Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Post Secret

My newest (and longest ever!) blog is below this one (READ IT!), but I put a new link to the right, and I wanted to send out a warning as well as an explanation before you click on it! Post Secret was started by a man named Frank Warren. He started it by leaving postcards in library books and around public places inviting strangers who found them to send him an artistic postcard with a secret on it. Some are funny, and some are serious as if the writer just needs to tell someone to get the secret off their chest. He has compiled a book of some of the best post cards he has received in to a book, and each Sunday, he posts some of the post cards he still gets. I read an article about him and his art, and I checked it out. I want that book! :-) Anyways, while the post cards are neat, they are people's secrets, so some are about sex and subjects like rape, so please don't be upset if you click on the link and read something mildly shocking. None of the items he posts appear to be pornagraphic in nature, so no worries there. :-)

You too can write a secret by reading further down on his blog for the address and specifications. What a fun little idea! :-)

Old Post but Finally Finished

I had started this post and saved it as a draft about a month or so ago. I decided I had time to finish it today, so here I am typing away. I'm leaving tomorrow for a week and a half in Georgia. Actually as soon as my flight touches down tomorrow I'll be driving with my parents to my grandmother's farm in Florida for the weekend. I haven't been there for about a year, and I really am looking forward to the visit. There's nothing like time on the farm! Granted it has changed a lot since my DaddyRay passed away, but life must move on, eh? Anyways, that's where I'll be for the next week and a half, so don't think I'm playing hookie from church or dead in a ditch. :-)

Tonight is the last night of VBS. I've loved working on it and being there each session, but I'm ready for it to be over. Next year I really want to just go ahead an do only decorations and let some other person with a servant's heart head up crafts. It really was too much to take on and stay totally sane. The past few nights I've been wired and didn't get to sleep until the wee hours of the morning bc VBS was so crazy. I would really like to get back on a regular sleep schedule!

This summer I haven't really been motivated to do much. I've cleaned and polished all of my silver jewelry (which is all I wear, so it was a lot!); I've reorganized my cabinets; I've restarted work on my afghan; I've read like none other! Want to hear my summer reading list? Here's what I've read in about a month:
Grace in Thine Eyes by Liz Curtis Higgs
The Devil Wears Prada (for the 4th time--love that book!) by Lauren Weisberger
The Da Vinci Code (had to see what the hype was about) by Dan Brown
Harry Potter and the Sorcer's Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
(finishing it now)
all by JK Rowling, and being read for about the 10th time each--no seriously it could be more. These books are my escape. I would love to live in Rowling's made up world! (interesting tidbit: "JK" stands for "Joanne Kathleen" first and middle names are "Joanna Kathleen")
There are more I want to read, and I'm going to finish the HP series, but there's something nice about having time to read again! I love SUMMER!

This brings me to the part of the blog I had been working on before. I'll finish it now I guess. (Since I'm already writing a book for this post!)I spent the last half hour or so reading up on people from college. Lately LaRae and I have been talking about our past relationships with friends. In high school I had a lot of (for lack of a better word) bitches to deal with. Numerous friends were backstabbing, manipulative, self serving, liars. I couldn't trust them, and soon I became much like them. I haven't really kept up with people from high school, and I wouldn't know how to get in touch with them even if I wanted to do so.

Already I've lost touch with many from college. I found a lot of friends in college who were the same as my high school crowd. I had a chance to get in a really good group of people with my freshman year roomie, Em, but I went another path. Granted I met some really great people on my path, and though I haven't kept in touch, I miss them.

Junior year in college was where my life really took a turn. I honestly had at least 3 personalities I showed to certain groups of people: 1. The sweet Christian girl I showed my family 2. The nice GATA girl I showed my club and most friends 3. The girl who was up for anything and could have been called a lot of not so nice words whom I showed to my friends I could cuss and drink around Did I like any of those people I pretended to be? Not really.
Was I truly any of those 3 people? I've decided not. I think I was totally and completely lost in all senses of the word at that moment in my life. How sad is that? Looking back, I'm so grateful that I didn't die because I surely would have been in hell. Junior year was the year of my life that I was furthest from God. Go figure this was also the year I got my Christian fish tattoo with the word "faith" in it! In fact it was the spring before that I got another hole in each of my ears bringing my piercings up to 6. Pausing for a moment now, I never thought I would be one to have a tattoo and 6 piercings! I do want another tattoo once I lose some weight, and I'd like one more piercing in my cartiledge, but which ear is it that says your gay and which one is it that straight people have? I definitely do not want to mess that up! OK, I digress.

