November 4, 2008

This is so Wrong.

The majority of votes aren't even in yet and he is conceding?!?

October 29, 2008

NaNo Story

So a few Mondays ago, well actually back in September, the Fun Monday assignment was to write the first paragraph of an "unusual love story". I liked my opening paragarah, which made me wonder what else is going to happen with these characters. I've decided to participate in NaNoWriMo. I've done it the past few years, but have never won.

Since I am not allowed to write the story before November (technically, I'm not even supposed to have the opening paragraph, so that may get re-written), but I can have an outline, I want to start gathering some ideas of situations for Daton (the attractive stranger) & my yet-to-be named leading lady. Since I have such good supporters of my blog, I'm asking for some ideas. I may or may not use it, but this year I really want to hit the NaNoWriMo 50,000 word mark.

Thanks for all your help. Here's the excerpt from my story.
I wanted to run and hide due to embarrassment, but I'm afraid the smell
coming from my shirt, would give me away. My best friends Jolie and Marie talked
me into going on the Cyclone, against my better judgment. When it came our turn
to get on the ride Jolie and Marie climbed into one seat leaving me to sit in
the row behind them next to a stranger. A very attractive stranger, with bright
green eyes, a huge smile, and my barf covering his shirt.

October 17, 2008

Churched


Earlier this week I mentioned that I had reviewed a second book. this one is called "Churched" and its written by Matthew Paul Turner. I thought I would really enjoy the book since one blog I like to read is Stuff Christians Like. There were several things, that made me giggle. Page 191, talks about worrying that Jesus will come back before you get to have sex, when you're a teen. They talk about having contests to "win people for Christ" where the winner gets some sea monkeys. As a child Matthew felt like he needed to "save a seat on the bus for Jesus". Most of his stories are funny, a few are very sad. The people at his church were very well intentioned, but somehow they seemed to scare people into salvation, instead of loving them.

I found his story very relatable, having grown up in the church myself and because I attended a skirt wearing, long hair, no makeup school when I was jr high age. Still, when I reached the end of the book I was kind of disappointed. I felt like, he didn't resolve his story, but he is still a young guy and perhaps he has more for us to read.

If you want to purchase the book, you can find it here or you can leave a comment on my blog and I will mail you a copy. I only have one to give away though, so you'd bette be quick.

October 14, 2008

The Shape of Mercy


I got to review two books this week. The first one Ill tell you about was my favorite. It’s called The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner. That title is clever in so many ways, that will hit you during the book. Susan Meissner did a wonderful job of creating the intertwining stories. There are two primary girls, but really you hear the lives of 3 woman. First you have Lauren who narrates the story. She is a freshman at college who is just beginning to figure out who she is. She was raised in a life of privilege, but doesn't want that to be defined by that. Then you have Mercy, whose story you learn about through a diary that Lauren is transcribing. Mercy lived in Salem during the Witch Trials. You see her feelings and thoughts about what happens when hysteria takes over a town. The final lady in this story is Abigail. She is the owner of the diary and hires Lauren to transcribe it. Through that employer/employee relationship you see these woman grow close.

Susan Meissner does a wonderful job of intertwining these stories into one lovely book. It’s the best book Ive read in a long time. Click here to purchase this book and here to learn more about Susan Meissner.

Come back later this week for my review of Churched by Matthew Paul Turner. If you would like to win a copy of Churched leave a comment on this post.

October 13, 2008

Fun Monday - Doodle

This fun Monday is being hosted by Tracey at Nine Acres. The assignment is to make a doodle, which includes the number "9" in red. You can view the creation of mine here, but the picture itself is below. This was kinda fun, because I never consider myself an artist, but perhaps I am a decent doodle-ist.

September 29, 2008

Fun Monday - Closet


This Fun Monday is being hosted by Alison at RDH Mom

The Assignment:
I want to see the inside of your closet!! I want to see if your closet is as messy as mine!!! You can't organize it before you take the picture!!

Here you go! You can also read a post I wrote about it back in March.




September 22, 2008

Fun Monday - Sports

This week's Fun Monday is sponsored by Heater at Heather's Recipes

The topic: Sports. More specifically, the sports team that you are rabid about. Maybe you love the Dallas Cowboys. Maybe you never miss a Cincinnati Reds game. Perhaps you follow every goal of the Fighting Illini Water Polo team. I want to hear about whatever sports team(s) that make you cry tears of joy when they win and tears of sorrow when they lose.

And on the flip side, I also want to hear about the teams you love to hate and why you hate them so much. You know what I mean. Like when you meet a new friend who is really cool and fun, and then you find out they root for your most hated rival team and you actually consider for a moment that you can't be friends anymore. Those teams.

Well, I don't know very much about sports. I don't understand football and I have no desire to learn. I mostly get basket ball, put the ball in the basket, and you can do it from different spots for different points. Baseball makes sense and I cheer for the Cubs. Because I'm from Chicago and that's what you do. Plus, I'm waiting for them to win the World Series so they can make a Disney movie about it.

My favorite sport is Gymnastics in the Olympics. Its the only one that inspires me to do cartwheels in the yard and attempt the splits.

September 19, 2008

The Road to Lost Innocense


This past week I've been reading a book called "The Road to Lost Innocence" by Somaly Mam. Its the story of a girl who grow up in Cambodia, during an awful time. She was sold by her "grandfather" into prostitution to pay for a debt he owed. Now she helps other girls in that situation. while reading the book I was amazed by her strength. She could have left brothels and never returned, but instead she worked hard to help other girls, becuase she had true empathy. It didn't matter to Somaly if they had AIDs or if they were dirty or hurt. She loved these girls, even though she herself had not been loved very much. For each book bought a donation is made to her fund to help other girls. I am amazed that this stuff still goes on in the world today. It really has opened my eyes and made me look beyond the American Bubble in which I live.

