Sunday, April 30, 2006 

OKC Memorial Marathon

We come here to remember those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever.
May all who leave here know the impact of violence.
May this memorial offer comfort, strength, peace, hope and serenity.

The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon began to commemorate the tragedy of April 19, 1995 and has been called one of the 12 “most run” marathons by Runners World Magazine.

I don’t want to lead you on and make you believe that I ran the marathon. I did not do such a thing. I didn’t even do the half marathon. These legs don’t run that far. I did, however, participate in the 5K. Hey…it’s better than nothing! I was downtown Sunday morning at 6:30 for the start of the race.
I didn’t sign up as a competitive participant as evidenced by this picture of myself and Terra with coffee in our hands at the starting line. But I was proud to be a part of it. The race started with 168 seconds of silence for those killed in the bombing followed by the singing of the national anthem. Then the race was on. I crossed the starting line to the tune of Eye of the Tiger.

Here is a picture of Katie and myself running. We were registered as walkers but had to run to make up for the time when we stopped to take pictures. We ran/walked, crossed the finish line, got our medals and then headed to breakfast at IHOP. All this before 8AM. Definitely a day for a nap!

Oh...I almost forgot about the firefighters! They all ran together. I had to walk backwards to get this picture and almost tripped in the process. But a fall would have been well worth it! haha.

Friday, April 28, 2006 

Making a difference or just ditching work?

Every Wednesday afternoon I leave the office and drive myself over to the local middle school. I am a mentor to a 7th grade student. Typically, we work on homework in Algebra 1 or Geometry. The first few times were a real challenge for me but once I refreshed my brain a little bit it all came flooding back. My old math teachers would be so proud!

Last Wednesday was a beautiful day. The sun was shining and the temperature was up there in the 80’s. The last thing I wanted was to be stuck inside. I practically skipped out to my car when it was mentoring time because I was so happy to get out of the office. My student obviously felt the same way. When I met up with her she told me she had no work to do and wanted to go outside and chat. I knew better than to believe she had nothing to do but everyone needs a break every once in awhile, right? We found a picnic table to sit at with the sun shining down on us. I got a sunburn. Fair skin is just not meant to sit out in the sun.

Once we sat down my student pulled a teen magazine out of her backpack. We started reading through it and looking at all the hot guy celebrities (the ones in her magazine were all really young and most I’d never heard of…it made me feel old but I did my best to keep her from catching on to that). We turned the pages and happened upon some quizzes. You know how those magazine quizzes are…very girly and highly unscientific. We spent the rest of the mentoring hour taking quizzes. Does that make me a bad mentor? I tried to tell myself that I spent some quality time with my student and that’s just as important as helping out with homework. BUT finals are coming up and homework help probably would have done some good.

I’m sure my boss would love to know that I left work and sat outside in the sun taking quizzes. How productive!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006 

I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore

I hate tornadoes. This is a funny statement seeing as how I’m currently living in Oklahoma in the midst of tornado season. I didn’t grow up around this part of the country and even though I’ve been here for several years I’ve just never gotten used to them.

Monday night we had tornadoes. I was actually handling things well. My eyes were glued to the TV as I watched a tornado hit an airport hanger in El Reno. The footage from the news chopper was amazing. But then it happened…the tornado sirens in my neighborhood starting sounding. I freaked out! If the tornado was close enough to my home for the sirens to go off then it was close enough for me to seriously think about taking cover. I tried to have a discussion with the roommates about the safest place in the house to be at a time like this. It’s probably the hallway. Although, my first thought was to go lay in the bathtub with a mattress over me. But my mattress is too big for the bathroom. Besides there’s not enough room in the bathtub for all three of us to fit with a mattress over us. I like my roommates but I have no desire to be in that close of quarters with them.

Having grown up in Oklahoma, my roommates are used to this type of weather and actually seem to enjoy it. Even more enjoyable for them was making fun of me for being scared. They offered no sympathy or support in my time of crisis. So I called Grandmother. She assured me that everything was okay but invited me over to her house anyway. It’s at times like this that it’s nice to have your grandparents living on the same street as you. I gathered my things and was out the door. I left my car in parked in the garage just in case it decided to hail and ran down the street as fast as I could. I spent the rest of the night sitting on Grandmothers couch with my knees pulled tightly to my chest. I could hear the rain and see the sky light up outside. I found myself counting the seconds between the lightning and thunder hoping the storm was on its way out of the city.

Whew...What a night! I don’t know how much more of this I can handle.

