Monday, July 30, 2007

The Internet Is Coming, The Internet Is Coming!

Oh yeah, it's coming! Granted I had to get a little annoyed with Time Warner before I was able to set a date for them to come out to set up the wireless and such. Turns out the "time saving" order I put in through the website wasn't entered into their database yet, so two phone calls later and an online chat with a very non-helpful representative, I have replaced my order for internet in my home. With all that said, it is coming on August 7th (no, not the 2nd as originally ordered...that would be tooooo easy)! So Thursday evening (one week plus a few days) I will be happily typing away on my new wonderful internet connection -- supposedly...

Steer over Embers (Paul's bday) was really really great. :-) We laughed a lot, and the food was phenomenal. The games at Paul and Jennifer's afterwards were really a blast as well. Good times. I also saw Hairspray (with Troy from High School Musical and Cyclops from Xmen) yesterday afternoon. I'm with Joan on this one: my face hurt from smiling and laughing so much by the end of the movie! Totally worth seeing full price. Hilarious!

By the way, my neighbors, whoever they were, that had the unsecured wireless took the advice of a recent post of mine and made their internet connection secure. Stink! Here I sit on Paul's couch using their wireless. I could have sat in the car to gank off his and Jennifer's service, but I found that to be sort of weird... ;-) Seriously though, I'm ready for my own. I'm securing mine though. Again, I'll give you the key, but I'm securing it. :-D

Better go see if the apartment complex guys really have gotten around to cleaning my carpet yet (small perk from re-signing my lease).

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Harry Potter, VBS, and Other Updates

I know, I know! I've taken a long time to update again. Bad Joanna. I'll try to do this succinctly, but you know that's going to be hard!

VBS turned out wonderfully! We had so many volunteers who did so many things, and I can't thank all of them enough. It really was a team effort that demonstrated the spirit of service that many at our church have. Thank you to all the work night volunteers, life guards, park guides, center volunteers, adult fellowshipers, floaters, general helpers, actors, the awesome emcee, mascots, baby holders, sound booth peeps, and everyone else who made this year great! Here's looking forward to another great VBS next year! If you go to VRCC, be sure to come to the summer's end water park evening. :-) (Details in the foyer!)

Ah, Harry Potter! I had a hard time wanting to start reading the book as I knew it would be the end. All the questions would be answered, and all the suspense would be over...but I got over it! I don't think I ever did post some theories on here, but let me tell you what I was right about SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS!!!! A Weasley did die (and I wanted to sob) -- poor Fred the probability of all the Weasley's living through the war was totally against him. Harry lived (although I was sitting on the fence with that one), and Voldie died (well of course!). Draco did sort of come around in the end ... at least he didn't kill anyone. I was wrong -- Snape was mostly good and was always acting on Dumbledore's orders. I also thought another teacher would turn out to be a Death Eater, but I was wrong there too. I was one who was sure Aberforth owned the Hog's Head, and I was right there! Yea! I wasn't sure if Harry was a Horcrux -- I read a lot of good editorials about him being one. All in all I loved the book. Rowling did a great job of tying all the books together. She finally made sense of why certain things were mentioned:
** Gregorovich was Krum's wand maker -- did we need to know that in Book 4? I figured it out before Harry came around to it though.
** Aunt Petunia freaked in Book 5 and mentioned she knew what dementors were because she heard her sister and that horrid boy talking about them -- we all thought it was James, but it was Snape. Ahhhhh!
** And of course the mention of the smell of goats in the Hog's Head in Book 5 and the mention of Aberforth doing illegal charms on goats clued us in to the barman's true identity. duh!
There was more, but I won't go into it all. I was so so so sad when Hedwig died (like a knife to the heart hearing about the loss of a beloved pet). I almost cried at the end during the scene about the Weasley's mourning around Fred, and finding out Lupin and Tonks were dead (thus another ophan made by the Death Eaters). I also had a hard time holding back tears as I read about Hagrid carrying a thought to be dead Harry out of the forest as MacGonagall and Ron and Hermione wailed for him. I know it's just a book, but seriously, we've all been reading these books for about 10 years now! I'm in the process of re-reading it now. Before I stop one more thing -- I was really impressed with the use of humor in this book. JK did a good job of putting comic relief in places that needed it. She also did a great job of making this book full of suspense and scary scenes, and while the language was more "adult" (for lack of a better word), I see why she did that. Would Mrs. Weasley's entrance into the attack on Bellatrix have had the same effect without that one word? Perhaps, but man, it was a great moment!

