Took off my pants (twice). -Shane I think I have to add that he had shorts on underneath, but two weeks in a row he took off his pants in youth group, and then took off his shirt too (he had another one on underneath), and I just ended up saying, stop taking off your clothes!
  • There are too many and I can’t think. -Will
  • Laugh attack with Jazz. -Jade
  • Rolling myself in the rugs. -Sam

5. Best memory of time with Kelly

  • My best memories are at Clearwater… we always seem to stay in the same room… fun times! -Katie
  • The night at church before I left for Africa with the “laying on of hands.” -Liz
  • Mission Trip to Chicago. How tired we were on the last day but we kept going. -Tim I have never been that tired in my life. I remember just looking at Tim and thinking I could sleep standing up right there.
  • Supervising Kelly and the P girls in catching baby sunfish at the cabin was really memorable and a lot of fun. -Carla
  • Best memory with Kelly was at the winter retreat with Kelly walking in the snow. -Jazz
  • All of them. -Shane and Will
  • Winter Clearwater retreat. -Jade
  • I remember when you took me to Caribou to tell me the story from the Bible and when we were playing Cadoo, Malarky, Scattergories Junior! -Molly
  • The most part of the memory that I will remember about the Hands on Helping! I had a great time with you on the retreat! And when last year she used to drive me home every single Wednesday! And even when we went to the sleepover! And when we went to Panera Bread! For breakfast! -Molly
  • Playing wacky-ball. -Sam
  • The cupcake fight. -Randy
  • When you and Katie picked me up in summer to go work on the construction of the well for the skit we did. -Ana I love how memories evolve over time. This was actually Spring Break. The best part was when we spray painted the floor in the youth room, not on purpose. We made such a mess.

6. What have you learned about God or your faith from Kelly?

  • I had fun when you (Kelly) taught about Bible study… you made it funny.. so I remember (kind of)… Fun fun fun! -Katie
  • There’s not enough room on this paper… -Liz
  • I learned a lot about praying, having God be a large part of my life. Relying on God in all things. -Tim
  • I have learned that fundamentalists and liberals get along just fine as they share their faith. -Carla Most of the people at the church are much more liberal than I am, and it was really OK almost all of the time. I stayed away from teaching certain topics, but other than that we really were able to have intelligent discussions and disagree. I liked that.
  • I learned that you really do need to get to know a person in order to like them. -Jazz I’m worried about what this might mean…
  • She has taught me to believe even when I’m in doubt. -Shane
  • That there are a lot of unlikely heroes in the Bible. -Will
  • Too much to write. -Jade
  • I have learned a lot with you and the Bible story and when we made the wax candle. That was fun! -Molly
  • I learned that God was really mad at the Israelites. -Sam
  • It’s like the book “The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe.” -Randy
  • We learned to be more accepting of God and faith from you. -Ana

7. What is your wish for Kelly as she moves onto another stage in her life?

  • Kelly… I hope that you have fun… you are a fun teacher and kids will like you!! -Katie
  • I hope that you are happy where you are, and able to always find joy in your experiences. -Liz
  • I wish you to be happy and fulfilled in your life. To be secure in your call to be a teacher. To know that you are a talented and special person. -Tim
  • Kelly, I hope that your life contains fulfillment. You will be in my continued prayers. -Carla
  • I hope Kelly will never forget us and have a great time teaching. I also hope she will visit. -Jazz
  • I wish/hope that the children who learn from her get to experience all the great memories we got to experience. -Shane
  • Don’t forget to have fun. -Will
  • I hope she has a great life and that her students aren’t as cool as us (they prolly won’t be). -Jade
  • My wish is that I hope you like being a great teacher! -Molly
  • Do well in her school and new job. -Sam
  • To be successful. -Randy
  • I don’t wish anything for you, because I know you will do well in life because you’re you, and no one can change that, only help it. -Ana

I’m humbled.

my weekend

kinda sucked. Now, it was filled with cool stuff, and I did have fun, but once you get the overall view, I think you’ll see where I’m coming from.

side note: I bought a new purse this weekend. Isn’t it cute? [Link removed] (Two small problems: no inner pockets, and it smells STRONGLY of plastic. I’m hoping the latter will go away.)

