Nice and peaceful

Nice and peaceful

1. It’s been a nice, peaceful day here in Brooklyn. Meaning I’ve just been relaxing at home! I like days like this sometimes!!

2. Not that I’ve done nothing. I actually did not one, but TWO rounds of Level 2 of the 30 Day Shred! One in the morning and one in the afternoon. And I’m still standing – well, relatively speaking. I’m half sitting, half laying as I type. But you know what I mean. I’m actually kind of scared at how easily it’s coming to me this time through. I’m still doing everything right and progressing to advanced moves when I can. Maybe I need to get heavier weights? Hmm… It does say up to 5 pounds and I’m using 3s. Food for thought.

3. This morning I was doing some poking around on the website of the realty company we rent from at the beach, just looking at pics of the house where the ‘rents were and stuff. I decided to look through the availability calendar just to see. It’s all yellow for next summer – basically because whoever is in a house for a certain week has first dibs on that house for that equivalent week next year, so those wouldn’t show up yet. BUT he third week in August was in red – the color used for houses reserved. I got excited, but decided to wait until I’d heard from Daddy. Mom called after they stopped for lunch, but they hadn’t let me know if they’d gotten to tonight’s destination, so I called Daddy’s cell. They made it fine. 😛 Just talking with their friends and all. BUT!! He said he had gone up to the realty company offices and talked with the owner’s daughter-in-law (they all know us as we’ve been renting from them for YEARS…like 27 or something crazy like that). Technically they can’t rent it to us for the third week in August next year yet, but she put a note that we had first refusal assuming no one rents it for this year (they haven’t so far) and requests it for the same week next year!! So my guess is that we have it unofficially and it will become official as of August 14th if no one has rented the house for that week. And if they have, I think they have until Thursday of that week to say if they want it again. So there is still a possibility we won’t get it, but it’s probably not a huge possibility. Squee!!!!

4. Yay for learning to say no! One of the former seminarians at church (she’s graduated) messaged me on facebook last night to see if a) I could help out with the kids program this summer and b) if we could sit down so she could pick my brain about Christian Ed. The second isn’t a big deal – like an evening of chatting, so not a big deal. But I really don’t want to be tied down to HAVE to be there more than the two Sundays a month I already am, so I said no to the first part. Not that they aren’t charming children…but I need a break from being in charge of/responsible for kidlets.

5. Now can someone explain this? You are a credit card company. A card holder’s mail is returned to you with some undeliverable at that address marking. Why would you just mark the account to stop the mailing and not bother trying to call said card holder to ask about the address? Apparently that’s what my card company did. I’d thought I was caught up with the whole thing and wasn’t using it, so I didn’t notice that I hadn’t gotten any mailing from them for a while. Well, I was a month or so behind – because of this, so they’re taking that late fee off because I argued my point of “why didn’t you CALL to ask about the address?” apparently successfully – and thy called today. I called them right back (never fear…they probably called my parents’ house as well as they tend to not even give you 5 minutes to call them back) and went through their whole menu (honestly they could not make it harder than they do – just have a friggin “touch 0 to speak to a representative” option from the beginning menu please????) until I finally got to one that gave me a “press 0 to speak to a representative” option. I arranged a payment on the 16th so all is cool. She “unflagged” my account so I’ll get mailings again – but she could not explain WHY no one bothered to call me to find out about the address. My guess as to what happened is that some substitute mail carrier delivered my mail to the address around the corner that’s the same number but different street (We have gotten some for that address here recently) and rather than redeliver it to the correct address when it was put in the mailbox, the post office marked it undeliverable. Or it went into the wrong box at my building and some dumbass marked it “no such person at this address” rather than looking at the APARTMENT NUMBER. But still! I feel accomplished that I was able to convince her to remove the late charge (I have to pay one on the 16th because that will be late, but it’s my only option) since I never got the bill in the first place – and she could see I hadn’t been using the card, so it made sense that I would have not realized I didn’t get one.

6. Watching House on Bravo – not sure what season they’re on…Chase and Cameron are engaged and Amanda is dead but appearing to House – it’s not that bad. But I gotta ask… Has MS replaced Lupus as the go-to diagnosis all of a sudden? This is like the second or third episode where they go to “It’s MS” almost immediately like they used to do with Lupus.

7. It was nice to see a women’s tennis final WITHOUT a Williams in it for once! And bravo Schiavone!!

8. I have a 5-night option for Florence saved on expedia now as well as the 4-night one. Virtually the same price – I just removed one walking tour from the itinerary. I can do a hop-on-hop-off my first day there to get the lay of the land, and then explore on my own. I decided to put the 5-night as an option because in looking through some of the books I’ve gotten, a lot of the things I want to see are closed either every Sunday or the 3rd Sunday and/or on Monday…both of which I would hit with our winter break. So…I can explore things on my own and plan around those IF I have an extra day! Woo!! I can’t wait until I book it!!!!!

