Friday, August 29, 2008

It's Official!

McCain has named Sarah Palin as his second in command. Very smart choice, Repubs. Very smart.

Hurricane Hysteria

If I lived in a house that flooded every time it rained, I don't think I would live there for long. Now, I might try building a moat (awesome!!) or something, but if that didn't work, I'd pack up and get out. Why, oh why, do people live in cities that are constantly and consistently barraged by hurricanes? I DON'T GET IT.

Hurricane Gustav is barreling through the Gulf, seemingly headed straight for New Orleans. The governor (Nagin) has pre-declared a state of emergency (in order to set up a go-ahead for federal assistance, and Governor Rick Perry of Texas has the national guard on standby. Nagin has already made it clear that an evacuation order is likely, especially if the storm reaches Category 3 status. People are starting to freak out, which brings me to the reason for my blog:

"I'm panicking," said Evelyn Fuselier of Chalmette, whose home was submerged in 14 feet of floodwater when Katrina hit. Fuselier said she's been back home only a year and nervously watched as Gustav swirled toward the Gulf of Mexico. "I keep thinking, 'Did the Corps fix the levees?,' 'Is my house going to flood again?' ... 'Am I going to have to go through all this again?'"

Yes. You will. And New Orleans along with several other coastal towns will continue to flood. So why do you live there? Why do you go through that? Seems like unnecessary masochistic behavior (is there a necessary kind?—hmm).

My uncle blogged about this a few months ago when the Midwest was flooding, I don't know where he picked it up, but I think it's tremendously insightful.

"Just a personal I watched the news coverage of the massive flooding in the Midwest with over 100 blocks of the city of Cedar Rapids, Iowa under water, levees breaking, and the attention now turned downstream for when this massive amount of water hits the Mississippi, what amazed me is not what we saw, but, what we don't see...

1. We don't see any looting.
2. We don't see any street violence.
3. We don't see people sitting on their roof tops waiting for the government to come save them.
4. We don't see people waiting on the government to do anything.
5. We don't see Hollywood organizing benefits to raise money for people to rebuild.
6. We don't see people blaming the President for all that's happened.
7. We don't see people ignoring evacuation orders.
8. We don't see people blaming a government conspiracy to blow up the levees as the reason some have not held.
9. We don't see the US Senators or the Governor of Iowa crying on TV.
10. We don't see the Mayors of these cities complaining about the lack of state or federal response.
11. We don't see or hear reports of the police confiscating personal firearms so only the criminals will be armed.
12. We don't see gangs of people going around and randomly shooting at the rescue workers.
13. You don't see some leaders in this country blaming the bad behavior of the Iowa flood victims on "society" (of course there are no wide spread reports of lawlessness to require excuses).
14. We don't see any foriegn countries offering assistance."


Who’s the Veep?

Unless you've been living under a rock for the last week, you are aware that Obama has picked Senator Joe Biden as his VP. And you're also aware that the Democratic National Convention was on (at the very least) 7 channels last night. On our satellite, there was even a DNC08 channel. Seriously? The only reason it monopolized all 3 of the major networks (that I can fathom anyway), is that they had a mutual agreement. If CBS had to carry it, the rest did too, otherwise nobody would watch CBS. All for one and one for all.

Thank goodness for Bravo, though I'm still irritated that they sent Daniel home last week on Shear Genius. Whatever!

Anyway, all eyes are on McCain today. Who will he pick? The latest Buzz puts Tim Pawlenty at the Minnesota State Fair, not Dayton. Romney's chances have also been downplayed. Who then? Lieberman? Ridge? My money is on Sarah Palin, governer of Alaska. It's a very smart move. She's Pro-Life and a lifetime member of the NRA, she's tenacious, she's beat out the incumbent in the last several elections as she climbed to the governer's seat, and she's a soccer mom. Oh yeah, and she's a woman.