Friday night, I went to Pepito’s with Amanda and Liz. The food was great, the margaritas were strong, and the atmosphere fun. I was a little buzzed. Went back to Liz’s, watched a little TV, and then drove home because I wasn’t sleepy anymore.

Minor problem: Woke up, exhausted, at 2:30 am, thinking that all would be better if I just ralphed and fell back asleep. In the dark, without leaving bed (I was too tired for that), I attempted to find both water and Pepto. Finding both and self-medicating, I was finally able to fall back asleep. I did not ruin my 20-year no-vomiting streak, but those 20 minutes were awful.

Amanda reported on Saturday that she also did not feel well. We haven’t been able to discuss this with Liz yet, so we’re not sure if it was the food or the drinks or the combination or just freak coincidence.

So Saturday I slept in. Actually woke up around eight (Scooby Doo was on TV, so I fell back asleep immediately), and then again at 10:30. Turned the TV back on, found something to watch, fed the cats, and lounged in bed. Around 11 I decided that I was still a little tired, so I laid back down with my head next to my yin-yang cats (they like to sleep arranged so that their bellies face in and they create a perfect circle). Romeo stretched out a paw and placed it on my nose. Later it was replaced by one of Matea’s paws on my cheek, and then later by Romeo again. Apparently we were feeling affectionate.

Finally got out of bed around 12:30. Attempted to take a shower, but water pressure has again been cut in half (as well as volume) and there was no way I could get the shower to actually… shower. (If this doesn’t get fixed soon, I will be hairy and smelly.) Got dressed, found my coupons, and went shopping (Target and Cub). It had been over a month since I’d done real grocery shopping, so it took a while. Got back in time to unload and meet Amanda at the Science Museum for Omnifest (which is now over). We watched Amazing Caves, Kilimanjaro, Stomp’s World Beat, and Antartica. They were all very good. Only downside is that I get motion sick easily, so I spent most of the time sick to my stomach. At least after the first one we moved up to the center back, which helped a lot. It didn’t help that I was very hungry, having not eaten lunch (we were there from 4-9 pm).

Luckily, however, our favorite restaurant was open until 10, and just down the street. After giving Amanda wrong directions to get gas (accidentally, of course), she met me there. We had wonderful food and enjoyed ourselves. Back at home, I knew I wouldn’t be able to go to sleep for a while (large dinner including appetizers and desert at 10pm?), so I tooled around, did some reading, watched some TV. Finally fell asleep around 2-ish.

Woke up at 6:30 on Sunday with a fierce headache. I thought it might be the lack of sleep, but am still not sure. Wanted to shower it away, but was unable, again, to get a shower. No, wait, that’s not right. I did shower, but it was very unsatisfying – I spent most of the time with my knees bent trying to get my head under the water (my house, though it has 12-foot ceilings, was apparently built for midgets). Shower didn’t make the headache go away, so I took Excedrin. Got ready for church, made it there by 8 to practice for the special music. Headache faded, but not by much. Went to Sunday School over at Einstein Bros Bagels and grabbed a large Va-Vanilla (or va-va-vanilla, as I seem to be unable to drop that one syllable) in another attempt to make the pain go away. No such luck.

I would have gone home at this point to sleep off what felt like an impending migraine. But I had to stay for second service for special music. I lived through the service, and even my trip to Target and the Guitar Center afterwards (yes, I’m a Target junkie – knows to call Starbucks and Target before contacting police if I’m missing). I really don’t like going to Guitar Center, but it’s the only place around really to get new strings. I just couldn’t get my guitar in tune yesterday, and figured it was time for a change. I also bought a new tuner, which I have been without since mine was stolen from my office at Church a year and a half ago.