9. Alright…I must go work on finishing the section in the novel I’m reading for that Barnes and Noble First Look Club. Still not enjoying this book at all and plan to dump it from the nook as soon as I can. Even if it ends up ok, I am not going to want to wade through the first 100+ pages just to get to the good parts. I’m not talking slow like The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo starts out – each of those stories on there own were intriguing – I just wondered when they were going to come together. This one is just all around annoying. And pretentious in vocabulary – it’s like the author is TRYING to sound intelligent by picking the most obscure word to say something she can. Yuck!

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le sigh

le sigh

I wish I was at the beach right now. My parents are there with friends of theirs. The past few years we’ve gone the week after summer school, which is the same rate as this week, but this year they decided to go this week. 😦 I will miss being able to go a lot.

The beaches up here – at least the ones I can get to on my metrocard (and the ones on Long Island that get shown on the news aren’t much better – are gross. There are jut-outs of rocks that you can get slammed against, the water is cold and the sand is nasty. Seriously…it’s way too hot to walk on, even with flip flops…you have to watch out for broken bottles… And even in the water if you can stand to go in it it’s so cold, it’s all gross with shell pieces and god only knows what else. Even Lake Michigan was better.

Hopefully next year we can go back to the August week. Hell, I’ll even offer to pay what difference there is in price if any (which, like I said, not an issue this time – it’s the same price the week after summer school as this week). Sure I may get restless down there sometimes, but that’s usually solved by just being able to go out and walk around or chill out with a book. Just being there and being able to SEE the ocean is nice and calming.

Anyway…

In other news… My bird? Still being a twat. He thinks the shelves by my futon are his personal playground and that he has the right to move everything around he wants to. And worse if I try to reach in to rescue something or (horrors) to move him to his cage, he squawks like a madman and tries to bite me. Gah. I think I liked him better when he was rubbing against my sweatshirt being a horny little bird.

Church was good. I was the crucifer today, so I got plenty of incense. Given that my mood is not improved, I’m now disbelieving that article about how the incense used in churches has mood enhancing properties and that’s why people feel so good after a service in a church with incense. Neither myself nor the two girls who were torches really knew what we were doing, but we muddled through. The funniest part was when Father Glen was getting ready to celebrate, he was taking his cope off to put on the chasuble and no one was there to take the cope. We happened to meet eyes, and he motioned for me to help. I stood up to take it and whispered “Where do I put it?” He shrugged and whispered “I don’t know.” So I improvised and folded it neatly and put it in the chair next to me. I think we technically should have removed one of the extra torch chairs and I should have been over one seat, but it all worked out in the end. And I think that the girls were probably happier sitting next to each other as opposed to sitting cornered from each other.

I’ve finished my reading for the first discussion in the B&N First Look “Book Club”. It’s this thing where a group of people get to read advanced copies of a book, discuss it usually with the author participating, and then we have to write reviews on our blogs and/or the B&N site. This one we’re getting electronically, so I’m reading it on my nook. It’s called The Writing Circle. So far it’s not blowing me away. And judging from the early response people are having (stuff like “It’s so engaging! I don’t want to stop where we’re supposed to for this week’s discussion!” and the like), either I’m way off in my reading of it and will be like the only person in the world who doesn’t like it (based on the first 88 pages…I suppose there is still hope) or a lot of people are not going to be honest because the author is participating in the discussion. Of course, I’m guessing that the fact I just finished Rebecca Wells’ The Crowning Glory of Calla Lilly Ponder isn’t going to help. Reading that I remembered how much I love her writing. It’s just so beautiful and poetic. And even if I am not a big fan of New Orleans (Don’t hate me…I just don’t like it. I’ve been and I wasn’t impressed.), I love the way she writes about it. I have to remember to not compare author styles and try to look at this book in only its light. Also making it challenging will be that I refuse to read 88 pages a week. Ergo, I’ll be reading other books as well. I don’t think I’m going to be signing up for one of these first look thingies again. Even if we do get a free book out of it.

No plans for tomorrow except for just relaxing. Watching what tennis I can get on ESPN/ESPN2 (since Cablevision is being a butt and not letting me order the Tennis Channel), doing the Shred, and reading something that’s not the First Look book. And generally being bored.

Oh yeah. And wishing I could be at the beach. 😦

tennessee tomboy, feminine girl, taking a ride on the top of the world

tennessee tomboy, feminine girl, taking a ride on the top of the world

1. Finally watched the season finale of Grey’s Anatomy. Holy shit that was intense! I won’t say more in case there are still people who haven’t seen it. But WOW!

2. We had a picnic/cook-out (I’m sorry, I refuse to call burgers on a grill a barbeque. That, my friends, is a COOK OUT.) today with the kidlets. It was pretty good. They behaved, which is always a plus. 😛

3. Got my Lilith Fair ticket today! 🙂 Yay!! Though I have to say, Ticketmaster said it would come in an unmarked envelope. I expected some kind of return address just in case. And since the lead line was “Customer Service” that would have been fine. But then at the bottom of the return address, I see “Buy Tickets from Ticketmaster.com!” Um…can someone explain how that’s unmarked? I mean, it’s fine for me…my mailbox is locked. But for someone whose mailbox is the kind I grew up with that sits on a post at the end of the driveway? That could be a problem. If they’re going to call it “unmarked” it should not say Ticketmaster anywhere on it.

