Monday, November 1, 2010

The Great Pumpkin Adventure

Jacob's Darth Vader and my creative carving.
Have you ever had an idea invade your mind, take hold, and not let go?

I find it happening far too often. Once an idea grips me, I can't shake it. (Inception, anyone?)

Anyway, on Saturday evening I decided I didn't really want to give up my tradition of carving pumpkins. Don't get me wrong – I was actually prepared this year! I bought my pumpkins two weeks early, and they were beautiful. Round, plump, and flawless. They rolled around in my backseat for the whole time, just waiting to be carved into masterpieces. However, I thought I was brave enough to give them up. When we decided to do pumpkin carving at the Hallowe'en party for youth, I offered my two since I already had them, on the condition I could take them home and place them on my step.

Well, after the hoopla of the party and the huge breath of relief I took, I completely forgot to bring them home. I thought I'd get over it... until Saturday afternoon.

What? Go a Hallowe'en without carving pumpkins?? Unheard of! Carving one at the young adults' party we went to didn't suffice. We didn't take it home, so we had no proof of our labour.

It had to be done again.

Unfortunately, I forgot to get some while we were in Lethbridge. Thank goodness for a cell-phone and GPS! We looked up locations all over Lethbridge while parked by the side of the road in Fort Macleod. We fully intended to go back... until we found out nowhere in Lethbridge had any left. Fort Macleod was out. Pincher Creek was out. Claresholm didn't have any. In fact, Nobleford, High River, and Nanton didn't either. We called 16 places before finding out that Okotoks had some pumpkins left. "Quite a few", in fact. Perfect! We headed north.

I was little concerned, though. Why would I want to drive almost an hour one way just to get pumpkins if they ran out in the meantime? And what if they were closed by the time I got there?? And so Jacob, being the obliging husband he is, called and asked the customer service lady to put a couple aside for us. I had to beg, because, well, I didn't want to call again. And sound like a desperate fool. 

I dropped Jacob off at home so he could continue with some work at home before I sped into Okotoks. (Well, only a little speeding). I realized at 7:55 that they may close at 8 p.m. What then?? No matter, I was slated to make it there at 7:59... until I missed the exit. And the turn-around point. 

Thankfully, when I arrived at 8:06, they were still open. 

Walking up to the doors, however, I discovered they did indeed have "quite a few" pumpkins left. In fact, they had nine full-size boxes sitting outside the doors. Four feet tall and five feet across, they probably had 200 pumpkins, and the customer service lady had been kind enough to put two aside for me.

She probably thought I was little insane... especially since I drove that far for a $12 purchase.

I made it worth my time, though, and spent another few dollars at Starbucks. 

So how about it? Have you ever had an idea grip your mind and just not let go? How far would you go for your proverbial pumpkin?

(And let's not talk about the time I wanted whipped cream on my hot chocolate...)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Finding hidden gems

I've always been told that God does things for a reason.

I think to revamp that a little, I would say that what God does, He does for a reason. What we do that is outside of His plan or because of our own free will, He can use for a reason.

I was reminded of this when I saw Deanna Storfie come to the church to perform "Impossible Faith" through her Christian Heroes series, featuring Corrie ten Boom. Corrie was a Jewish sympathizer who lived in Holland with her family when Hitler began his reign of terror. In their home, they rescued 100 Jews before a Dutch informant told the Gestapo what was happening and the ten Boom family was sent to several political camps, and finally Corrie and her sister Betsie ended up at Ravensbruck. It was there her sister died, Corrie was released due to a 'clerical error' and days later the older women were systematically murdered to get rid of those who were too old to be of much use (Corrie was in her 50s). It was a very powerful presentation, but what struck me most was when Storfie told of the fleas in Barracks 28.

She complained about the bites, the uncomfortable sleeping arrangements they created, and the fact they were everywhere in the Barracks.

Later, she wondered why the guards never came in to find them reading the little Bible she had smuggled in, and discovered it was because the fleas had been keeping them away.

What man had intended for evil, God has intended for good.