Back at home, I opened the windows and got a nice cross-breeze going. The light wasn’t bothering me and the pain had subsided some more, so perhaps I beat the migraine away, or at least downgraded it to a wicked headache. Ah, the joys of caffeine. I still had some nice shooting pains in my brain every time I stood up, so I spent most of the day lying in bed, watching TV and reading. I got up a few times to switch laundry over (got the towels done and a load of dress pants so I don’t have to wear skirts to work), but basically that was it. Around 8 I tried to eat my leftovers from Pepito’s, but only got about halfway through before losing my appetite. Was it the 2:30 am memory, general nausea, or bad food? Who knows.

Needless to say, the headache, while minor by the end of the day, was still with me when I went to sleep. This is usually a surefire way for me to wake up with a headache the next day. Thankfully, this morning I woke up feeling fine, even after being short on sleep and food. Still no shower, but if you read my last post, apparently it doesn’t matter. I don’t smell yet.

So, judge for yourself. Good weekend? Bad weekend? For me, it’s all overshadowed by the headache yesterday.

Tonight’s Events

Well, tonight I told Pastor B that I plan to leave at the end of May to start at Hamline. She was really very supportive. I figured she would be a good person to talk to, because she went through the same career change, though in reverse and in her 40’s. She totally understood, was happy for me, and generally just positive. I wouldn’t have told her this early, but we have a serious budget situation at Church. Talks include re-staffing at the church and it seemed pertinent to the conversations the budget group was having.

Pastor B was going to tell Pastor S, but probably no one else, so it’s still not public knowledge until the end of April. Still, it feels really good to have told, and quite freeing.

I know my life is going to change fairly drastically in the next few years, especially in June. Ending one job won’t free up any time – in fact, I’ll probably be busier, depending on the classes I take. But it’s taken me so long to get to this point, where I really know what the next step is and feel good about it. Grad school is going to be hard work, but the end result will be worth it. There are a lot of details to work out still, especially how all the financing will come about, but I’m really looking forward to the challenge of it all.

A huge thanks to all of my friends who have been so supportive of me throughout this. Amanda and Liz have been great. My older friends, though (and by that, I mean the ones I’ve had for a longer time, since at least college), have been a tremendous source of support. I know that I haven’t really talked this through with most of them, but I know that they’re all supportive. Mom and Alison, though, have been the best. They’ve both really held my hand through this whole time. Mom has given me great advice, especially that I should do a job shadow (Friday’s going to be great, and so informational!). And Alison has been great just to talk to and be able to share thoughts and fears and just able to really express myself.

Anyways, a huge thanks to everyone who’s helped me out, and who will continue to be with me and support me as I continue on this journey.

Pictures (long overdue!)

I finally got my film back from the lab – apparently it contained all fall and Christmas, including a trip to the Orchard, the Fall Senior High Retreat, Christmas, and the Snow Senior High Retreat. Hmmmm…. Digital camera should fix that problem, but…. you never know.

So, here are the pictures for our trip to the orchard (me, Amanda, and Liz):

Apple!

[Link to album removed]

Men and Women

To approximately half of you reading this: I apologize. From my gender to yours, we beg your forgiveness. It’s not our fault we are this way. The good Lord, in his omniscent sense of humor, made us as fundamentally flawed creatures. We are simultaneously weak & agressive, hungry & needy, cunning & stupid. Women, on the other hand, are frighteningly gorgeous.

-from Digging for Goldner (warning – language warranting PG13 rating) [link removed – site no longer exists]

Ok, that is just an absolutely wonderful thing to say! I came to Digging for Goldner via This Fish, who confessed to having a blog crush, which was enough to convince me to check out the link. I think I know where she’s coming from. At any rate, if only more men would feel this way. I take that back – there are probably plenty of men who feel this way. Where are you? Could I meet you? This whole Match.com thing has offered me nothing in the way of anything with potential, and I don’t blame it. It still all hinges on attraction, and no computer program can figure that out.