Sunday, April 23, 2006 

complaint letter

Dear TV Guide,

I am an avid reader of your weekly television listings. In my book, you are the ultimate authority on television viewing. Each week I look to you for guidance as I decide what to watch and what to not waste my time on. Recently, however, your leadership has failed me. You led me to believe that one of my favorite shows was going to be airing a new episode when, in fact, it was not. I set aside a significant amount of time that ended up being wasted on a re-run. This is time that I will never get back.

I realize that re-runs happen. It is a nuisance that I have learned to live with. Prior warning from you when a re-run is planned to air would be greatly appreciated. After all, this is your job. You are no use to me if you do not report accurate information. Frankly, I expected more from you.

Your disappointed reader,


Monday, April 17, 2006 

Does the Easter bunny really exist?

Last weekend the Easter bunny came to our house. For real. He was just hanging out in our garage. He did not come bearing any gifts or chocolate, but it was him…I know it.

It was a beautiful, sunny day and my roommate Jamie and I decided to go for a walk. After walking miles and miles (slight exaggeration) we were parched and returned home. We walked up the driveway, opened the garage door and started inside. Suddenly Jamie stopped. I looked over at her trying to figure out what was wrong. She had a horrified look on her face and slowly started to back out of the garage. I was freaked out. What was in the garage? A python? A rabid squirrel? I quickly scanned the inside of the garage and there it was. Behind the trash can. A bunny! I don’t know how he got in the there but he was scared and cowering in the corner. Before we could do anything else I whipped out my camera phone for a quick photo shoot. Now we just had to figure out how to get the bunny back outside. We cleverly thought to leave a trail of spinach leaves toward the door. I guess the bunny wasn’t hungry. A broom did the trick. Just a gentle pat on the behind and the bunny scooted out the door. He hung out next to our air conditioning unit for awhile before disappearing somewhere in the back yard. Maybe I’ll see him again next year.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 

Blondes are wild, brunettes are true, but you never know just what a redhead will do!

It's taken many years for me to come to terms with my red hair. I used to hate that I was so different from everyone else. As a child I was called "carrots" a lot by the kids at school. I should probably consider myself lucky as that's the only name I ever remember being called. I've never been one to let teasing from other people get to me. Now I love my red hair!

A few days ago I had some extra time on my hands and decided to type my name into google and see what came up. I found myself reading the blog of a fellow redhead who had just read the book The Roots of Desire: The Myth, Meaning, and Sexual Power of Red Hair. I found the brief synopsis of the book very interesting and decided to do a little online research of my own. Who knew that redheads were such a phenomenon?

Wikipedia gives quite a bit of information on this subject. There are also several other websites dedicated to redheads. Here are some fun facts that I stumbled across. Well most of these are not fun but they are ones that I found most interesting....

• Red hair is one of the most rare types of hair color in humans, if not the rarest
• In Greek mythology, redheads become vampires after they die
• Hitler banned intermarriage with redheads for fear of producing "deviant offspring"
• Women with red hair were burned as witches during the Inquisition
• Redheads are more susceptible to thermal pain
• Researchers have found that redheads require greater amounts of anesthesia
• Redheads are often characterized as being more passionate, feisty or adventurous than non-redheads. This also extends to the stereotype that redheads have particularly "fiery" tempers, and are more easily angered than others.
• Redheads were the subjects of the 19th-century's most romantic paintings

"It is a very interesting experience to go through life with hair the color of stop signs, traffic signals, ambulance lights, bullfighter's capes, strawberries, blood oranges, ruby grapefruit, apples, wildfires, or copper pennies; having skin the color of neon milk and liquid paper when all of your friends are tanned; and wearing hats, long sleeves and mounds of sunscreen to fend off the evil advances of the freckle-manufacturing, cancer-provoking, burn-generating sunshine." --Quote from "A Bit More Red" website

Saturday, April 08, 2006 

Shopping therapy

Shopping is my break from the real world. It’s the one activity that I like to do alone. I thoroughly enjoy walking around by myself and not having to think about anything other than which store window I like the most. I find it very relaxing. I’ve been told more than once that I am an "emotional shopper." As much as I’d like to disagree with that statement I just can’t. Now I don’t necessarily spend money during my shopping excursions but sometimes doing so makes me feel that much better.

I had a few long and hard days last week. I needed to relax. So one evening as I was driving home I found myself heading to the mall instead. Usually when I go to the mall by myself I park in the same general vicinity. I have trouble remembering where I park so having a usual spot is pretty important. This time, however, I stupidly parked elsewhere. Can you tell where this story is heading?