I was reminded of that again today when I could hardly walk against the wind. This was nothing that "man had intended for evil", but it certainly felt horribly uncomfortable. I really detest the wind... but as soon as I saw how many combines were out and how relieved the farmers were because the wind was probably quite literally a God-send along with the drying sunshine after the soaking rains we'd had, I realized that my perspective needed to change.

So I suppose there are two ways to look at it: either God can use our situations for good, or His reasons are totally unknown to us and are good even if we can't see why... but either way, maybe my perspective needs a shift sometimes. I can probably find a whole lot more hidden gems in unfortunate, frustrating, or challenging circumstances.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

You might be surprised, but I married for love

It has finally gotten to me. After hearing the same phrase over, and over, and over, I have a new pet peeve.
I like to pride myself on being a fairly tolerant person. Yes, I have some things that grind my gears a little bit... such as tags sticking up above the collars, hearing someone scrape their teeth against their fork while eating, and dragging the knife across a ceramic plate in a sound akin to nails against a chalkboard. I also occasionally push the cards back into a neat organized pile while playing a game... but I usually only do it once or twice and give up.

But overall, I try not to be annoyed by petty things.

However, I've about had it with the phrase "You picked him!". For anyone wondering if I was in an arranged marriage, what I'm about to say might shock you: I really did choose to marry Jacob.

Yes, I understand he can be a little constant in his jokes or picking up on linguistic nuances. Yes, I realize his sense of humour is a little weird sometimes and I very well know he can play the fool; however, I might add he does this to interact with people.

I can't even count how many times from how many people I've heard that one single phrase: "You picked him!!". I also get "He's yours!"... both said (almost always) with a half-joking/half-condescending tone and a self-satisfied little laugh at the end. Guess what? You're not even a little bit clever, original, or funny.

In fact, the next time someone says that, I might just snap. I might just break down from my normal response, which is usually a "Yes, I know" preempted by a smile, and start LISTING EVERY SINGLE REASON why I married him. Unfortunately, it will likely be with someone who means it in a casual, friendly manner who is trying to engage us in banter.

It's not even the phrase itself. It's the way it's said, what it implies, and the intentions that may or may not be behind it. It says to me I'm "stuck with him", and it's not a good thing. It says I shouldn't be satisfied with his sometimes-childish antics. And it screams disrespect.

For anyone who has ever even considered the idea that my husband, with whom I have been happily married for three years, doesn't deserve respect, please let me enlighten you:
• For our first wedding anniversary, he spent about 150 hours creating paper 101 origami roses, and on each one placed a typed-out reason why he loved me. He then colour-coded those reasons (yellow for character, white for spiritual, red for physical) and arranged for the waiter at our restaurant to bring out one rose to represent one year, and the rest to represent 100 more years of marriage.
• His "honey-do" list (which he created himself) is written on the side of the fridge in dry-erase marker. The first item on the list is "make Alicia feel loved", and he has it permanently checked off. He looks at it every day as a reminder, though I dare say he doesn't need one.
• Shall I list the breakfasts in bed, random flowers, poetry written, and countless shows of love?

Okay, maybe not. You'd probably puke half way through.... lol

Instead, let's list a couple of other things:
• Anything he picks up, he can accomplish. From cake decorating, to cooking amazing dishes out of nothing in the cupboard to building a staircase on the front of our house, tiling the bathroom, replacing flooring, carpeting downstairs to constructing a vanity, specialized fish-tank shelving unit to creative activities such as embroidering a home-made leather baseball for our third anniversary, painting, drawing with precise detail, and writing poetry. I'm not sure I've ever met someone who can touch something and just make it work or create it the way he wants.
• He knows an astonishing amount of random trivia, the etymology of words, and absorbs information from everywhere... though he can never remember where he learned it.
• His work with small children, games with teens at youth group, and gentle dealing with our puppy makes my heart melt. Once we have kids, I can guarantee he'll be an excellent father.
• How different he is compared to who he could be. I can't lie: his childhood wasn't good. He's fortunate and can't remember it (another result of the accident), but it's a blessing. He has been able to recreate himself to the person he wants to be without the hindrance of a painful past.
• He has settled right into my family and has made an effort to get to know them
• He is willing to work a job he can't stand (plus overtime hours) because he's determined to provide for us and our future, but is also making strides towards a career in which he can help others.