September 8, 2008

Fun Monday

I've been wanting to do a Fun Monday forever, but never think of it until its over. This week I finally did a little pre planning and am ready. Today's Fun Monday is hosted by .

Here's the Assignment:
Write the beginning of an unusual love story (not a real one). I only want the first paragraph. You can add an illustration or a picture to spice it up if you are really daring.

I wanted to run and hide due to embarrassment, but I'm afraid the smell coming from my shirt, would give me away. My best friends Jolie and Marie talked me into going on the Cyclone, against my better judgment. When it came our turn to get on the ride Jolie and Marie climbed into one seat leaving me to sit in the row behind them next to a stranger. A very attractive stranger, with bright green eyes, a huge smile, and my barf covering his shirt.

August 31, 2008

Sunday's Best: Introduction

I want to start a new series. Since I have retired from the Restaurant Business Matt and I can now go to Sunday Morning Church. The Sunday night church we had been attending is geared towards college age kids and we just don't fit in there any more. I'm going to document our search for a new church. As a reference I'll probably be linking to some posts from Stuff Christians Like. Be expecting a few updates in the next few days.

Here's one of my favorite posts from that blog, just because its funny and I love Indiana Jones.

August 29, 2008

Wild Goose Chase

I'm currently reading "Wild Goose Chase" by Mark Batterson. He's pastor of a church in Washington DC. So far its pretty good, I'm reading it in small doses so what he says can really sink in. The book is about pursuing God and how its an exciting thing to do. Many Christians however don't do this because of things that get in the way such as responsibility, routine, assumptions, guilt, failure and fear. So far I am enjoying it and it really makes me think. He gives lots of examples from the Bible and makes stories fresh that I have heard many times before.

You can buy it here at Amazon, or if you are Becky from Stuck in Frump, Striving for Fab, you can e-mail me and I'll send you a free copy of the book.

August 22, 2008

I hate geese

but so far I like what I've read in Wild Goose Chase Reclaim the Adventure of Pursing God by Mark Batterson. I will be giving away a copy of it on my blog next week, when I post my review of the book. If you're interested leave a comment and if you have a goose story that's even better.

And here is my completely unrelated to the book goose story.

Once upon a time I was a nice sweet 11 year old. I was with my mom and dad while they were at some meeting, I think it was to sign paperwork when they were buying a house. I was waiting in the van and my mom had come out with me. There was a big field next to where we were parked and being the active kid I was, I went out into the field to do some cartwheels. There was this big Canadian Goose that was also in the field. I ran towards it a little bit, so it would get scared run away from me, but that isn't what happened. That goose started running towards me. As soon as I realized it I changed directions hurrying to the safety of the van. Before I reached it the goose jumped up, put both its feet on my back and pushed me down to the ground. After that, I'm sure I broke a an Olympic record racing to the van. My mom said she has never seen me move so fast. I was inside before she even had her door open. The evil demon, I mean goose, left me alone after that, but I now have a deep seated dislike for those animals.

August 6, 2008

Indian Thriller



I don't have any good words for this other than, its my new favorite video.

July 22, 2008

End of an Era

So Sunday I officially retired from the Restaurant industry. Its been a good decade, but I am
tired. For the 2.5 years, I've been working 6 days a week. Bob Evans was my "fun job" I
enjoyed meeting new people all the time and getting some physical exercise.
I started working at Bob Evans when I was a 16 year old senior in high school. I was
homeschooled so I would work the day shift as a hostess. The next year, when I was in
community college, sometimes I would work on homework during the slow afternoons. When
the area director was in town, he would help me with my algebra.

After begging to become a server, one day my manager handed me an apron and a ticket book
and told me to wait on the counter. Considering I had not yet had any training as a server, it
was a bit overwhelming, but lots of fun. A couple weeks later, they finally got around to
"officially" training me. It was a few months after this that I met a customer, who helped me get
a job at the airport. I took a leave of absence from Bob Evans and worked there during the
school year.

I couldn't stay away too long and next summer I was back in my blue apron. I still preferred the
morning shift, but would work an occasional evening. I was going to MoBap at this time in my
life, so I would adjust my schedule around school. That was one thing I loved about the
managers. They were so flexible with me. I would tell them what days I could work, and they
would let me work those days.

When I graduated college I waitressed almost full time. It was a great shift, it seemed like most
days I wanted to work, someone else wanted a day off, which was a perfect arrangement.
Since I only was obligated to work a couple days, I was free to job hunt when I needed. When I
was hired for an office job, I only worked the weekends for a couple months, then dropped to
one day a week.

Working at Bob Evans only Sunday mornings was so nice. I made just enough cash to never
have to use an ATM. I had my own regulars who would always ask for my section. I moved up
in seniority and got the early shift, getting out of bed was rough, but seeing the sun rise was
always worth it.

This summer I reached my "official" five year anniversary (really its been 8, but the leave of
absence messed with my employment history). It was my goal to reach 5 years, and you get a
5 year present. So once I reached my goal, it was only a matter of time before I decided to
retire.

June 12, 2008

Meebo Chat

Sometimes I wonder. I realize most people who land on my blog aren't actually looking for it. This person messaged me in my little box on the right. Since they "pretended" that they knew me, (which is completely untrue) I decided to mess with them. FYI I'm madamepresident.

