Monday, February 28, 2011


Okay, so I took almost a month to actually post this... but I did indeed pick a winner from the comments left on this post!

Because there were only two comments, I decided to go with odd vs even, with commenter 1 being odd and commenter 2 being even (makes sense, right?).  And the winner is:

Brad Jaeger!  I'll be contacting you via email to figure out how to get your gift card to you.  Congratulations!

And even though there weren't a lot of comments to choose from, it was fun for me to have a little contest, so expect to see more in the future.  Any suggestions for a good reason for a contest?

Friday, February 25, 2011

I won something!

That's right, I won!  My writing got me a prize!  That's the big secret I've been keeping for, like, a month.  It wasn't some big (or little) writing-related prize, though, but that's not the important thing.

I won a makeover through Xenos hospitality!  I signed up for a retreat, and because I signed up early, I won a chance to enter for a career makeover.  All I had to do was write an essay telling them why I thought I would be a good candidate, so I did just that.

Before - You can't quite see it here, but my hair is almost down to my waist.

The experience was AMAZING!  I started off with a consultation with Karen Hughes of Image Assets.  We spent the entire day together, and I learned what colours look best on me, the types of clothes I should seek out and the types I should avoid, and lots about skincare and what would be the best type and colour of makeup to wear.

Next, I got started with my empowerment coaching with Beth McKinnon of NowBeth.  I really had no idea what to expect from this coaching - was it going to be some weird new-agey thing that didn't make any sense?  No! It's actually been very helpful.  Beth was able to help me figure out what is important to me, the values that I seek, and then set some goals for various aspects of my life to help incorporate those values.  She's helping me to figure out what I want, and a way to get it.

After that, there was more on the outside - I got my teeth whitened with the ZOOM laser whitening system at Macon Smiles, with Dr. Sheila Shah.  That was... interesting.  I saw some 'during' photos, and I think that if I had seen those earlier, I might have thought twice about getting it done!  But I'm really happy with the result.

I also got a new haircut at Chadwick Hudson Salon.  You know, I had always thought that hair was just hair. It sat on my head, and while I sometimes did pretty things with it, it was mostly just, well, there.  This cut, though... wow.  It's changed how I feel about myself, I think.  I love that I cut off enough hair to be able to donate to Locks of Love - it felt good knowing that someone else could benefit from this wonderful gift I've been given.  Losing more than 10 inches of hair has been a big change, but I love the new cut!  It's been so easy to style and take care of.  I was afraid I'd have to spend a lot more time on it, but I was wrong!  LOVE!  (Have I mentioned how much I love the new cut?  And the colour?)

I got new glasses from Primary Eyecare Associates, too.  While I only really use my glasses to watch movies at the theatre, or to drive at night, it was still fun to go and pick out a new pair.  Their selection was great, too, which made the decision harder!

Finally, I got to have a "Shop Like a Rock Star" party at fab'rik boutique.  That was just all sorts of fun!  It was like playing dress-up, but more grown up.  I picked out a few things that I liked, then the salesperson picked out tons more, based on what I liked, and how things fit me.  I ended up finding way more than I could really afford to buy, but their prices and selection were great, so I know that I'll be back again (and again, and again!)

After - MUCH shorter hair!  And a happier me!  Seriously, couldn't stop grinning that night!

It really has been an amazing experience - I hope you can all go to visit the Xenos website and check out the video as soon as it's up.  I'll let you know when the whole process is available to see.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A few more things crossed off my lists

I've finally finished listening to the Librivox recordings of Victor Hugo's Les Miserables. That took... a while.  Five volumes, each with 40-70 recordings.  Yowza.  As I listened to it, I remembered why it took me an entire summer to read the book while I was in high school.  It wasn't that I'm a slow reader.  Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your perspective), Hugo tends to be more of a historian than a story-teller, which results in a book that isn't particularly interesting to me for large chunks.  There were, like, nineteen chapters on the battle of Waterloo.  And three on the history and anatomy of the sewer systems of Paris.  All I really needed to know was that Jean Valjean was in the sewers.  It didn't make any difference to the story that he was in the section that was built under... um... someone's reign.  See how much it mattered to me?