If I were to list other things, such as his patience and understanding or other character or physical qualities, I think I'd run out of room.

But if one more person says "You picked him!" I might just fill their head with everything I didn't list here and more.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Learning my tetiquette

Tetiquette [t,eti'ket] - noun: Following acceptable rules of social behaviour regarding cell phone, e-mail, and social networking, particularly when interacting with someone face-to-face.

Okay, so this isn't a real word. But the concept should be! My co-worker came up with this term (combining "technology" and "etiquette", or maybe simply "texting etiquette, though it could encompass so much more than that) when I was lamenting some particularly rude and inconsiderate behaviour from a person with whom I was recently speaking. In my case, this person completely disregarded the fact we were having a conversation (and it happened to be during an interview) and they, instead, played with their phone the entire time. Now, I really wouldn't have minded a couple of taps on the phone here and there. Maybe it was really desperate and needed a response asap. But for all I know, this person was playing brickbreaker, or at least having a very extended conversation via text message, as, in the entire fifteen minutes, I think we only made eye contact once.

Maybe I'm out of touch -- is this the new way to interact?

You see it everywhere: people with their eyes glued to their cell phone screens, bumping into you on the sidewalk and glaring at you as though you weren't watching where you were going... or almost running their car over a pedestrian because their conversation was too important... you know what I mean.

I think there needs to be an established "tetiquette" for people who cannot seem to come to their own conclusions as to polite behaviour (or just have no clue as to how rude they're being).

1.) If it's a face-to-face conversation, pocket the phone. It's thoroughly frustrating to try and have a conversation with someone when you're not sure if they're listening. I fight the urge to ask "sorry, but would you like me to call you instead? Perhaps we could carry on our conversation that way."

2.) If you're in the customer service industry, don't be a gum-chewing-mouth-breather. It's a lovely little term we've been using lately for those individuals behind the till who would much rather smack their gum, breath loudly, and text to the other cashier than ask you for your Sobey's card. (Imagine: *smack, smack, smack* *DEEP SIGH* "Anything else?" [whiny voice]) I know it's an inconvenience to have to work for your paycheck, but I'm pretty sure daddy doesn't want to pay that texting bill you've been racking up at work.

3.) Don't flood the other person's inbox! My phone makes a rather loud "ding" when I receive a text message. It's a fun little sound and means someone wants to talk to me. What's bad is when I hear "ding"... "ding"... "ding".... and this person is sending two or three word text messages over... and over... and over. (Oh, and the forwards? Those weren't welcome when e-mail came out... neither are they welcome to my phone. I promise, you won't die if you don't forward the text message, and if you do, your crush won't come kiss you at midnight. That's a little creepy to think about anyway.)

4.) Take time to respond properly. E-mail, text, Facebook message, whatever it is, a very short, curt response is difficult to decipher true meaning from. Especially in a professional environment, but even between friends, a cryptic e-mail with a two sentence response can appear very rude. In a text, it's not necessary to say "Hi _____, hope your day is going well. Here's what I have to say back to your text"... but in an e-mail, it needs to read a bit like a letter. Without something of a greeting at the beginning, body, and an ending, your two sentence e-mail response that reads "Come at 8. Bring a salad." actually reads "I didn't care enough to type out a full response"; "I'm annoyed with you for some reason unbeknown to you"; or "e-mailing you was an inconvenience." That's especially true if it's in response to a longer e-mail that someone has put care into typing out.

5.)  Use abbrev. with care, and sparingly. "Hey ppl idk if i can 2nite, sry" just gets annoying. "Sorry not sure" actually uses less characters.