[22:48] meeboguest151506:
i am your old friend but anyways i need ur help....
[22:49] madamepresident: what do you want
[22:49] madamepresident: what is your name?
[22:49] meeboguest151506: Well i need to know if a guy likes me or not
[22:50] madamepresident: who are you? I don't think I know you
[22:50] meeboguest151506: fine i was your bff dont help me theen
[22:50] meeboguest151506: bye
[22:50] madamepresident: amanda?
[22:51] meeboguest151506: Yea
[22:51] madamepresident: cool!! I didn't know you started liking guys now? last I heard you had a girlfriend
[22:52] meeboguest151506: yea i know
[22:52] madamepresident: so whats the story?
[22:53] meeboguest151506: well i met this guy at the resturant and he said hey and im like hi and he is like soo wanna hang out i am like sure so what ya think?
[22:53] madamepresident: I think he is definately sending out vibes.
[22:54] meeboguest151506: yea i am going to see him tomarrow night and hang out'
[22:54] madamepresident: is he really hott?
[22:54] meeboguest151506: yea
[22:55] madamepresident: lucky
[22:55] meeboguest151506: he is so hot i could make coockies on him
[22:55] madamepresident: yum yum
[22:55] meeboguest151506: yea and id eat those coockies
[22:55] madamepresident: does he have a hairy chest? remember how we used to like burt reynolds so much?
[22:56] meeboguest151506: oh yea and he does
[22:56] madamepresident: sext
[22:56] meeboguest151506: he so yummm
[22:57] madamepresident: I'll bet
[22:57] madamepresident: think he likes to eat a lot of cookies too?
[22:57] meeboguest151506: bet
[22:57] madamepresident: I know how you like some meat on those bones
[22:58] meeboguest151506: yea and muscle
[22:58] madamepresident: does he lift?
[22:58] meeboguest151506: yea
[22:58] madamepresident: awesome.
[22:59] meeboguest151506: hes calling me right now hold on
[22:59] madamepresident: So are you still in school or have you graduated?
[22:59] meeboguest151506: still in
[22:59] meeboguest151506: omg he wants to come over right now
[23:00] madamepresident: right now
[23:00] meeboguest151506: yea
[23:00] madamepresident: you should get him to bring you some dinner
[23:00] meeboguest151506: yea
[23:00] madamepresident: pie is good
[23:00] madamepresident: for dessert
[23:01] meeboguest151506: He wants 2 watch a movie IN BED
[23:01] meeboguest151506: What u think of that?
[23:02] madamepresident: but your cot was so small. I mean didn't you complain about how your doom room was smaller than your closet at home
[23:02] meeboguest151506: yea
[23:02] meeboguest151506: oh well we'll be closer
[23:02] madamepresident: yeah, but its so hot
[23:03] madamepresident: I couldn't sit with a hairy man blanket on me
[23:03] meeboguest151506: YEA I KNOW
[23:03] meeboguest151506: OH HES HERE
[23:04] madamepresident: wow hes got to live close to you
[23:04] madamepresident: where are you living now?
[23:04] meeboguest151506: yea he is only 2 blocks down from me
[23:04] madamepresident: thats close. so where are you living these days?
[23:04] meeboguest151506: well not much diff from my home town
[23:05] madamepresident: yeah, those tiny country towns
[23:05] meeboguest151506: yea
[23:05] madamepresident: everyone all up in your business all the time
[23:05] madamepresident: more goats than people
[23:05] meeboguest151506: brb
[23:07] meeboguest151506: k back he kissed me on my cheek
[23:07] madamepresident: when you're back you need to tell me what his name is
[23:07] madamepresident: he kissed you already? and you just met him like yesterday
[23:07] meeboguest151506: ok
[23:08] meeboguest151506: ill be on in like well at 10:15
[23:08] madamepresident: the cheek is a lot sweeter than sticking his tongue down your throat
[23:08] meeboguest151506: yea
[23:08] meeboguest151506: gtg
[23:08] madamepresident: well amanda you have to give me a call one of htese days
[23:09] meeboguest151506: ill try if not buyzy
[23:09] madamepresident: i need to hear more about this hairy chubby guy
[23:09] meeboguest151506: well gtg
[23:09] meeboguest151506: bye
[23:09] madamepresident: so one mre thing
[23:09] madamepresident: how did we meet?
[23:09] madamepresident: cause I'm pretty sure your from
[23:10] madamepresident: wheaton, IL
[23:10] meeboguest151506: oh gtg srryz bye
[23:10] meeboguest151506: b on at 10:15
[23:11] madamepresident: why won
[23:11] madamepresident: will you not answer my question
[23:11] meeboguest151506: gtg srryz byez
[23:11] madamepresident: you already said that
[23:11] madamepresident: but you are coming back in 4 minutes
[23:11] meeboguest151506: yea
[23:12] meeboguest151506: byez
[23:12] madamepresident: you must be really bored, searching for meebo talk blogs and all
[23:17] meeboguest246523: u there?
[23:17] meeboguest246523: its Amanda
[23:18] madamepresident: sorry, I was shaving my back hair
[23:18] meeboguest246523: oh
[23:19] meeboguest246523: Well he kissed me and its was on my lips he and i fell down on my bed and makedout a little then he left so yeah
[23:20] madamepresident: woah
[23:20] madamepresident: he moves fast
[23:21] meeboguest246523: yea
[23:21] meeboguest246523: but i liked it so :}
[23:22] madamepresident: does he literally move fast? like walks very quickly.
[23:22] madamepresident: i bet he is a runner
[23:22] meeboguest246523: no he loves football
[23:22] madamepresident: how old is he?
[23:23] meeboguest246523: he is 22
[23:23] madamepresident: 10 years younger than you?
[23:23] meeboguest246523: er um rong age
[23:23] meeboguest246523: like 15 i think
[23:24] madamepresident: younger guys are all the rage these days
[23:24] meeboguest246523: yea
[23:25] madamepresident: tell me everything you know about him
[23:26] madamepresident: I'm so excited for you
[23:26] madamepresident: he sounds like a guy you could marry
[23:27] meeboguest209583: he has blond hair blue eyes 15 sweet smart funny cute hot spicey
[23:27] meeboguest209583: yea
[23:27] madamepresident: cute hot and spicey sounds like a coffee drink
[23:27] meeboguest209583: yea i know
[23:28] madamepresident: but you'd better be careful. remember the time we ordered coffee at ihop and you broke out into hives from it?
[23:28] meeboguest209583: yea
[23:29] meeboguest209583: wells i have to get off the computer srryz bye
[23:29] madamepresident: but the hives were so much better than the warts you caught
[23:29] meeboguest209583: yea
[23:29] meeboguest209583: well gotta goes bye
[23:29] madamepresident: oh its fun to talk about old times
[23:29] madamepresident: what do you remember?
[23:30] meeboguest209583: yea but thats the past this is the future
[23:30] meeboguest209583: when we first became friends good times good times :}
[23:30] madamepresident: Very good.
[23:31] meeboguest209583: yea well i have to go bye
[23:31] madamepresident: I mean I never expected to make a friend at mascot camp
[23:31] meeboguest209583: yea but
[23:31] madamepresident: but what? don't you like me anymore?
[23:31] Meebo Message: meeboguest209583 has left your page