I got back from Michigan last night. I won't lie, it was a really hard trip. Despite the warnings that Grandma wouldn't be able to talk, nothing could really prepare me for seeing her not able to talk in a nursing home. She still has all of her mental facilities, but she has to write to talk. I broke down the first night after we went to say goodnight. This is my beloved Grandma who came for months to visit us in GA from the time I was in later elementary school to high school. She taught me how to crochet and to play rummikib and skipbo. She was there when I learned to drive and quietly rode with me while I was driving us around lost as anything and never told anyone I was lost in my hometown! She was my partner in crime and my confidant. Her visits played a large role in me growing up. It's so hard to see her like this, and I fear for the time when she will still know what's going on but won't be able to communicate at all. I hate to think of this Lou Gehrig's trapping her in her own body. Words can't really express how much I love her or how much she means to me. They can't fully describe my sorrow at seeing her this way. I'm having a hard time handling it. They told us she has about 6 months to a year left. I'm going to try to see her again before the end. Pray for my family please. Especially the family in Michigan -- I know my aunt in particular lives in fear for the day that her mother passes -- she's afraid that she'll be there with grandma and g'ma will want help no one can provide. Pray hard.

I didn't mean for this post to end on a sad note. It's just what's going on right now. I just re-signed my lease to live her another 15 months. I'm getting a new accent wall (totally tan on my bedroom wall -- dull I know, but it's neutral enough to go with bedroom changes), a carpet cleaning, and new drip pans...w00t! :-) It's the little things, ya know? I think I've got about 2 weeks of summer left. I know that doesn't sound like much, but I'm ready to be productive again. Today I've been a bit more productive taking the dog to get groomed (he smelled bad), doing my lease thing, and watching the kids, but it's not the same as going to the school and teaching. I'm ready to tackle teaching Algebra I (the one that goes for a semester) to get the pacing right.

People are waiting to get on one of the cyber cafe computers now, so I better jet. Love you all! Thanks to waiting for me to post!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Making an "Honest Woman" Out of Me

Yes, it's true: I'm making an honest woman out of myself. No silly, I'm not getting married! (As if!) I've put in the order to Time Warner to come hook up my own personal high speed internet in my apartment complete with WiFi, so I'll quit "borrowing" my neighbors' unsecured wifi connections. OK, it's not all about the honesty thing (although I always feel bad using what someone else is paying for without permission), but it's more about the connection not being dependable enough to stay in the chat room with my new cofcsingles friends and the added annoyance of constantly being dropped while I'm looking at something. Looks like they won't be coming out until the first of August, but I'm willing to wait a bit longer in all honesty. :-) Now for all of you living around me with no internet, you're welcome to come use mine (I LOVE VISITORS!) anytime -- be reasonable though! Yes, I will be securing my line, but if you ask nicely I'll give you the key/code/whatever you call it to use my internet. :-)

This weekend was nothing short of phenomenal! I can't fully explain how amazing it was to meet all these wonderful people from my singles' site. They were all Christians who understood the annoyance from reading the message boards, the joy in finding single friends, and the importance of fellowships with other single friends. Erin was so great to plan this weekend for us all. I spent every moment I could with my new friends, and while the love interest that was in the works for a couple of months didn't work out (sometimes personalities just don't match and that's ok), I still felt the weekend was a great success. Meanwhile, I'm back in the playing field, so yeah wish me luck with that. I had a date last night with someone not on the site, but I'm not seeing how far that one can go. I'm determined to be with someone whose spiritual beliefs match my own (on the big stuff for sure). Having open disdain for religion doesn't really win me over...