6.) Adding a little bit of casual emotion is more than welcome, but not in a professional e-mail. If you insist on using two sentences to respond, at least put a :) at the end to indicate it was said with a smile. Adding an "lol" to the end of a sentence is great if the meaning can be construed in two different ways, and using little asterisks to indicate an action (*said with sarcasm*) clarifies the meaning without over-explanation. But for goodness sake, don't put an "lol" at the end of your e-mail to a potential employer! They'll lol you right out of that job. :)

7.) Let the other person know if you're not going to respond. Have you ever come back to your MSN Messenger (if anyone actually uses that anymore), Facebook chat session, or blackberry messenger to find four or five messages going, "So, what do you think?" "Are you still there?" "Hello?" "Okay, well I guess I'll talk to you later..." If you do need to pocket the phone, use the bathroom, or take a hiatus from the conversation, use a quick "brb" just to let the person know you can't respond for a moment. It's always appreciated.

8.) Don't respond with "lol". That's a clever little opt-out of a response. If I send you something you think is mildly amusing and you have nothing to say back, please don't use three letters to take up an entire text message. I'm sure if you were smart enough to catch on to my humour, you're smart enough to think up something a little more creative. I'd just term that L-A-Z-Y.

So, what do you think? Do you have any "tetiquette" suggestions? Do you think I'm way off the deep-end and should really just clue in to how the world of technology actually works?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Good-bye summer

Well, there it goes. We enjoyed a couple of weekends of summer warmth, but despite the heavy smoke from B.C. and rainy days I'd say it was a pretty good camping season.

But with the Labour Day weekend done and past, camping season has about wrapped up for the year.
It makes me wonder why we do it.

Whoever came up with the thought, "I know! Let's abandon all sense of cleanliness, society, amenities we work each and every day of our lives to obtain, comfort, and a dry home so we can eat sub-par food in a questionable environment before we sleep on the ground, hoping animals, rain, and bugs leave us alone."
It's the only time you'd wash your hands in the river and be okay with a little dirt in your sandwiches. I can't think of another place you'd settle for dishes you're not sure are clean and wear the same jeans (complete with ash, sand, and mud on the bottom) so many days in a row.

And yet it's a choice vacation. I love doing it. Maybe it's because we can truly get away from the things that aren't important and focus on beauty, fun, and relaxation (though, unless you have an air mattress, relaxation is really kind of questionable too). But I can't say I caught up on my sleep. The sun shone through the smoky glaze covering Martha Creek (near Revelstoke) to awaken us early each morning. We were eager to do some hiking (11 km later I was wondering whose brilliant plan that was) and, with our legs still recovering, paddle-boating the next morning.

If you break it down, it sounds ridiculous. Bundle up to go to bed? Skip showering and hope you don't have to go to a public place? Regardless, I just can't fathom using a fancy trailer complete with a microwave, dishwasher, and heated water. It just takes away the point of camping.

Might be good for kids – we'll see... we don't have any yet. But really, I think abandoning all sense of established propriety, aside from letting us feel like we're really roughing it (air mattress and all), lets us truly escape. It feels so different from home that our thoughts don't have to linger on responsibilities. It takes work to make yourself look presentable each morning – but it really doesn't matter when you're camping.

In general, it's natural.

So what do you think – why do we camp? And is camping in a fancy trailer cheating?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Who are you?

I held out from Facebook for what seemed like an eternity. I was asked to join, criticized for not joining, and, once I did, have wasted countless hours on the site.

But while I initially didn't post many pictures of myself, I realized its benefits for sharing pictures, promoting events, and connecting with sources for my work and friends outside of work.

I've always been careful, though, to keep a tight reign on my privacy settings. If you search me, you cannot see my pictures, wall, or much information beyond my gender, two favourite sites,  and my name. If I tag someone else in the pictures and it shows up on their profile, people can't click through my photos – they can only see that one.

But recently it's been reiterated to me in an unfortunate way how very public our lives have become online. Without going into details, in the event she ever sees this blog, I realized how much pictures can taint opportunities for volunteerism or employment and reputation. Yes, go ahead, post your pictures from the Naughty but Nice Sex Show, but realize that when someone is searching you to see if you're a suitable match to work with children, they may be wary. Feel free to post pictures of you in a bar with other men, drunk pictures of yourself looking like an idiot, and photos of your skipped-work-to-go-to-the-beach day, but realize that your employer might be your friend and discover your truancy, and any potential prestigious firms who may want to hire you in the future may be put off by these shows of questionable character.