I do have to say that, while women may be “frighteningly gorgeous,” we are also fundamentally flawed creatures. And need I remind everyone of the time I was in the presence of a man who could only be described as gorgeous, and was unable to speak in complete sentences? Yeah, I thought so. OK, just checked the archives. Apparently I haven’t told that story yet. It’s funny and you get to laugh at me.

Last year before she went to Africa, Liz and I performed at Open Mic a few times at the Coffee Grounds. There’s a group of “regulars” who perform monthly, and then there’s always a few extras. I shouldn’t say for sure – I haven’t been to Open Mic in quite a while, and things could be different. Anyways. One of the old “regulars” was this guy who played the guitar and would just do solo guitar pieces, no vocals, and he was an amazing guitarist. He was also beautiful. And married, and he would talk about his wife frequently. She was in the army. Didn’t stop him from being beautiful, though, nor me from realizing this.

After Liz and I played, he came over to our table to encourage us. I’m sure he was trying to be nice, but I was terribly embarrassed. I was bright red (when nervous I blush from just a little below my shoulders all the way to the top of my head, and I can’t control it, which is even more embarrassing) and he was telling us what a good job we did, and he specifically told me that I had a nice voice. The problem was that, aside from blushing, I was temporarily unable to speak. He was just too cute. That had never happened to me before! They use that a lot on TV sitcoms, where guys can’t talk to the pretty girl and just stammer out unintelligible nothings, but I never thought it was real until it happened to me.

Liz and Amanda laughed about that one for a long time. He’s since moved far away (Georgia perhaps?) and no doesn’t have that effect on me anymore. And I have yet to meet another guy since who has had the same effect. Of course, any times I’ve been in the presence of drop-dead gorgeous guys, they haven’t spoken to me. So, it could happen again. There’s something to look forward to.

This Weekend

Friday night I got together with Amanda and Liza for dinner, games & a movie. Saw Amanda’s new place. We played Scrabble (but didn’t keep score) and I must say I had some kick-butt moves. Much better than last time. Did I mention I bought Scrabble a few weeks ago? It was on sale at Target. I love word games. I wish I could play Scrabble by myself. Hmm. Must work on that.

We also watched Office Space. Again. Wasn’t my favorite of the options I’d brought, but friendship does involve a certain amount of compromise.

Saturday was delicious, though I am a little frustrated that my body decided “sleeping in” meant 8:30. What happened to sleeping in until noon? I am getting old. Lazed around, finally got off my tookus and went shopping. Glorious shopping. Spent way too much money. Visited two Franks stores to partake in the going-out-of-business-because-we’re-filing-bankruptcy store. Found white pants (and a white skirt!) for Christmas. Now, of course, I need white shoes. Winter white shoes. How hard is that going to be?

I also watched Calendar Girls, which was good but not as great as I expected. Of course, it’s based on a true story, so….

Sunday we spent three hours raking leaves, again. Today my arms hurt. Last Sunday I mostly bagged leaves, but we didn’t have to do that this time, so I raked, and raked, and raked. Poor arms. Was bored the rest of the day. I tried to find things to do, but nothing amused me. Ended up laying in bed watching TV with Matea cuddling with me. She’s become quite snuggly lately.

Thanksgiving should be fun. Melissa left yesterday morning for New England, and will be gone till the end of the month. Karla leaves Wednesday and will be gone through Sunday. Four days in the house all by myself!!! I’m making Cornish rock hens with wild rice stuffing, and candied acorn squash. All for me. And before you go feeling bad for me, it’s by personal choice. I had several invitations to spend the holiday with families from church, but really felt like having a weekend off and doing exactly what I wanted to do. The joys of being single.

GUEST BLOG!!!! YIPPEE!!!