If you haven't heard my complete story of how I became who I am today, I can give you the gory details in a heart to heart one day, but it turned out I left school the spring of my Junior year. It wasn't totally my plan to do so either... I ended up at home in Georgia, working in a tax office, hating myself, and unable to forgive myself. How could I have gotten so far off track from my goals for my life and my faith? My parents knew the truth about how horrible I'd been, and we weren't telling the rest of the family (except LaRae and Randy) that I was home to get my life together (I was "just taking a break to work!") or anyone at church the truth. I starting thinking they were ashamed of me and wouldn't forgive me for having to leave school to get back on track. It wasn't until the week or so before I was about to move back to HU to go to summer school that I talked to my mentor from church and told her how off track I had gotten at school that she helped me to see I was forgiven by everyone but me! Isn't it odd how we can forgive others so easily (usually), but we have the hardest time forgiving ourselves? Thankfully I still finished college in 4 years, and I was able to live off campus the last year and just focus on school and my future and not the bad stuff I'd been in before.

I guess all of this remembering came on from me reading old blogs, thinking about my past friends and relationships, and from remembering my last trip back to HU when I got to see only one old friend. It was sort of bittersweet for me. I realized how I'd lost touch with people and had detached myself that last year there. I don't know why I tell you, my readers, all about this except as a means of purging myself, and to say I'm not perfect (not that you thought I was!). Sometimes I really feel lost at VRCC because people don't know my past or where I came from, and they only see who I want to show them. This year I felt like I was splitting myself again, but this time I was "work-Jo" and "church-Joanna." I don't ever want there to be a difference again in who I am with certain people as opposed to others. I want ya'll to always see me, and for there not to be anything or anyone else that I am. Granted I want my secrets, but I miss having friends who know the whole me and know about my past and my present.

To my good friends who are here (in TEXAS) though, I am eternally grateful for you:
LaRae - She's more than a sister; she truly is my best friend (and business partner)! I'm so glad we grew out of trying to kill each other, and can now fight and get over it and still spend so much time together!
Randy - I finally have a brother! Who would have thought he could be so patient with me as I asked unending basketball questions during the NBA finals?
Paul and Jennifer - I once said to them over dinner that I was so glad they "took me in" when I moved here. They were mildly offended I think, and said that didn't sound like friendship! Despite the age difference Paul sometimes re-realizes and exclaims about, they are awesome friends! There's something to be said for people who you know you can always call and who are always up for a trip to the comic book store!
Beri and Andrew - They were really my sister's friends first, but they've always been there to give me some logic, advice, and humor when I needed it. :-) Really where would I be without my sister's friends who accepted me when I came here without any friends to speak of?
Julie - Ever since she told me the secret to CAMT (a week long math conference): "Find any session that sounds humorous or slightly entertaining and go to it above all others!", we've been fast friends. I couldn't have made it through my first year at North without her.
Melissa Gay- We bonded at Bunco over talk of being the youngest sibling, and I thought, cool, a mom away from my own! Turns out (despite her sometimes realizing and exclaiming about me being just a year older than her oldest daughter!) that I found a good friend in her! I think LaRae once said, "My old friends are my best friends," and I can see why! :-) And yes, I've told Melissa that before, and yes, we laugh about it!
Katelyn - Last but not least, I love this kiddo! Since I don't have any kids of my own, she definitely receives a ton more attention and love from me than most nieces must usually receive! There's something to be said for a person who is always (almost always) excited to see me and give me a hug! I can't wait til she's old enough to take shopping and to glitterize her! ;-)

I rarely do shout outs, but there are special people here in my life, and I do appreciate ya'll and wanted to end with an upbeat note! I know I didn't by any means list everyone, but I listed those I was thinking of right now. I feel so loved with my church family and my friends I have gained through it! :-) Hope you're having a great summer! See you when I get back from Georgia!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Movin' On Up