June 11, 2008

With Endless Sight

When I received With Endless Sight so that I could review it for the blog tour, I thought I might be a bit lost. Its book 3 in the Crossroads of Grace series. Its a very good story of redemption, grace and forgiveness. Growing up I always loved pioneer stories, I thought it was amazing how people could survive such an amazing feat, like walking across the whole country.

This story centers around Belinda a young girl from Belleville, IL. She came from a well-off family who decided to head west on a stage coach. Their adventure does not go as planned and Belinda finds herself with people she would have never known growing up as a child of privilege. She reminds me a little bit of Anne of Green Gables in the way she is able to bring a little bit of light to everyone she encounters.

After reading this book, I decided to see what the first two books in the series were about. I found that Belinda encounters both of the girls, whose stories are told in Books one and two. They are now on my to read list. Allison Pittman tells great stories.

June 6, 2008

Fatal Deduction

I've always thought it would be fun to have a twin. We could switch places, and play tricks on our teachers. We could be the bestest of friends and always have fun together. Unfortunately, thats not always how things are with twins. Sometimes there is sibling rivalry. Sometimes twins are such different people who chose very different life decisions. The sisters in Gayle Roper's book Fatal Deduction are the second type of sisters. They are forced to live together in their aunt's house, so that they may receive their inheritance. The time they live together is a great learning experience for them both. They learn about each other and more about themselves.

I thought it was a fun mystery read and the fact that located in the book are crossworld puzzles that play a part in the story are there for you to solve on your own.

Now to announce the winner of the book..... Nici at Mrz Dinkela's Inner Thoughts.

Congrats, I hope you'll find time to read it between all the business at your new job.

June 1, 2008

Restaurant Wars - Why I like to Waitress

So I've been working at the same restaurant since I was 16. Its my "fun job" I enjoy the people, and I don't mind the work. "When I work out, I lift plates not weights." For the past couple years, I've only been working the Sunday Morning shift, which is the busiest of the week, since its a breakfast restaurant. We get a lot of the after church crowd. My favorite people are our "regulars" most of which are retired people who come here to eat every day. Those are my favorite. I even invited a few of them to my wedding last summer. Now for my list of the best things about being a waitress.

10. You get a pocket full of money every shift, so you always have "change for a $5."
9. You get used to people mis-prounouncing your name or even forgetting it and will answer to most anything - Ma'am, Miss, You, Honey, etc.
8. Seeing the Sun Rise on my way to work at 6am.
7. Getting large amounts of good coffee to drink for free.
6. Not having to pick an outfit for when you work, since a uniform is required.
5. You don't have the temptation to catch up on reading blogs instead of working, since you are not sitting in front of a computer.
4. Every day is different and fun. I always come home with good stories.
3. Networking. I got my first "non-food related job" from a contact I made at the restaurant.
2. Its a good workout. "I lift plates, not weights".
1. When you really miss something up badly, that group of people leaves in a short amount of time and you never have to see them again.

May 22, 2008

Bloggy Stuff

So very soon I will be writing a review of Gayle Roper's new book Fatal Deduction. Its a mystery that incorporates crossword puzzles. I'll also be giving away a copy or two, so if you are interested in winning, leave a comment with your favorite puzzle game. My addiction is Sudoku. I spend way too much time playing. I even have a special "Sudoku stance" where I hunch over my laptop with 100% concentration, my husband knows better than to talk to me when I'm in the middle of a puzzle.

I was at the DMV yesterday and I think it would be a fun place to people watch. I was there for my license. The kid in front of me was a newly 21 year old, and the guy behind me was a hispanic person, who had brought along his boss to translate. I find it amusing that no one seemed to smile for their picture. Don't they realize if they ever get kidnapped or commit a crime, thats going to be the picture on the news? I refuse to look like a criminal, but I guess a lot of people just don't care.

Work has been so busy and draining the past few weeks. I get home and I just want to crash. This week should hopefully be the end of crunch time. I have a good new friend there, that makes time go by faster. Plus, I have been volunteering to help in the fundraising for the St. Louis Race for the Cure. Things are winding down, registration ends today. Then we have just a couple more things to do and we are done! I really do think its a good cause, but its just been sapping up all my time and volunteering at work while learning a new job has been a challenge.

May 21, 2008

Random Wal-mart picture


I have like 10 different things to blog about, but just haven't been in a writing mood lately. I'll get around to it soon.

May 7, 2008

Office Wars - Overtime

So when I took my new job we were told that we would have overtime on occasion. At the end of the quarter we have a lot to do and a limited amount of time to get it done. This means that I have been here almost 11 hours today. After being here that long, I am so tired of my desk. So this is my top eight (I'm too tired for a full 10) list of positive things about working overtime. Hopefully it will prevent me from jumping out a window or something equally as crazy.

 

8. I will attend the monthly "here is stuff that you don't care about" quarterly meeting just long enough to snag a bagel tomorrow morning before leaving and no one will tell me I need to be there.