I was on my cell phone with a friend I haven’t talked to in ages as I pulled into the parking spot. I wasn’t paying attention to much and barely remembered to lock my car before walking away from it. It was dusk so there was still some light outside. After window shopping for awhile (no money exchanged hands during this trip) I decided I had relaxed enough to go home. Where did I park? I couldn’t remember. I retraced my steps in my mind and finally figured out which mall entrance I had entered in just an hour and a half before. That was only half the battle. I had no idea where my car was! It was dark outside by this point and things look a lot different in the dark. I walked up and down every aisle. No luck. I started to panic and look around for mall security. Surely they could help me! I racked my brain for a description of my car. I wasn’t sure if “black with four doors” would be enough for them to successfully locate my vehicle. Questions were running through my head…make, model and year? License plate number? I should really have this information written down somewhere.

Clearly I was going to look like an idiot asking mall security for help with this matter. They were nowhere to be found anyway. What good are they if they’re not around when you need them? Needless to say I eventually found my car. I spent as much time in the parking lot as I had spent inside the mall. Any relaxing that took place during my shopping excursion had been useless. Losing my car made me tense up all over again. I may have to find another happy place to go when I need to de-stress. Somewhere with a smaller parking lot perhaps.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006 

What? Speak into my good ear!

Humor is very important to me. I love to laugh. I think most people would agree that you need to be able to laugh at yourself, right? This applies especially to me. I frequently find myself in humorous situations and if I couldn’t laugh at myself I’m not sure what I would do. I was going through some old pictures the other night and was reminded of some funny things that have happened to me in the past. One such picture made me think of this…

If you know me very well then you know that I am deaf in my right ear. If you’re finding this out for the first time…don’t feel sorry for me. This is how God made me. Having only one good ear has its pros and cons:
• I can sleep on my good ear at night and block out all other sounds so I sleep better
• If I need to plug my ears for any reason I only have to plug one and I still have a free hand to do other things
• I can ignore people I don’t want to talk to and just blame it on not being able to hear them

• Sometimes I don't notice when someone is standing on my bad side and trying to talk to me - if they don’t know that I have a slight hearing impairment they may just assume I’m stuck up
• I have slept through the smoke alarm going off in my house at night
• I can’t tell where sounds are coming from - since I can only hear out of my left ear I always think sounds are coming from my left

This last “con” is very humorous to my friends. I can’t tell you how many times my friends have tried hiding from me and yelling my name. They know I can’t tell where their voice is coming from so I just turn in circles until I find them. Haha. See…I can laugh at myself! I remember when I was little we lived in a tri-level house. My mom would call me from some part of the house and I’d have no idea where she was. This wasn’t really a big deal unless I was in trouble. You know how it is when you’re in trouble and being summoned by your parents…the longer it takes you to reach them, the madder they get. That was unfortunate for me as a child.

My junior year of college I got really sick. I was diagnosed as having hay fever by the doctor on campus. Although he diagnosed everyone with hay fever so I’m not sure how credible his diagnosis was. Anyway, while I was sick I got an ear infection in my good ear. If you’ve ever had an ear infection you may have noticed that you lose most, if not all, of the hearing in that ear until the infection is gone. For those of you keeping track…
One good ear + ear infection in good ear = no hearing

A few of my friends took pity on me and made me a get well sign. It was a sweet gesture. Although I think they were just reveling in the fact that I couldn’t hear and they could say anything they wanted to me. Gotta love friends!

Just a quick reminder to my roommates…If the house alarm, smoke alarm or tornado siren goes off in the middle of the night please make sure I wake up!!

Sunday, April 02, 2006 

"You Can't Stop the Beat"

I love musicals! This weekend I went and saw Hairspray downtown at the Civic Center. It is a very entertaining story about a girl, Tracy Turnblad, who dreams of dancing on the Corny Collins show. She doesn’t let anything get in the way of her dreams. Along the way she falls in love with the cutest male cast member of the show, wins the Miss Teenage Hairspray competition and takes some courageous steps in the fight against segregation. There’s nothing that singing, dancing, big hair and lots of hairspray can’t solve!

I wish real life could be more like how it is on stage. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just break out into song when you’re feeling happy or sad? On stage it looks so easy. When someone has something to say they just start singing about it. The other person or people around join in. They harmonize and dance and everyone lives happily ever after. If only life were that easy…

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