Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Hitting the slopes

I'm leaving for Utah tomorrow morning. I have to be at the airport at 5:30am. That means I have to get up at 4:00am. What a great way to start my vacation!

I don't know whether I will have internet access while I'm there. Hopefully you'll get your regular installment of the Friday Funnies, but I just can't be sure until I get there.

Pray I don't break anything or tear anything or do anything that results in the need for hospitalization!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

On My Plate

I just finished reading a memoir titled The Color of Water. Somehow I missed this incredible book when it first came out ten years ago. I picked it up at the "3 for 2" table at Borders and was instantly captivated by the story.

I didn't really know what to expect as far as storyline, but I knew the book was critically acclaimed (sometimes that's a good thing, sometimes it's not). The Color of Water spent two years on the New York Times Bestseller list. It sold more than two million copies worldwide and has been translated into 20 languages.

I can say it deserves every bit of praise and recognition it got. This is truly one of the best books I have ever read, and I've read a LOT of books.

The Color of Water is the memoir of a black man, James McBride, who grew up during the Civil Rights movement. But really it's the story of his white mother, who raised a mixed-race family in a time and place where whites and blacks did not mingle.

McBride's mother was an orthodox Jew and the daughter of a rabbi. She immigrated with her family from Poland in the 1920s and was raised in the deep south. She later left her family and moved to New York, where she fell in love with a black man, converted to Christianity and raised 12 children.

McBride explores the complexities of how a woman of her background could turn her back on everything she knew to embrace what was then a socially unacceptable lifestyle. He also explores the impact her decisions had on him and his siblings -- the tensions underlying his life as he struggled to understand his identity as a black man who had a white mother.

While reading, I was skeptical of the "spiritual" element of the book. I wondered whether the Christianity spoken of was true and transforming or simply a cultural form of religion. Woven throughout the book, is an understanding and appreciation for how God made this family possible. This isn't a "Christian" book. It's a book written about a Christian woman and her son. As I continued to read, more and more of this woman's faith shone through and proved to be authentic. When I reached the end of the book, I read these words: "My mother and I would like to thank the Lord Jesus Christ for his love and faithfulness to all generations."

I really cannot speak highly enough of this book. I think everyone should read it. It is beautiful, sad, painful, tender, touching and inspiring. Get it at the bookstore, order it online, check it out from the library, borrow my copy...you won't be disappointed.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Beautiful Nail

If you've ever had your nails done you can relate. If you've never had your nails done, this is exactly what it's like.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Friday Funnies

Things that made me laugh this week:

"I tried to google Carman, that really bad singer from the 80s and 90s, but apparently there's another famous Carmen and all I found was a bunch of bad pictures."

On the subject of Laurie as a little old lady, flirting with little old men:
"I used to be a really good cook. I'll show you pictures."

Girl to Guy at the office: "Do you have time to talk about the cleavage?"

"I'm not real excited about learning the lady-business...you know...all the cycling and secreting of hormones."

"How's the screwing going?"

"There's only one Bendy Troy. What do they think I am, Gumby?"

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The other side of me

A recent excerpt from my journal:

Cold coffee in my cup. I'm listening to the rain fall. Falling, falling - it washes the dirt down the streets. Cement glistens, slick with the rush of new water. This is rain that's never been here before. Breathed up into the atmosphere and carried here to this place to fall on me. I sit and listen - always wonderful and captivating. Will the sound of rain ever grow worn or boring? It entrances me - I am mesmerized. I feel like the world is crying with me. The earth knows how I feel - that gloom and chill and rushing, flowing, falling must happen to ease the heart. The rain is an aching - it hurts and stings and heals and awakens. I breathe it in.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

How to Hang a Wall Sconce

Step 1: Open the box.

Step 2: Realize this project is much bigger than you are emotionally prepared for. Leave wall sconce in box on your living room floor for three weeks.

Step 3: After prolonged sabbatical, return to box. Read the instructions.

Step 4: Read the instructions again.

Step 5: Ask your roommate to read the instructions because you think you might be missing something.

Step 6: Call your best guy friend to ask him what it means to "drive the plastic expansion screw into the wall."

Step 7: Attempt to drive said plastic expansion screw into the wall while holding the phone to your ear and listening to the advice of your best guy friend.

Step 8: In the process of "driving" plastic expansion screw into the wall, destroy said plastic expansion screw.

Step 9: Attempt to drive a different plastic expansion screw into wall, while holding the phone to your ear and listening to your best guy friend read an article off the internet.

Step 10: Abandon the "driving" effort after destroying second plastic expansion screw.

Step 11: Pull out the never-before-used cordless drill.

Step 12: Based on advice of best guy friend, drill hole slightly smaller than diameter of plastic expansion screw.

Step 13: Attempt to insert/drive/screw another plastic expansion screw into drilled hole.

Step 14: Decide that plastic expansion screws are highly overrated and unnecessary.

Step 15: Drill screws sans plastic expansions into the wall.

Step 16: Realize you left off the little rings included in the kit.

Step 17: Reverse drill direction and pull screws out.

Step 18: Place rings over the screws and start over from the beginning.