 

7. I have the entire row to myself, so people don't bother me very much. My boss affectionately refers to my desk as "Siberia".

 

6. I can listen to music all day. I now have time to listen to all the music I have neglected. Now I need to find some new bands or maybe a book.

 

5. After spending this much time in front of a computer screen surely I will need glasses. Perhaps they will make me look more intelligent. That will lead to a different job that does not require uncompensated overtime.

 

4. Since we are to put our initials by the things we complete, I will never forget my new ones, now that I am married.

 

3. I arrived early enough to trade my chair, with a newer one at a different cube. Unfortunately it is not the magic chair I hoped it was that would cure all my aches. Why is it so hard to make a comfortable work chair and desk?

 

2. By arriving so early and leaving so late, I completely avoid rush hours.

 

1. The best thing about working overtime is Matt makes dinner!

April 21, 2008

New Job

So I'm sure everyone is wondering "Where has Tanya been?" "Does she hate me?" "Has she quit reading my blog?" "I haven't gotten a comment from her in forever!" None of those are true. I just got a new job. I'm still at the same company, but in a different department.

Last week, was my first week, and it was pretty crazy. I spend the mornings at my old job, while one of my co-workers was on vacation. Then I spend the afternoon training in the new department. It meant I was working some pretty long days. If that wasn't enough, I'm involved in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, here in St. Louis and I'm in charge of keeping things organized in my building.

So far things are going okay. They use so much jargon and have so many acronyms that half the time, I have no idea what they are talking about. I'm sure that will get better with time, but for now, I'm guessing at what they mean. I'm sure in a couple weeks things will get better and I won't walk around with a lost look on my face.

As far as my blog reading / commenting goes, I'll get there. Because I really don't want to miss out on everyone's fun posts.

April 18, 2008

Earthquake

Last night, I woke up startled and a grabbed my husband's arm. It woke him up too. The house was shaking, but it was strange. Our first thought was that it was the wind, but it didn't sound like the wind. I got up and looked out the window and things were very peaceful. Nope, no storms. We laid in bed a while longer, then I said, I'm going to look out back. Our garage is in the back of our house. I thought maybe someone hit their garage (we live in a townhouse). Nothing strange out there.

Then we turned on the tv flipped through the channels. Nothing. We really started thinking we had imagined it and were going crazy. I mean the shaking was little enough that nothing in our house was knocked over. We tried googling, hoping the local news might have something online. Then Matt says, "lets check www.ar15.com". Sure enough someone had posted about the earthquake.

I just had to laugh, that the first place people go is the internet. Before the news, came on at 5 am, we were talking about the earthquake with other people online.

EDIT: 10:30 and we had an aftershock. I have decided I do not like earthquakes.

April 7, 2008

My First Blog Award

Melissa over at Hope for the Hopeless, was so kind and gave me a blog award. I'm so excited, its the first award I've gotten and the best one ever.

How did she know that tomorrow is my birthday? and that I will be wearing a tiara? My mom gave me one when I turned 21 and now its a tradition. Its also the only day I feel like I can get away with wearing one now that I am an adult, who is about to be a quarter of a century.

You get to make up your own rules for passing it on, since you're the one in the tiara.

I'm going to pass this award out to 3 fellow bloggers.
  • Jenster at Jenster's Musings
    She's a cool Christian Lady and a cancer survivor, which makes her tiara worthy.
  • Nici at Mrz Dinkela's Inner Thoughts
    She's new to blogging and I hope she keeps it up. Also, she loves tiara's almost as much as I do. Almost.
  • Becky at Stuck in Frump, Striving for Fab
    She always makes me laugh and hopefully this tiara will help her in her quest for fabulous-ness.

April 2, 2008

My Family Calendar

So last weekend I mentioned I was going to visit some family. Each year in the Spring we get together to celebrate the Holidays. Until this year it was just the girls in the family, but since I got married and my aunt had a baby boy, we decided to include everyone.
We made good time on our trip and my husband and I decided to make a visit to Hollywood Blvd. Its a neat movie theater that has a restaurant you sit in comfy chairs with a small table in front of you. They deliver your food while you are watching the movie. It was good food. The theater itself is decorated with old movie posters and random movie pictures. Some of the decorations make me wonder if they also purchased some of their decorations from a Chinese restaurant that was going out of business. Its the only place I know where you can go and see a picture of Marilyn Monroe, next to a large oriental-style cement horse.

After our little side trip we made the trip to my Aunt's house for Christmas. The tree was gone, but we all had presents. We exchanged our gifts, wrapped in Christmas paper. I gave my sisters and cousin glow sticks, which meant they spend the rest of the evening hiding out in closets and dark bathrooms (so they could see their reflection in the mirror). Following tradition, each of us girls got something matching. This year its short sleeved zippered hoodies. We looked so cute in our matching shirts.

After a late night we headed back to my other Aunt's house, where we were staying. We spent the night in the Slither guest room. (Yes, they have a small snake, and no, I didn't freak out.)

Sunday Morning it was Easter! We headed back to my Aunt's house for Easter Brunch. She made an egg bake that was delicious. Even though it was cold we held an Easter Egg hunt. Us grown-ups had lots of fun hiding the eggs and laughing when the kids couldn't find them. Eventually we used the hot / cold method to ensure all the eggs were found. Well, all but one. Someone where in the yard there is still a naturally green hard boiled egg.

Because many of us have birthdays in the spring, it was necessary to add another celebration to our weekend extravaganza. Everyone who had a birthday in the surrounding couple months got a cupcake with a candle. Yum yum.

Our yearly Christmas/Easter/Birthday Celebration is the best!

March 28, 2008

Vacation

I'm going on vacation to the greater Chicagoland area Saturday 3/29 and Sunday. Its our yearly family reunion. We're celebrating Christmas in March, cause thats how we roll.