I imagine the announcement will come soon.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

artistic endeavors

Out of purely serendipitous acquaintances (and facebook), I learned that you can audit art classes at McMurry. *insert heavenly choir and bright lights here* I still have not officially enrolled in the class (though I've faxed my audit paperwork in, but no one seems to have seen it), tonight is class #2 of Beginner Ceramics. I am absolutely ecstatic about this class. The professor is easy-going and very talented. She also likes to do alternative firing. I. Cannot. Wait. A friend and I are both auditing this class, and she has told us that we are welcome to participate in any/all of the class projects, but we can do whatever we want. It's amazing. The thought of having at 6 hours a week in a pottery class, and a key to the building giving me 24/7 access, well, it's about to make my head explode.

In light of this new fantasticness, I am probably going to let the studio go. So for those of you who never saw my work in an actual gallery space, shame on you. I've been there for almost a year. And it was a great year. But it's time to move on to cheaper and better things.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Why don't you build her up...

instead of criticizing her, not looking her in the eye, and showing her that she's not important?

"Jenn Stuczynski will make the first Olympic appearance of her career in Beijing. Although she has competed internationally for just three years, the Fredonia N.Y. native has become one of the premier pole vaulters in the world and is one of only three women ever to clear 16-feet in the event."

You can find the full bio on her at msnbc's olympic site here.

She went head to head with the raining pole vaulting champion and world record holder, Yelena Isinbayeva from Russia. Yelena edged her out and set another world record, but Jenn is going home with the silver medal. Awesome!! And you'd expect her coach to be oh so proud and full of hugs and congratulations, right? Yeah. Wrong. See the video here.

What a jerk. I'd say fire your coach and find someone who's a bit more encouraging.

My Butt=Kicked

Went to the advanced class last night for the first time. I won't lie, I was scared. Especially when Sa Bum Nim started the class with 25 jumping jacks. We usually do 50. That meant that this was going to be a hard class. Yay (insert sarcasm here).

There are forms for each belt level. I'm a brown belt, which means I know 5 forms. We motored through them so quickly I was getting dizzy, and was definitely out of breath. After that we did kicking skills (hook kick, roundhouse, spin kick, inside and outside kicks). Then it was on to falling (which pretty much rattles your insides, and gives you bruises--or maybe it's just me?), and after that some gymnastic stuff. Cartwheels: regular, one-handed, and no-handed. I can do a one-handed cartwheel on the right side, but I"m not quite brave enough to attempt the no-handed.

It was an amazing class, I enjoyed it SO much more than the regular class, even though it seriously kicked my butt. I'm a bit sore today, and will probably be worse tomorrow. Bring it on!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

KT and the CE light

Monday morning I was driving to work, as usual, and took the left turn on Butternut to cross under the railroad tracks. Well, it had rained pretty much all night the night before, so there was a rather large puddle that I failed to see until I was almost upon it. I thought for a moment, realized that backing up a hill the wrong direction was probably not a good idea, so I plowed through it. Probably not a great idea, but there was no way to turn around. I made it through the puddle, it hesitated a bit, but then trucked (or convertibled?) right along to work.

At lunch, I drove over to a client's office to deliver their crappy front desk/pron-watching/game-playing machine. I had a LOT of trouble with the network card, and despite downloading the driver from D-Link, it just would not connect. Anyway, headed back to the office, no issues with the car.

After work, I go to the post office, drop off a package at the Lone Star box, and then head home to get my uniform for class. Well, at the stop light of S. 7th and Barrow, the car hesitates big time when I shift from 1st to 2nd, so I put it in 3rd thinking that somehow that might be better (yeah), and that's when the Check Engine light starts to flash. The car feels like it's going to die at any moment, so I pull over into the parking lot of the community theater and turn it off. I pop the hood and nothing looks amiss (as far as I can tell). A very nice man pulls over to see if he can help, and after poking around for a few minutes, also not seeing anything amiss, he suggests I go to the Advance Auto Parts store a few blocks up on 14th and get them to check the 'check engine' light. I make it to the store, only to find out (after waiting 5 minutes in line) that they can't check BMWs. They suggest I take it to Abilene Auto Doctor over by Sonic on Sayles. This makes me cringe, as I'd rather not drive it any further than necessary, but I reassure KT (my car) that it's for her own good, and we head that way. Turns out that they don't check BMWs either, so I take a deep breath, refrain from punching the guy in the face, and head off to Abilene Import Specialists, which luckily is only just up the road. He checks the problem, says it's misfiring on Sensor 1, which has something to do with the idling mechanism, and says it could be one of 4 or 5 things. Awesome!! I end up leaving KT with them and waiting about 15 minutes for my awesome ex-roommate to pick me up.