Step 19: Hang your lovely new wall sconce and insert tea lights into the glass cups.

Step 20: Warn your friends not to sit on the couch under the wall sconce because it might come crashing down at any moment.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The honeymoon is over

Don't get me wrong. I still love my new abode. My room is spacious. I have my own bathroom. My closet is like a gift from heaven. But last night I pulled into the garage and stepped out of my car to discover...a cockroach. I almost cried.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Hellhole No More!

I moved! Woo hoo! I have left the cockroaches, broken toilets, broken furnace, broken a/c, broken dishwasher, broken showers, leaky ceiling and bad breakers behind.

I moved on Saturday and am already completely unpacked and have pictures and art on the walls. I wasted no time getting settled.

The move was very smooth and I had some awesome help from guys who took extra special care with my furniture. One of them was so devoted to insuring the safety of my worldly possessions that he sacrificed much comfort and well-being in order to protect my stuff from scratches and dints. I call him Bendy Troy.





Friday, January 19, 2007

Friday Funnies

Things that made me laugh this week:

Me: "What would Jesus drink?"
Her: "Hebrew blend with non-fat goat milk."

"I think this is the first time I've ever been issued underwear for a public appearance."

"I started drinking after my friend Paul got married."

Me: "My finger is bleeding."
Him: "There will be a little bit of Laurie in every bite of this meal."

Text Message: "I'm in the feminist economics dept. The women are all scary looking and there is no urinal in the men's restroom. I fear for my manhood."

Him: "We're going to the Aquarium for dinner."
Me: "Okay! What made you pick the Aquarium?"
Him: "They have tigers. Grrrrrrr."

"Guys don't get it. We need to grab the situation by the ball...umm...I just made the Friday Funnies, didn't I?"

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Hot Chocolate Woes

Sometimes a girl just wants hot chocolate. This girl has never wanted hot chocolate to make her gag, but last night that's exactly what happened.

Picture it:
Two friends + two mugs of hot chocolate + chunks of "milk-skin" found floating in the hot chocolate = pandemonium and gross-out moment.

Needless to say, the two mugs of hot chocolate were thrown out. Two replacement mugs of coffee and tea were ordered and two friends decided that Chunky Hot Chocolate would never make it as marketable product, but would make for a really good blog entry.

Conversations with Mom

The following is a re-enactment of an actual conversation with my mom.
*Phone rings*

Me: Hey Mom.

Mom: Did you hear about the bad weather?

Me: Yes, I work in a newsroom. They try to keep us up to date on these things.

Mom: I was worried about you. Did you know the roads are going to ice up?

Me: Yes, mom. I knew about that. You see, here in the newsroom we try to stay on top of all the latest information.

Mom: You're not going to be driving in all this, are you? Surely they will let you stay home from work.

Me: Well you see, since I'm a reporter in a newsroom I have to report on the conditions and keep people informed about what's going on. So I really do have to go into the office.

Mom: Why would they make you go in? I can't believe they would want you to be out in this. I think you should take the day off.

Me: I understand that you're worried, but it's important for me to be at work. You see, I work in a newsroom, so I report the news, so whenever bad things happen or disasters occur, I am expected to show up to report on the situation.

Mom: Well I think your boss should be more considerate.

Me: Okay, mom. Thanks for calling. I'll call you after work to let you know I'm safe.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Seven to swoon over

I was cleaning out my email folders and came across an email from several months ago. I think it makes for a good blog topic. In the email exchange, a guy asked me who are the seven men I swoon over. It took me a long time to come up with the following list. Seven is a lot! Plus, I'm not really the kind of girl to get hot and bothered over some random celebrity. It usually takes more than looks for me. But I managed to come up with a list of seven people. I wonder what my list says about me...?

Feel free to comment with your own list of swooners.

(In no particular order)
1. Andy Cerota - local TV reporter. Dreamy.
2. Zach Braff - geeky-cute with a sensitive side.
3. Reginald Adams - local artist and non-profit director. African-American, with long dreads - totally the edgy, artsy type.
4. Joaquin Phoenix - the eyes, the scar over the lip, the voice. Sigh.
5. John Legend - love his voice, love that he plays piano, he's beautiful.
6. Anderson Cooper - Aagghhhh! The eyes!
7. Unnamed Summit Guy - sorry, couldn't resist!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Yikes

It's usually not a good idea to do a live TV interview when you're drunk.

Seriously?

Last night I was watching TV, when a commercial caught my attention. The screen went black and then a spotlight illuminated a sleek, metallic-looking wand. The announcer started talking about how the latest scientific developments and technological advances helped design this new marvel. He informed me this device was the most accurate and user-friendly version on the market. A small stream of water appeared out of nowhere and started splashing on the end of the wand. That's when I heard the announcer say "This is the most advanced technology...you'll ever pee on."

Yes, that's what he said. Yes, it was a commercial for a pregnancy test. Yes, I was appalled.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Observations

Some thoughts from the past few days.