As a side trip the husband and I are going to see Vantage Point at the Hollywood theater at 4pm. Just in case there are any blog stalkers in the area.

March 24, 2008

Jericho on CBS

My favorite show is Jericho, on CBS. If you remember last year it was canceled after one season, because according to CBS the ratings were not high enough. Fans of the show, worked very hard to bring it back. They sent mountains of nuts to CBS urging them to reconsider. They did and gave us 7 more episodes for a season 2. They brought it back on Tuesday Nights at 9pm central time.

Unfortunately the "Nielsen ratings" weren't good enough for CBS. We all know that Nielson ratings are the ultimate authority. Never mind that
"'Jericho' is unique because the fans saved it -- watching it on the Internet and streaming and iTunes downloads, all those things that are not being counted," said executive producer Carol Barbee in a recent interview.

Thats a stupid move on CBS' part to ignore that. I bought Season 1, I'll buy Season 2, I'd even buy Season 6 (if they'd have let the show go that long). I watch it online. I watched all of Season 1 online, and rewatched some of Season 2 online. I've blogged about how much I like this show, because it makes you think.

People don't play "what if" often enough. Most tv shows are purely 42 minutes of entertainment. Jericho is different. When its over you wonder, what if something happened to the United States? Could I survive? Maybe I should keep more canned food in the house. Maybe I should learn more about wilderness survival. Season 1 made you think about how to become a smarter person, a more prepared person.

Season 2 makes you ask questions. This new government is in place, but who gave them their authority? Its no longer the United States, its now the Allied States. Small name change, but change in meaning, in leadership, in authority. Not many in the town are questioning the new authority. They blindly follow. A few people are different. They ask questions like "who gave these people the authority to govern? Are they even good people?"

CBS brought Jericho back for seven episodes. I have enjoyed each one of them. I am somewhat disappointed in the time slot. They put a show on at 9pm, which I assume is 10 pm eastern. That's bed time for a lot of people and I wonder why the ratings aren't as high as CBS may wish. Why don't they count online viewings and fan support? Have they already forgotten about the nuts? Have they ignored the e-mails sent by me? Even my Mother, who is not very web savvy, took the time and effort to figure out how to send an e-mail to CBS about how much she enjoys Jericho. Is my purchasing power not as great? I guess my fan support of the show doesn't count, because I watched the show online for season one. We all know what little influence the internet has. People who watch stuff online really aren't important. They don't buy things online, they don't have opinions or ways to express them. Its such a shame that my voice doesn't count. I guess it won't matter to CBS that I no longer want to watch shows on their network. I did like Survivor, I've seen almost every episode, but that is 43 minutes of entertainment. I can spend those 43 minutes doing something else. Maybe I'll go surf the web.

March 18, 2008

The Longest Book Title aka On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness

Last week I talked a little bit about Andrew Peterson's new book On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness. I'll start by saying it has a blue cover with gold lettering on the front. Below the title is an oval which gives you a small glimpse of a sea dragon... just kidding. Well not about the book's physical description, but I'll give you a picture to tell you what it looks like on the outside.

Now to tell you about what really matters, whats on the inside. The first few pages give you a "Brief Introduction to the World of Aerwiar", followed by a "Slightly Less Brief Introduction to the Land of Skee". Finally he has an "Introduction to the Igby Cottage (Very Brief)". Already you can get a taste of Andy's sense of humor. (and yes I call him Andy or AP for short)

When the story begins we meet a small family called the Igbys. You have an ex-pirate grandfather, Podo, who battles creatures invading his small garden, and plays jokes on his rival. You have a mother, Nia, who works hard to take care of her children- Janner, Tink, and Leeli. Leeli is the youngest and a great musician (song). She walks with a crutch and has an adorable dog named Nugget, he's as loyal as they come. Tink, is an artist (form) with a very curious stubborn streak. Janner is the oldest, who excels at writing(word).
1 He helps take care of his younger siblings and tries hard to keep them out of trouble, though it doesn't seem to work.

We find them living an an oppressed town run by Fangs.
2 Everyone in the town is fearful of the fangs, which is smart. The fangs are ruthless and mean, no weapons are allowed Podo must even fill out all kinds of forms, just to get a hoe to work in the garden. 3 Glipwood is a very sad place that has very little joy, because the King and been defeated and the land is run by Gnag the Nameless.

On the day of the Dragon festival, Nugget tried to bite a fang. Leeli fights for her little dog, along with her brothers. This starts a major conflict between the Fangs of Dang and the Igby family. Their somewhat happy life in the cottage has been ruined. Fortunately, they have people on their side to protect them. The fangs believe that the Igby family has some knowledge about the Jewels of Anniera (and maybe they do)4, but this family won't give it up, until the time is right.

I loved this book. The characters are amusing, the land is delightful. You have creatures like "toothy cows" and "sea dragons" to watch out for. Each chapter has footnotes that enrich the story. Its a book that you could read several times and find something new each time.

Sometimes when an actor makes an album or a singer tries to tell jokes, you cringe at the results. This is not true of Andrew Peterson. He is a great author, an amazing song writer, and an great guy. I've met him a few times, and he appreciates his fans. He's one of the most down to earth people I know. I encourage you to read his book, and listen to his albums.

A few days ago I had a contest. For those of you who entered the answers are
1. Aedan, Asher and Skye (two boys and a girl. hmm...)
2. Walk is his first album, but Carried Along was his first major release.
3. This one is purely subjective. So I will tell you mine. My favorite album is Love and Thunder. I love it because its a journey. Each song is a part of the whole, and each song has meant something special to me at one time or another.

The winner of the Contest is Jenny. I'll be sending you the book in the mail soon. Thanks to everyone who entered.