Facebook has broken up marriages, ruined job opportunities, given reason for dismissal, and had countless teens grounded, punished, or banned from the computer.

What does your online footprint say about you? Have you ever googled yourself? You may be surprised what turns up. Kijiji postings, Flickr photos, Facebook posts, Twitter updates, and hundreds of other sites track who you are, where you're going, and what you're doing.
Keep in mind that even if you have your settings set as high as possible on things such as Facebook, your friends may not. Did they have that camera out in Las Vegas last week? What happens in Vegas certainly doesn't stay there... and if you're in pictures on someone else's profile and their pictures are public, you are visible to everyone.

And, by the way, do you want your photos used by anyone? Especially if you want to lay claim on your photos later, consider putting a water-mark on your photos. No one really cares about what they should do with your photos (like asking your permission to use them)... if it's online, most people consider it public domain.

In a more serious matter, if you're young, beautiful, or naive, you could very well be putting yourself in danger. At 12, posting "funny" pictures of you and your girlfriends goofing off with risque clothing or acting far older than your age isn't so innocent to some people. These people are patient, smart, and willing to prey on stupidity.

It bothers me to see pictures of some of the youth I work with, knowing everyone else can see it, and whether their intentions are innocent or not, they are setting themselves up for not only a bad reputation later in life but also putting themselves in a potentially dangerous situation.

I commend one mother of a 13-year-old girl I know, who insists on receiving every e-mail from Facebook to her personal e-mail account so she can see what is being said, what's being posted, and where her daughter is online. This girl is a great individual and would likely not even be in the position or circumstance to have questionable pictures posted or say things inappropriate, but sometimes I think kids have a twisted sense of what needs to be private. If this girl was 16, I might be a little wary about why the mother still has such tight control. But 13 is rather young, and monitored social networking is excellent.

Just as a last thought - what goes on the Internet stays on the Internet. It's very easy to find "cached" material (meaning the file and info is still there but something else is currently taking its previous place on the site), and it's impossible to contain what has been posted.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Beauty of technology

I have a love/hate relationship with my phone; actually, shall we just call it what it is - an unnecessary dependence? We get along just fine when it cooperates, receives calls, and stays charged. But the minute the low battery warning flashes, I feel a rush of conflicted emotions.

"No!" I think. "What will I do now? How will people get a hold of me?"

And then it hits me: that dark, sinister satisfaction. "How long can I keep this thing dead before necessity requires me charge it?"

So I'll leave it dead, sitting useless, wasting dollars per day on its inactivity because Rogers doesn't really care whether I have it turned on or not - just whether or not I pay the astronomical bill awaiting me at month's end.

Then, out of principle, I have to turn it back on again. Why pay for it if I don't use it? And, really, my job requires that I'm available to be reached at most hours. But there's a sweet satisfaction in dialing my own number and hearing "You have... two new voice messages". It worked! Someone called, and I didn't have to answer it!

But actually, that's not at all what was passing through my mind as I hit "new post" today. I'm curious on the toll technology takes on relationships. Not so much in the sense of online vs. "RL" etc., but in the false sense of closeness things such as Blackberry Messenger and Facebook allow.

I have more than 300 friends on Facebook... and I am ecstatic every time I can "reconnect" with someone. Isn't it great to be able to chat with my cousins in Texas, find out how my high school friends are doing, and find long-lost friends? I really think the potential is there. But there's no fulfillment in hitting the "accept" button and then never speaking with them again. Sure, creep their profile and look at pictures occasionally, but does that really give you an update on their life? Perhaps a glossy view of what they want you to see.

And then there's the Blackberry Messenger, where I can communicate with people for free as long as they have the device. (Great product-pushing, by the way.) I love being able to talk with my cousin, for example, in Toronto on a daily basis when she and I have been out of touch for so long.

Technology allows for these things.