  • It's satisfying to be able to "kiss and make up."
  • I love my shoes. I love my barefoot friends even more.
  • Flirting without consequences: it's a good thing.
  • There are some people I just can't be "buddies" with.
  • Brian Johanneck is truly one of the kindest men I have ever known.
  • Sometimes words are unnecessary, but hugs speak volumes.
  • I have a reputation for being much smarter than I actually am.
  • Buying lightbulbs is more complicated than it should be.
  • Moving: it's a love/hate process.
  • Troy Hollister is truly one of the most godly men I have ever known.
  • Sacrificial giving is made sweeter when followed by the Lord's Supper.
  • Sometimes friends create a beautiful "picture" right before your eyes.

You Decide

What do you think is going on in this picture?






Friday, January 12, 2007

W T FF???

The Friday Funnies will not be making their regularly scheduled appearance today. It's been a really stressful, not-so-funny week. I realize this may be upsetting to many of you. To be honest, it was somewhat upsetting to me. I sincerely hope to have a much funnier life next week. In an effort to do so, I will leave you with a story of something that amused me this week.

I received a text message from an unknown phone number, but it was clearly someone who knew me. So I replied back, saying "ummm, who is this?". The answer: "Your Fiance!"

This left me in quite a predicament because there are three different men in my life who claim that title!
I think it might be time to cut down on the faux-relationships.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Houston or Mayberry?

This is a quote from an actual press release we received from the FBI:

"The attached bank surveillance photgraphs are for immediate release. This bank robbery happened earlier today! The photos are good and you can even make out the bandit's get-away bicycle."

Yes, the Special Agent actually referred to the robber as a bandit.
Yes, the robber actually left the bank on a get-away bicycle.

I love my job.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Ahhh, memories

I've been cleaning out my files and storage areas this week in preparation for my upcoming move. Last night, I was going through some old notes and cards and stumbled across a birthday card a friend gave me two years ago. There's a picture of an old lady doing some crazy dance on the front. When you open it, it says "act all thongish, even if you're all granny cottonish."

Ha!

Monday, January 08, 2007

Packing Heat


A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to train at the Harris County Sheriff's Firearms Facility. I, along with several other news reporters, was equipped with a Glock .9mm handgun and let loose in the firing range. Well, okay, perhaps "let loose" is a bit misleading. I was given three bullets and positioned about 30 feet away from the target. After being instructed in how to hold and sight the gun, I was given permission to fire. I scored three bulls-eyes and was told that I had potential to be quite the sharpshooter. Yay for me.

Later, we moved inside to the simulation training. In the photo, you can see me holding another gun attached to a computer training system. My instructor put me through a series of "real-life" scenarios. My job was to provide back-up for my partner as we patrolled a local shopping mall. In the scenario, which was based on an actual case, a vagrant man attacked my partner with a butcher knife. I shot the man twice, but my reflexes were too slow and my partner was still killed. After the shooting, my instruction grilled me on why I reacted that way and how I could have let my partner be killed. It was actually pretty intense, he kept questioning me and was quite aggressive toward me. I almost pulled the teapot on him.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Friday Funnies

Things that made me laugh this week (or at least since the holidays):

"Clearly there were all kind of clues that 'vaginal' was the wrong word."

"You know how people email you those long, intense updates on all their drama?
I call it e-vomit."

"Are you practicing safe text?"

"Excuse me Sir. Why do you have 87 pairs of underwear in your hotel room?"

"Don't question God's plan for you. If oceans can be parted, dead made live, then surely he can change a heart. Don't fight it, it'll only make the nausea worse."

"Sorry to take up so much of your time telling you about my Latino playboy."

"I sent an email to a friend yesterday. Outlook auto-corrected my spelling of Philos (meaning brotherly love) and changed it to phallus (the male organ). I didn't catch it."

Thursday, January 04, 2007

I Heart Starbucks. Not.


Shoot me now. The Valentine's display it out at Starbucks. It looks like St. Valentine threw up in the store. Thanks Starbucks. I can officially feel depressed when entering any one of your 723 Houston-area locations. The place that was once a blissful haven of serenity will, for the next six weeks, serve as a torturous reminder of my lame, miserable, single existence. Happy frickin' New Year.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

So tie tie

Yesterday I was about as tired as this kitteh. I made myself a turkey and cheese sandwich for dinner. You know how they put those little pieces of paper between the cheese slices to keep them from sticking together? It took me three bites to realize I left one of those bits of paper in my sandwich. Let that sink in for a moment... I was so tired that I not only left the paper in there, but I bit into it three times before I realized I was eating paper!

I was fast asleep by 9pm. That is sad.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

You Decide

What do you think is going on in this picture?




Monday, January 01, 2007

I resolve

I don't make New Year's resolutions. I never have. I don't see any point in waiting around until January 1st to set some arbitrary goals for the next year. My philosophy is that I should be seeking God's will for my life year-round and January 1st is just another day in that process. However, a couple of friends of mine have suggested they would like to write a list of resolutions for me. I have yet to see the list they have drafted, but if they send it to me I will post it on the QQ. I'm thinking it will be quite an interesting read, probably involving things like sarcasm, boys and Starbucks. Not necessarily in that order.