1 Word, Form and Song are each one of the T.H.A.G.S. for more information about the T.H.A.G.S. see page 78 of OtEotDSoD
2
Fangs are terrible creatures like lizards who are mean and love to eat any type of food that is spoiled or rotten. Refer to page 164 of OtEotDSoD for a recipe of Maggot Meatloaf.
3 see page 42 and Appendices for more information about these forms.
4 Do not read page 168 of OtEofDSoD until you read all 167 pages previously. No spoiling the story allowed.

March 17, 2008

Contest Update

The contest for the Andrew Peterson book On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness ends tomorrow at Midnight central time. Which means you get an extra day than I originally stated. If your response isn't e-mailed to me by midnight Tuesday 1/18/08 (which I won't be awake, so if you sneak in a response before roughly 8am Wednesday Morning, I might let that slide). Don't miss out. If I get enough responses, I could possibly add to the prize.

March 13, 2008

Contest Time

Are you ready?
You'd better be ready!
*drum roll please*

Its time for me to officially announce my very first contest! You will have three chances to win. I'm going to give you three questions, for each one you get right, you'll get a chance to win! I'll be picking the winner next Tuesday by drawing names.

Now to answer the most important question for any contest. What do I win? You win a copy of Andrew Peterson's new book On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness.
I started reading this book last week and its very good, I get mad when I have to put it down. I will be posting a full review next week, because I'm part of his blog tour, so be watching for that.

Here are you questions.
1. What are the names of Andrew Peterson's kids? (This novel began as bedtime stories for his children)

2. What was the name of Andrew Peterson's first album? (He was first a musician, then an author)

3. What is your favorite Andrew Peterson song / lyric and what you like about that song / lyric?

Now, I do realize that some of you may not have ever even heard of Andrew Peterson. He is a singer/songwriter/novelist/storyteller/silly song writer, who lives in Nashville. He writes songs that make you think, he has lyrics that you can listen to over again and discover something new each time. You can find some of his songs on his website, there are also some You Tube videos up.
A while back I went to his Christmas Concert. It was such a great experience. I dare you to check out his stuff and remember each question you answer will get you a chance to win his new book.


March 7, 2008

My Closet (or should I say closets)

Over at Jen's blog we were talking about closets. She talked about how hers was kind of small and how she would like to redo her floor plan so she could have more room.

This is one area I have been blessed! My 2 bedroom, 2 and a half bathroom home has a small pantry (sort of a closet) in the kitchen, a coat closet on the main floor, and a full size closet in the basement. Then you walk upstairs. We have a walk-in closet in the hall, with shelves and bars for storage. Our spare bedroom has a large closet along one wall. Now you get to the master bedroom. We have two closets in there. The smaller one (first picture) belongs to my husband and the large, lighted, beautiful one complete with organizers, shelves, poles at various heights, belongs to me and only me.

March 5, 2008

The Latest and the Greatest

Greatest - If you guys aren't watching Jericho on CBS, you really have to start. Every Tuesday night my husband and I are glued to the tv. Its a show about the "end of the world as we know it." Season one starts with the news that several US cities were bombed. This small town called Jericho, now has to find out how they will survive this crisis. National government is gone along with the usually supply routes. Its one of those shows that make you think. If you're interested CBS allows you to watch them all online. The greatest thing about this is if you are a nerd who is into the whole conspiracy around a show. There are a lot of companion sites to Jericho. I'd give you more information about them, but I've only discovered a couple. Great great show.

Even if you don't watch will you click on the links? I want CBS to keep this show around. If you remember this was the show that they showed the first half, took a 3 month break then wondered why the ratings weren't as high the second half. It got canceled, but then fans did this wonderful thing. They convinced CBS that they needed to bring this show back. They sent tons of peanuts and CBS gave us 7 more episodes. So far no one knows if there will be a Season 3, but I hope they will keep it around. We do not have enough shows that make you think.

Latest - Soon I will be holding my very first contest. I just got an e-mail about it yesterday. I'm not yet sure how I will pick a winner, but the prize will be a new book coming out March 18. Its called "On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness" and is written by Andrew Peterson. More to come.

March 4, 2008

Snow Storm in STL

So the weather people say we're supposed to get mountains of snow today. I expected to wake up to a winter wonderland, instead I saw streets that had dustings of whiteness, which I assume was salt. Now its picked up a bit. I rely on a building that is across the river to judge how good visibility is and there fore how much snow is coming down. When I can see it, its good. When I can't, the snow, rain, or fog is really thick.

People in St. Louis are funny. When you look out into the parking lot you see all these cars with their wiper blades sticking straight out. I assume it is so they don't stick to the windshield, but really when have they stuck so much you couldn't unstick them? Then you have the people who decide to cover the windshield with a blanket or a piece of cardboard. In theory that seems like a good idea. Then you don't have to scrape your window. Unfortunately it seems like the wind will blow their stuff off, or even when it stays in place, you still have to deal with a big wet something. Do you put it in your car so that everything gets all wet and snowy? I just don't know.
Then the people here are such wimps when it comes to snow. Even though the ground was dry at 9:00am, schools were still cancelled. People didn't come into work. I mean its just some wet water, they sky is not falling, the world is not ending. Maybe I'm just sad, because work never gets cancelled because of snow. I want to spend a day at home roasting marshmallows in the fireplace with a good book and some hot chocolate.

February 29, 2008

Food

To help beat the winter blues, we decided here at the office to have food days once a week. We have a team of 5 and each Friday one person is responsible for bringing lunch for everyone. Its been working really well and it sure beats having to come up with something to bring every week.

We've had salad, chili, clam chowder, pasta alfredo, and sub sandwiches. Now its time for round 2.

So what are you doing to beat the winter blues?

February 27, 2008

Fun with Silkie Chicks

My sisters really like them. They like to play house....
....or should I say horse?
Lacy likes to watch them play.
Lacy will even nap with a silkie chick
but, she has to keep one eye open. Just in case.