But the heart of the story was good, and when he got on a roll with story instead of history, I was captivated.  There were times that I would sit in my car for ten, fifteen, twenty minutes after I got home, just to hear the rest of the section.  I think, though, that it will be another fifteen years before I reread it again.

I also finally finished the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind.  Wow.  I've been working on this series since I picked up the first book almost fifteen years ago.  I reread the series every time a new one came out, up until the last three.  At that point, I knew that the series would be wrapping up, so I waited until it was finished to read the whole thing once more.  I started again over the summer, and this weekend, I finished the last book.

I'm feeling a bit, well, ambiguous about it.  The ending fit the rest of the books.  It worked out well, and it tied together whole chunks from the beginning that I was wondering about.  There were some bits that didn't make sense, and all of the characters have a tendency to deliver monologues rather than actually having discussions with one another, but aside from that, I enjoyed the series.  It wasn't nearly as over-written as I found the Wheel of Time series to be - I stopped reading at book 7, and I've had no desire to pick it back up.  At the same time, it's sad, because I've waited so long to find out what happens, and now that I know, well... hmm.

Can you tell I've been making up for lost reading time?  I also finished Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella.  It was in the cupboard at work, so I picked it up and read it during my lunch breaks.  It was okay.  It wasn't as if it were poorly written.  It was actually the story that I didn't like.  She wrote it well, don't get me wrong!  Rebecca (the MC) just made me uncomfortable.  I think it was the situation that she had managed to get into that didn't sit well with me.  Please, don't skip this book just because I didn't enjoy it - as I said, it was very well written, and the characters were nicely developed, and it is clearly a book that many others have enjoyed.

I've started reading Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire.  I read Wicked years ago, and loved it.  Of course, I also loved Confessions of an Ugly Step-Sister and Mirror, Mirror, so I'm expecting to enjoy this one.  I'm only about 50 pages in, but I'm liking it.  I'll give you a final verdict when I'm done. :)

I was going to start listening to another audiobook, but I found the most random-ass mix cd in my car, and I can't stop listening to it.  I'm pretty sure that Otter made it for me - it's labeled "Princess/Disney Mix," and I was expecting a few songs from The Little Mermaid or Beauty and the Beast.  Instead, it's got the standard princess songs, mixed with the soundtrack from Baz Luhrmann's Romeo and Juliet, Shrek, Peter Pan and some other craziness, all in one.  There are 148 tracks!!  So I'll be listening to it for a while before I switch back to a book.

And that's what I've been up to!  (Well, partly.  But you have to wait until Friday to hear about the secret I'm keeping.)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Bad, bad blogger

I know, I know, I've been a bad blogger this past week.  Please forgive me, blogglings.

The thing is, there's this really cool thing happening in my life, but I'm supposed to keep it secret-ish until Thursday.  But all the pieces have been coming together this week, which has been a) keeping me busy and b) making me think of nothing but this super-fun secret.

So tonight's blog sucks, and Wednesday's will probably suck, too, but FRIDAY!  Friday will rock, because I'll fill you in on all of the awesome!

Stick with me, blogglings, and you'll see the awesome secret for yourselves, I swear!

Monday, February 14, 2011


I had a great post all planned for tonight, but it fell out of my head.  I have a good excuse, though - I've misplaced my phone.

I went to send a text message, and my phone wasn't in the outside pocket of my purse.  Or the inside pocket.  Or the back pocket.  Or the big main part.  Or my jacket pocket.  Or my uniform pockets.

Now, I remember checking my messages just before the end of the day, because I got stuck at work late. I suspect I may have set my phone down on my desk and just forgotten it there in my rush to get the heck out of there before I got asked to do something else.

Unfortunately, my whole evening has been sort of overtaken by this whole missing-phone-thing.  I'm actually quite worried about tomorrow morning, because I use it as my alarm.  I'm hoping I don't oversleep... because even if I do, I can't call my boss to let her know!

Yeesh.  This sucks.  Stupid no-phone.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Little to the Right

I walked outside with a friend tonight, and as we stepped out, she exclaimed, "Shit, it's raining!" - which is exactly what I was thinking.