But is it fostering a true relationship? Is it really based on reality? It can never replace face-to-face communication and bonding, and I believe it often provides for a weak alternative, lulling one into a sense of security, thinking they've done enough to build that friendship or care about that person by sending a two-line text message. Don't get me wrong - I thoroughly enjoy hearing how people are doing, having conversations, and staying updated. But sometimes I get the impression it's replacing real relationships, which is a human necessity - far more than a charged Blackberry.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The rat's lament

Poster from the Fish and Wildlife office
Poor rats – they have such a bad reputation. Rats were discovered in 1950 near Alsask, Alta. and provincial and municipal officials along with residents, farmers, and ranchers have waged bloody war on these creatures since they tried to come to a land of opportunity.

This particular poster made me crack up. The evil critter has Alberta in his sights, unable to focus on anything else but his goal of reaching wild rose country. What a misguided fool. Doesn't he know Alberta has been essentially rat-free since 1960? The rat must have had a hard go of things... trying to make ends meet by chewing through homes, under fields, and eliciting screams from unsuspecting human victims who knew of his reputation of carrying all kinds of diseases. I'm sure they didn't mean to pick them up.

And so, special poisons were designed, educational programs launched, and Alberta took a missionary's vigil against these hairy monsters. I tried hard to think of another animal so discriminated against, but could think of nothing.

The best part about this poster is that this rat is really quite stupid. The beautiful, open fields that look so promising turn deadly when the mercury drops. It's one of the only places that has been vigilant enough (or rich enough? It costs hundreds of thousands of dollars) to attempt such a daunting task. Most people don't believe me when I say Alberta's pretty much rat-free.

But if I've ever seen a poster that reminded me of Uncle Sam's days, it was this one. I could just see America's flag waving in Hitler's eyes...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Rules were meant to be broken.

I had the privilege of conducting our small-town paper's first streeter today, and realized no one, nowhere, likes their photo taken. While it makes my life difficult at times, I like getting out and talking to people to find out their opinions!

Here's the question: "Should town council implement their proposed curfew at 11 p.m. for youth ages 16 and under? Why or why not?"

Just to be fair, I also asked youth under 16 their thoughts... and the general consensus was that their implemented curfews were before that anyway, so it didn't matter.

One kid's comment was interesting, though:
"No, I don't think they should have a curfew because people are just going to try and break it then. If there's no curfew, there's nothing to break but if there is then people will try and push it."

What an interesting thought. Don't put rules in, because it'll just make people break them.

Here are a few other things I've heard that sort of match that idea:

• Give Grade 7-12 children condoms because they're going to "do it" anyway, so why not protect them?
• Let's have "safe grad" for all the underage youth, bring out the police to monitor it and have the parents buy the alcohol. They'd be drinking anyway so we may as well monitor them.
• If we legalize soft drugs, the black market sales will go under because it won't be illegal anymore and therefore people won't pay astronomical prices to get their weed. Plus, then it can be taxed.
• I let my child decide when he/she wants to go to bed, because I feel it gives the child responsibility and teaches them how to understand their body. If I tell them when to go to bed, they'll just stay up to spite me anyway.

So the more rules there are, the more likely they are to be broken? Taken too far it's almost anarchy. But too many rules and the pendulum effect takes place. People in general don't want to be tied down, but I really don't think rules compel people to misbehave.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The invention of laziness

I didn't have cable until I was in my early teens.

On Saturday mornings, it was bliss if we got less snow than usual on channels 3, 5, 7 or 11 so we could watch cartoons. But with such little choice, we were outside by noon and not at all interested in watching Bugs Bunny re-runs.

Now I have more than 50 channels – half of which have nothing that remotely interests me – and my evenings are filled with catching up on this show or making sure I'm home in time to watch that one.

It bothers me that I've become so lazy! But the thing about television that bothers me the most is how its quality has gone spiraling downward.

While waiting to drop off my car at the mechanic's today, I heard the sweet giggling of a two-year-old amusing herself by running around chairs. It was then sharply contrasted by the blaring of the television screen, to which she would occasionally look up, as it shouted "watch my a** as I walk out the door" and that someone was going to be such a sorry b*stard.