The infamous “A” is back in action! I’ve been strong armed (not really, I could take Kell any day…) into sharing an amusing story from my life…

So I stopped at the Tobasi Stop (a gas station w/ super cheap gas, right by my house…) for gas before work on Friday. I was paying with cash so after pumping, I went in to pay (not that I could pay outside even with a card, the place is a little old fashioned). The guy (the same guy that is always in there!!) was talking to a salesman, so I dropped the cash on the counter and said, “Here’s for the gas.” I turned to leave, and the guy came over, smiling, thanked me a little TOO graciously and told me to PLEASE come again. I smiled said, “I’m sure I will.” Then I started running…he had the “look”…you know, like the cashier at the grocery store that’s always a little too friendly…

Anyway, I make it halfway to my car when I hear a pounding noise. I look over my shoulder, and sure enough, there is the “too friendly” guy pounding on the window and motioning for me to come back. I reluctantly return to find him grinning like the cat who ate the canary. He had my money in his hand. I’d given him $1 too much. He had my dollar bill in his hand, saying, “It is my lucky day, you payed too much. Now, you owe me dinner.” I smiled, giggled nervously, took the dollar and ran.

I wish their gas wasn’t so cheap. I wish they had a machine for paying outside. I wish someone else would be working. Man! I’ll never have cheap gas again…unless I go out with skeezy gas station guy…

Rockin’ out to: MPR? My co-worker listens to talk radio all day long. Except when there’s a Twin’s game, then we listen to that. The CD player broke. MAN!

Wisdom Source: ME.

Today’s Wisdom:When you are knee deep in mud, it’s OK to wet your pants.

Just call me Kelly

So, here I am. The infamous “A”. If you haven’t figured it out yet, that stands for Amanda. Not much to say about me. Maybe just a little blogger illiterate. Kell typed all of these draft posts (one for each day) and told me, if nothing else, I should post those…well, no can do. Can’t figure that out to save my life. So I guess that means I have to tell you a funny story or something….hmm…

Well, there’s always my terrible hatred of geese. Canadian ones, specifically. They are terrible animals. Hereafter, they will be referred to as “devilbirds”, because really, they are. Case in point: Last night I had just dropped a 13 year old girl off at her home when I got lost on my way out of her maze-like subdivision. I finally figured out I was going the wrong direction (and knew which direction was the correct one), so I pulled into the parking lot of this classy office building (with a pond out front, notorious for attracting the aforementioned devilbirds) to turn around. On the way out, the sun was glaring in my eyes. I hear a “Thud!” Loud profanities leave my mouth. I put the car in park, get out, and sure enough, there was a devilbird lying on the ground in front of my car. More profanity. I hate the birds, but don’t get me wrong, I don’t want them to DIE! So, I approach the bird to check for vital signs, when the little @#$%!& flapped up to its feet and came running at me hissing!! Now, this doesn’t leave this room…I, being a farmgirl, with my tough muchacha image to maintain cannot have this getting out, but I ran screaming like a 12 year old schoolgirl. Geese have always freaked me out. Next time I won’t forget my .22 shotgun.

Rockin’ out to: Bob Street (classic R&B show on KFAI/Open Air Radio)

Wisdom Source: Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen

Today’s Wisdom: “When you are knee deep in mud, it’s OK to pee your pants.”

Muchas gracias

Amanda graciously allowed me the privilege of being advice-giver yesterday. I absolutely adore being in this situation. It makes me feel… important, and gives meaning to my existence. I may sound melodramatic, but it’s true. Advice-giving, especially in the area of relationships, is one of the things I enjoy most in this world. It’s what I like about teenagers.

So, to any of you reading who are ever humble enough (or desperate enough, as the case may be) to allow me the privilege to be arrogant enough to give you advice, THANK YOU! You make my day!

Liz

I helped her pack her car up on Saturday and she drove back to Cincinnati sometime yesterday. She leaves on Sunday for Malawi. Amazing. No summer vacation this year for our birthdays.

Here’s how we spent most of last summer. (l to r: me, Amanda, Liz)

Listening to: Van Morrisson, “Brown-Eyed Girl”