I've decided to move! :-) I'm changing to a different apartment within my complex. This one is on the first floor, so I don't have to dread normal tasks like taking out the trash and coming back from the grocery store. (Finally I can buy sodas and laundry detergent on the same day!!!) It's bigger by about 100 square feet. It's set up better for my stuff. My halltree will now have a spot other than in the way. The kitchen is larger, and the pantry is actually IN the kitchen, not around the corner. So much more good stuff. Anyways, I am working on finding movers for the heavy stuff -- furniture and a box of books and another of pots and pans. If any of you know of any good yet cheapish movers, let me know.

My move date is August 3rd. It's a Thursday. If any of you could come help me with the little, dishes, TV, decorative stuff...I'd really appreciate it. If not, I'll still love you. :-) I'll buy you lunch or dinner, and help any time during that day would be great. GOOD NEWS is that it's DOWN two flights of stairs and then no carrying things up stairs. :-) This later move date is due to when the apartment is finally open. I'd rather move mid-July, but this is good too. As soon as I get back from GA mid July I'll start packing, so on move day it will literally be move the junk and then I'll clean under it all. If I'm careful and take a shower the night before, I could have the bathroom clean already and most likely the kitchen.

I'm really pumped about the new apartment. I'm not excited at all about the moving part of it. LaRae has helped me doubt I'll be able to get all of the move done in one day, but I'm sort of locked into that one day to move time frame, so if any of you have stories or words of encouragement, I'd appreciate them. I've basically got from crack of dawn until midnight or so...I think it can be done even with water breaks and such. Sigh. We'll see. :-) Pray for me.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Update Real Quick

Let me start with a few comments on ...well...comments. I appreciate your comments, and I read them all. Part of the fun of blogging is to have friends leave comments. Given that, I will be deleting all "anonymous" comments from my site. I have gotten some very odd comments lately that add nothing to the site. Also in the past, I have found anonymous comments make people feel free to leave rude statements they normally would not make to my face. If you are going to make a statement/opinion, be bold...let me know who you are. Stand by what you say. Finally, if you're reading my site, you're probably a friend or acquaintance of mine, and when among friends, we tend to id ourselves, so you should go ahead and do so. (A codename "we" get is fine, but leave a name please.) Word verification is now on by the way.

Looked at my "dream" apartment today. Turns out it's not my dream apartment. Huge disappointment!!! I was able to get it to a lower price than expected, and everything was set to move this weekend...until I walked into the place. There are quite a few things about it that won't work, and I won't name them all here, but I'll name a few:
-Living room is toooo narrow.
-Washer/dryer area isn't configured for people to truly use it.
-Stairs to the bedroom are so steep my hobbit feet won't fit on them!
-Wasted space...
-Other junk I'll bore you with in person if you ask.
For some reason I decided not to give up there. I think I'm getting frustrated at my lack of space (and the stairs I'm paying to cool!), and I was encouraged by the ease at which I could get the prices of apartments down. So Friday LaRae is going with me to look at one apartment, and then there's another I might look at around the end of next week. Both are first floor, larger, a good price, and give me what I'm looking for (MORE SPACE!). Anyways, pray this works out. If not, the pigeons may have a halltree on my balcony to build a nest in! Oh wait, they already nested outside my bedroom window. Turns out they are birds that like to talk. They squawk at a freakishly even interval...about once every second. If I bang on the window real hard they go away long enough for me to get back to sleep; of course they come back...

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Warming Up

In hindsight, I'm actually warming up on the Xmen movie. If you separate it from the comic books, it's a good movie. So, do I totally take back all I said? No. I still don't believe some of the actions were true to the characters. I do think I'll see it again to give it a better assessment.

My summer of not teaching, working, or doing anything that seems like effort is going well! So far I've actually accomplished quite a bit...I've re-alphabitized my CD collection, cleaned the bathroom sink, polished all of my silver jewelry, and I've planned my finances for the next 2 years. I think I'm going to really work on saving money and not move to a larger apartment yet. I really want to move, but I want to have back up money for when things go wrong like my alternator going out. Gotta go make bows. More later.