Except it wasn't.

As we stepped out from under the awning, we didn't get wet.  Not even a little sprinkle.  But we could clearly hear the rain.  We looked around and realized that it was raining.  To our right.  About five feet to our right.

That was just weird.  Weather is made of crazy this year, I think.  How about you, blogglings?  Any crazy weather just to your right lately?

Monday, February 7, 2011

"Chalk-flavoured candy and $30 roses", or "Why I hate Valentine's Day"

Yes, I said it.  I hate Valentine's Day.

I think everyone is entitled to one hated holiday, be it Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Arbor Day... whatever.    My hated holiday is Valentine's Day.

There are a lot of historical reasons for this, which I won't go into here.  Suffice to say, I've had a great big pile of really crappy Valentine's Days, from failed fondue nights to a guy who decided the best gift was a half-assed, last minute email, after making a big deal about how he loved to celebrate the holiday and thereby convincing me to make a big deal about it.

The other major part of the hate comes from how freaking commercial this holiday is.  It's the most ridiculous thing!  Flowers that I can normally get for about $10 suddenly skyrocket to $20, $30, or more!  Now don't get me wrong - I love flowers.  LOVE.  To the extent that I'll buy myself a bouquet every couple of weeks, just because they're pretty.  But from the middle of January until almost the end of February, I have to stop, because the prices shoot up like crazy.

And the candy!  I've never been a fan of cinnamon hearts, but they're everywhere.  And while I appreciate the cute idea of those little candy hearts with messages on them, most of them taste like chalk.  And the ones that don't?  They're twice the price of the chalk-flavoured ones.

In summary, I don't like Valentine's Day.  If I could avoid it, I would never celebrate it again.  Unfortunately, it's everywhere.  Excuse me while I go buy the expensive, non-chalk-flavoured message hearts.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Long, long, long, long week.

Have you ever had one of those weeks that just kept going and going and going?  It felt like you never got to take a break?  That's what I had this week.  I was actually afraid that it was going to continue on into this weekend, but one of my obligations was postponed, so I may get a chance to just sit and knit for a bit (because just sitting still would be, well, weird).

I've got to say, I'm over this whole rain thing.  It's been raining almost constantly for most of the week.  Gray, dreary skies do not make for happy people, and not-happy people are just no fun.  Also, rain makes it less than pleasant to go to the dog park.

Last Sunday, I took Mia to the dog park for the first time.  She was a bit freaked out when we got there, because we drove.  Well, I drove, and she rode in the car.  She's not a big fan of cars.  But we made it there in one piece, and headed straight for the small dog section.  I figured, since it was her first time, and since she was still recovering from Bella (hi, Otter!), the small dog section was our best bet.

I let her off the leash right away, but she didn't go too far at first, which was a good feeling for me.  She wandered around, sniffed at some stuff, then came back to me.  It looked she had managed to get a piece of foam stuck to her lip with all of the sniffing, so I reached out to wipe it away.  It wasn't a piece of foam.  No, it was drool.  For the next half hour or more, Mia drooled and drooled and drooled.  And also wiped her face on my pants.

It was the weirdest thing!  I've never seen her drool like that before!  I really wish I had managed to get a photo, because it was just crazy-looking.  As she relaxed, though, and started playing with the other dogs, the drooling decreased, so I figured it was just her being freaked out by something new.

Maybe by next weekend, the weather will have dried up, and I can take her again.  And maybe get some pictures of the epic drool.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Woman on the Edge!


You know how on Monday I talked about how I do too much?  Yeah.  I was right.  And while I enjoy being right, the thing that I'm right about kind of sucks.

Because I have, like, eighty bajillion other things that HAVE to get done (i.e. they have deadlines between now and Sunday), tonight's blog is going to be the thing on the list that gets short shrift.

To all of my blogglings out there, I apologize.  I don't think there are many of you out there who are hanging on my every word, waiting impatiently for my next post, but if you are - well, cool!  And I'm really sorry that I'm not more useful tonight.

I'm off to cross more stuff off my list, so that hopefully Friday's blog will be filled with less suck and more Yay!