Okay so not the worst words I've heard come out of the box, but not quite appropriate for a child to be listening to. The lady helping me looked uncomfortably surprised, and I wondered aloud what show was on...

The worst part about it was it was probably some innocent renovation show or at least something that wouldn't have been added to by using crass language. What bothers me most about television is its allowances for the inexcusable.

Sexism is humour, lazy husbands are typical, comedians resort to dirty jokes as a last ditch effort for uncomfortable laughs, rude language is character development, children's cartoons are "not cool enough" anymore, and porn is freedom of expression. We have allowed that box to teach our children that talking back is brave, shooting the bad guys is the only way to solve problems, and it has filled our adult minds with tolerance. It has invaded our living room with what is often simply smut, and we say it's okay because "it's entertainment".

I know several parents who have canceled their cable now that they have children. One dad in particular mentioned he walked in to see some highly inappropriate activity his three kids, aged two to 10, had accidentally flipped to, and immediately called to cancel the broadcasts.

Since that time, he said they have been more creative, much more active outside, willing to make crafts, play games, and use their imagination. They have also been better organized in terms of doing their homework and practicing piano (and, as I teach two of them, that's "music" to my ears :) )

I wonder what we would accomplish if there were no cable in our houses?

And is it right to "deprive" children of such mindless entertainment? After all, it's such a good babysitter.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

First words

I've finally done it.

I've finally joined the world of citizen journalists.

The only difference is that I'm one in real life, too. Yes, I work at a small-town weekly newspaper, reporting on the happenings and have become known to most kids younger than 13 as "the newspaper lady".

I  used to have a blog back about 10 years ago. I then tried to keep some writing on Windows Live in 2006, but I rediscovered that blog several weeks ago and decided perhaps I should try to do something again. (Being that Windows Live is just so yesterday, though, why not try something totally new?)

Who knows? Perhaps it will be a passing fad, perhaps my week has been such that I feel like getting words out on a page that won't be broadcasted in newsprint – be they mildly entertaining or not – or maybe it's because I enjoyed reading my uncle's blog on before he passed away in January.

But for whatever reason, I've started another blog.

For those reading now, let me introduce myself:

• I'm in my 20s. A week after my last birthday, I removed the year I was born from my Facebook profile for several reasons, but mostly because ageism doesn't only apply to the elderly.

• I've been married for three years on Aug. 18. No, we don't have kids yet. I was told when we got married that there was "no way" we would make it to three to five years before conceiving, but unless  I give birth in the next two weeks (and I would hope I'd know by now), I guess we'll make it to three years. I could swear I married Prince Charming, but I don't recall kissing any frogs to do so! (Oh wait, maybe there were a couple... but they certainly didn't transform!)

• It baffles me as to why there needs to be an end to the "honeymoon" stage, and why, out of 100 quotes about marriage, 90 of them will be about the pain of living with an individual and the institution marriage is. Falling in love is for now, choosing to love is forever....

• I enjoy reading, writing, music, developing relationships (perhaps that's a grown-up way of saying "hanging out with friends"?) and I think I might enjoy gardening if it weren't for the weeds.

• We have a five-pound ball of energy that lives with us in the form of a Pomeranian. We call her Vixie but I haven't asked her what she calls herself. Probably "princess".

• My days consist of... sitting in an office on Mondays laying out the paper, and the rest of the week looks nothing like the week before. I take pictures, interview people, run around covering spot news and scheduled events, and then write about it. It's like being in school full-time, because I have to learn a little bit about everything to write about it properly!

• I also teach piano to too many students but enjoy it far too much to quit, and have recently taken up the position as youth leader in our town. We collaborated six of the churches together to make a mass youth group... and are now trying to keep up with the numbers. Six kids at one church and six kids at another didn't add to 50 last time I checked, but they're awesome teens...

Beyond that, I'm sure my posts will shine light on different aspects of who I am here and there. But isn't that the way one mostly gets to know a person – one little bit at a time?