4. I saw Collected Stories yesterday. It was ok. The last scene was the best part of it, and the playwright telegraphed what was going to happen WAY too early. I figured it out in scene 1. Well, once I managed to stop myself from almost laughing out loud at the irony of the name of the younger woman in it and what she did right from the start. Kind of makes me want to drag someone to see it…but then that someone seems to want nothing to do with me, so…not that it would happen anyway. But I digress. Linda Lavin is amazing. For the last scene alone I wouldn’t complain if she won the Tony. Sarah Paulson was ok. I know some people love her…she’s not my cup of tea. But that’s why there’s chocolate and vanilla, right? 🙂

5. Project LB continues. And we’re back on track after about 4-days of semi-sluglike behavior. The new exercise plan is to go through the 30 Day Shred again, but only Shredding Monday-Friday. On Saturday and Sunday I’ll do Yoga Meltdown for a little bit of a change up. Hopefully it’ll keep me motivated without burning me out. Also? Trying to make a point of wearing shoes while Shredding. I’m really bad about it. First, I feel like it adds weights onto my feet. I know that’s psychological, but I swear I get more tired jumping in them than with bare feet. And second, they tend to feel like they’re getting stuck in the carpet. Not so much a problem until Level 3, but still. I am going to try though. And I guess ultimately if it does add weight onto my feet, that’s a good thing. Also, I’m working on getting the food thing back on track after another crappy weekend. Weekends are hard since they’re not that structured. I’m giving it my best shot!

6. Ok…time to get in bed and read for a little while before sleeps. I need to finish the book I’m reading, and maybe one other library ebook before I start on the “first look book club” book I’ll be reading through B&N. It’s called The Writing Circle, and we’re getting to read advanced e-copies of it! SOOOO cool! I’m going to try and stick to the reading schedule though and not read ahead so I don’t accidentally get confused in discussions.

Dare to be different, dare to be true…

Dare to be different, dare to be true…

1. Overall today has been pretty good. I ushered at church because both my usher team and my acolyte team got scheduled for next week – since it’s one of those rare 5th Sunday things. Someone on the usher team for this week needed to switch, so it worked out really well. I was a little nervous as the head usher for this group is the one who originally recruited me to be an usher, and I was pretty intimidated by her – she’s always come across as kind of not really warm and fuzzy. And I’m still not sure she’s warm and fuzzy, but she’s not as cold as I’d thought. We actually had a pretty fun conversation! So yay!

2. Had to bolt as soon as the service was over (it ran long cause it was Pentecost) because I had a ticket for Collected Stories, and it’s one of those weird theaters that has 2pm Sunday matinees rather than the usual 3pm ones. I made it. TDF is always a crapshoot. Sometimes you get last row orchestra like I had for Everyday Rapture. Sometimes you get for all intents and purposes front row like I got today. I say “for all intents and purposes” because technically it was row 2, but the front row only had 3 seats per side, and there was no seat in front of me, so I was the first row that far over. The play was interesting. Definitely the final scene was the strongest of them all. Sadly, I’d figured out where they were going with it real early in, and some of the earlier scenes felt long and draggy. Still Sarah Paulson was good, and Linda Lavin was incredible. And I can always pull some knowledge towards the craft of playwriting from everything I see – even if it’s “what I don’t want to do”, so it wasn’t a total loss. I did have a hard time keeping from bursting out laughing at the irony of the basic situation combined with Paulson’s character’s name…talk about a case of art imitating life…even if the art and life aren’t involved with this specific play…

3. I am DONE with the “project memoir” genre for a good long while now. Having read three in rapid succession (because of availability and length of time I can keep ebooks from the library it had to be done) – The Happiness Project, Voluntary Madness, and Living Oprah – I am so over that genre. In case you can’t figure it out, a “project memoir” is a memoir of someone’s undertaking of some kind of project that generally covers the course of a year. Think Julie and Julia but WAY less original since everyone seems to be doing them now. They’re fine, and each of these books had their strengths (and weaknesses)…but I’m tired of them. Give me a good old regular memoir or autobiography. Please. 🙂 Thank you!

4. I am tired!! Do not ask me why I was up shortly after 4 this morning. I have not a clue. But I am strongly considering taking a warm shower and going to bed. Also? I’m coughy…that rawish upper chest cough that really does nothing but annoy the crap out of you. Fun.

5. I had another thought about what Daddy could be planning in terms of a trip, but I looked at that place’s website and a) to go in August, the reservation window has been missed and b) he’s been already in this calendar year. So I’m back to possibly Gatlinburg or Asheville. But I’m probably very much wrong. Time will tell.

6. Yeah…I’m gonna take that shower and crash. Night!