Back to this weekend -- we had a devo Friday night and played games at Erin's. I was so worried it was going to be awkward, but it wasn't really at all. Saturday we went to dinner and the Rangers game and followed it up with a trip to IHOP until the wee hours of the morning. I had so much fun! Some of us ended up visiting for a while at Erin's apartment after that. Needless to say I was soooo tired on Sunday morning. I ended up meeting up with everyone for lunch and then I went to church at Prestoncrest Sunday evening and to Saltgrass with a smaller group. I only had minor bits of time where I was really self-conscience. I just ignored that pictures were taken of me bc I hate most pictures of me lately. I'm finding it hard not to be super critical of myself in that respect. (I looked at a friend's online a bit ago -- everyone looked like they were enjoying themselves though. I just wish I could look at a picture of myself and think it looks nice...) One day I'll get over it all.

Weekend was great. Date last night was nice. Internet it coming. Tutoring is over. VBS is next week. Hurray! Life is nice.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Call me Carrie

Some of you know that I don't pay for internet right now. Instead I use anyone's who will let me use it, tote my laptop places that have free wifi, and my personal favorite: I find all the hot spots in my apartment that have the happy little word "unsecured" next to them. :-) Now with that said, I have a sad thing to report. I used to get this great wifi spot right at my dining room table, but now it's not working there. I can see the network, but it won't connect, so in a spot of internet fueled desperation I took the dog for a walk with my laptop in tow and kept updating the wireless connections every few feet (done late at night of course to let as few people see me looking like a moron as possible)! Eureka, I found an unsecured spot, and I sat down (no joke) on the curb to check my internet. When I got back to my apartment, I decided to search within my apartment for a new spot. The corner of my patio has a good spot, but the mosquitoes are awful right now. Who wants to have to use bug spray to check their email?! Using my brain today, I decided to try my bedroom, and here I now sit typing in a very Sex and the City-ish style on my bed typing on my blog. I don't know how "Carrie Bradshaw" did it. This is not comfortable, but hey, it's free! Seriously people, if you live in an apartment and you don't want to share your internet service, SECURE IT! Although if you live around nice, SHARE! :-)

So it's the 4th of July. Like Paul says on his blog, if you're a teacher, it's basically Wednesday with stores closed. We saw fireworks last night. They were half hidden by trees. Tonight the fireworks are at Vista Ridge Mall. I'm going to head outside in a while, and see if I can see them. I was hoping to be able to go out tonight, but those plans never came to fruition.

This Saturday I'm going to the Rangers game. I don't like watching baseball, but I'm going with a group from my singles site. It should be fun. I'm going to get to meet someone I've been talking to for almost 2 months now. I don't want to say a lot about it bc it's really personal, but the person I'm meeting will be with me at church on Sunday. Please please please don't scare him off! I don't want to jinx this bc the last one I met was such a bore, but we'll see. I don't know. Like I said I don't want to say a ton. My dating life has gotten mildly interesting lately, and yes, I know some of you would say writing about it would make my blog a lot more intriguing, but I'm going to refrain. Ask in person if you want the scoop. :-) My life is more and more like Dallas lately -- when it rains, it pours. Other thing I've noticed lately: dating someone I would consider old enough to be my sister's peer isn't so weird now.

Sprinkles keeps going and standing on my dining room table. He thinks he's a cat. That or the grease from Katelyn's french fries is still on the table a bit.

Before I head out I'll tell you a bit about San Antonio. For all of you true Texans -- any one of you could have told me ahead of time that the Alamo (don't kill me!) is a tad bit over-rated. The river boat tour was really interesting, but I saw a baby duck drowning. So sad! Me and ducks....seriously! The math conference was ok. Great in the respect that it was paid for by someone other than me, but the actual sessions at the conference were lacking this year. I only came away with a couple of things I could use in my classroom. The city itself if beautiful and has a gorgeous skyline. I'd like to go back and get to do SeaWorld and the zoo and other tourist-y stuff like that.

Hope you're all having a pleasant 4th!