Luckily I had already planned a hot date with my current roommate at Bonzai, so there was that to look forward to, and our ex-roommate and her sister and adorable little boy joined us.

Now I'm waiting to hear back...replaced the starter about 6 weeks ago, and tires about 3 weeks ago. Sigh. Let's hope this is the last repair for awhile.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Another Check Mail day

It's only 8:45 and I've already been hitting the 'check mail' button to see if anyone loves me. So far? Nada. I have a feeling this is going to be a long one...

Is there a job out there that would be so all encompassing that I'd rarely look up from what I was doing, and before I knew it, it'd be well after 5 and I'd have no idea where the time went? A job that I absolutely loved and couldn't wait to get back to every morning? A job that paid enough to support me, my bills, and my endless array of hobbies but still gave me time enough to enjoy life? Sigh. I sure hope so.

I know for certain it's not my current job. You know, the one where I sometimes struggle to stay awake even though I had a good 8 hours of sleep the night before? The one that on occasion makes me seriously consider throwing a telephone out the front glass windows? The one that sometimes takes every ounce of my self control not to tell people where to go when they come up to my desk and ask me to drop everything I'm doing to make a copy for them? Yes. That's the one.

Now, don't get me wrong, the people here are generally fantastic, as are the benefits and the pay for what I do—which I'll admit, on some days, is not much. I'd rather work at a mundane job with people I admire and have fun with, than work at a job I love surrounded by people I hate. I think. I'm just at that point where I feel like my brain is dying a little more every day, not to mention that piece of paper I paid highly for (and continue to pay for), well, it's not getting much use.

I used to have a job that I loved. I worked long and crazy hours, but my boss was great and I seemed to learn something new every single day. It also taught me a lot about owning and running a small business, and whenever I decide to venture out and do that, I'll have a lot of the tools I need to succeed. But I'm not quite ready for that yet.

So what am I doing about this? Well, I've updated my resume and I'm on the prowl for bigger and better things. I applied for an event coordinator position at ACU last week—which I think I would be fantastic at. Design and plan parties for a living? Yes please! So if you read my little rants, raves, and craziness, I'd appreciate your prayers as I attempt to reinvigorate my brain and start loving my job again.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Come as your favorite song!

Cassi and Gina had a double birthday soiree in their honor on Saturday, and guess what…COSTUME PARTY!!

They sent out e-vite invitations, and the instructions were to come dressed as your favorite song. Also on this invite, they had a list of random things to bring to the party: twizzlers, peanut butter, lots of beer, gummi bears, and 'Axl Rose.' I immediately sent out a text message to my Mr. Rose and invited him to the party dressed, of course, as Axl. After two weeks of planning and shopping, the day was almost upon us. I decided to coordinate with Axl and go as 'Welcome to the Jungle.' Bonny was awesome enough to take 4 hours out of her Saturday afternoon and make a pair of outrageously fantastic black faux snakeskin pants for Axl. The evidence of the all the awesomeness shall follow.

There were several good costumes, from Cassi's 'Hallelujah' and Gina's 'Death of a Disco Dancer', to Chris's 'Goodbye Earl' and Kelly's 'Tonight, Tonight', Patience as the 'Devil in Disguise', and Angela as 'Tiny Dancer.' Ours, however, were the best.

We had a great time doing karaoke (Kelly's rendition of Bob Dylan doing Kelly Clarkson's Breakaway was hilarious!), guitar hero, and just hanging out. I freakin love Costume parties. Time to plan the next one…