February 23, 2008

How I Almost Met Phyllis from The Office

So this story begins back in early June. My husband (who was my fiance at the time) and I were at the hotel, where we decided to have our wedding reception. We were meeting with the wedding coordinator to sign papers and make plans. Our meeting went well and we were on our way out the door. Thats when it happened.

I saw a woman that looked exactly like Phyllis Lapin from The Office. I really thought it was her, but my husband wasn't so sure. I took my MP3 / Video player out of my purse. Luckily, I had a few episodes of the show stored there (Yes, I'm a super fan). We started watching an episode fast forwarding, scanning for scenes with her in it. When we found one, we paused, looked at the screen, then looked at the lady in the lobby. I thought we had a match. I mean she looked just like the Phyllis in the episode, except perhaps a little bit thinner in real life. My husband disagreed and stated it wasn't her. Since he didn't think it was her and I was too shy to go up and ask without his support; we left without making contact.

Fast Forward to February. We were getting ready to make a fire in the fire place. He pulls out some old newspaper and guess who is on the cover section.
Phyllis. The paper is from June when they had a special about people from Missouri and the influence their Fathers had on their lives. Turns out she's from Missouri. Her father still lives in the St. Louis area. She had her picture taken for the paper with her dad for an article that was published in June. We saw a lady at a hotel, in early June that looked like Phyllis.

I bet it was her. Next time, I'm getting a picture.

February 19, 2008

Silkie Chicks

We just hatched 4 new chicks and I wanted to show them off. They're so tiny, you can hold it in just one hand. Each one weighs a little less than an ounce.

You can see that they have to go all the way around the egg, so they can break it open. This is called Zipping.


Hatching is hard work and requires many naps.

The sponges kept in the incubator to keep up the humidity level, make great pillows.

This is what the Blue Splash chick looks like when its all dried and fluffed.

Here you can see the Buff Silkie Chick.

These are the two blacks.

Here are all four of our new chicks together. Don't they make a cute family?

February 11, 2008

Blog Tagged

It finally happened. I got blog-tagged by Ron. Here it goes. At least he didn't threaten me with 10 years of bad luck if I don't do it.

The Rules:
1. Link to the person that tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

1. I must have my windows open in a certain order.
Work - Left to right. For work it is Compass, XiPay for refund (they are side by side), next is XiPay for research, Personal e-mail, then any other work-related windows. If Compass gets closed, I will close everything to reopen in the right order.
Home I have firefox with tabs. Tab 1 Meebo, Tab 2 Gmail, Tab 3 Facebook, any remaining tabs are for browsing.

2. I have never used an ATM.
I don't like them, I waitress, so I always have cash. When I do manage to go to the bank, I go see a teller. Usually I mention that I waitress, so nobody questions why I have a big stack of $1 dollar bills.

3. I have almost 200 hours of Paid Time Off.
Yet I will probably drive to work on icy roads tomorrow morning, because I feel guilty calling in. I have only called into work for bad weather one time in my entire life. Plus, I like to use my time off for something fun.

4. I hate Debit cards.
I am constantly dealing with the problems that arise when people put their debit card on file, then get mad when we charge it for their order and it causes overdraft charges. Then people want my company to pay for the charges.
Debit cards also don't offer much protection when it comes to fraud. If someone were going to steal it, they could clean out your account. Credit cards are so much safer.

5. I don't use bookmarks.
I could be reading the longest book in the world and I still would not feel it necessary to mark my page. I don't bend the corner either. I just open the book and flip until I reach the spot I left off.

6. My biggest pet peeve is when people misspell my name.

I can be understanding if people do not see it written out and have to guess. It really bothers me at work, when my first and last name are spelled out, that people write TanJa or TOnya.

I'm not tagging anyone. If you want to do it pretend I told you to.

February 8, 2008

Shootings

I don't often get very political or comment on un-happy world events. Its not that I don't care about them, its just that I'd rather focus on the happy things in life.

Last night I was watching the newest season of Survivor (yay for Fans vs. Favorites) when the news interrupted to state there was a shooting at city hall of a local town. I was a bit annoyed, because that was all the information they gave at the time. Later it came out that they had a town hall meeting that night. One angry businessman decided to "war" with the city council and ended up murdering 5 people before cops killed him. (Note there is a different between murder and kill). Its a sad story. One of the people in the room said they tried to stop the murderer by throwing chairs at him. What an uneven battle, chair vs. pistol.

I was online on Fox News today. Several of the stories were about shootings- a college, city hall. One was about a man who was going to cause havoc at the super bowl (he changed his mind). Recently, I can remember a couple other school shootings and church shootings. Its sad that this keeps happening in our country. The places may seem random, but if you think about it, most of them are places you are not allowed to carry a concealed weapon. No law-abiding citizen is allowed to take a gun into city hall or their school. Its a shame, because police can't be everywhere all the time.

Most people probably think we should have tighter laws on gun ownership, becuase of this. I think the opposite is true. Criminals are criminals they don't follow the law. It doesn't matter to them if they can't purchase one legally, they will find one in illegal ways. I think we should level the playing field a bit.

In Missouri, citizens are allowed to get a license (after taking a class and spending time at the shooting range) to carry a concealed weapon. The people who chose to do this are being responsible. They are the people who follow safety procedures, they are willing to obey the law. I wish more responsible people would feel a duty to serve the general public as protectors. People who go on murdering sprees might be stopped sooner if more people were able to stop them, before they ruined many many lives.

February 6, 2008

Super

Since this week started with Super-bowl Sunday then a Super Tuesday, I can't wait for what other super things are in store.

Sunday, I had to work and since we have to wear our hair up, I do a ponytail with hair ribbons. I try to match them to whatever is going on. Example: At Christmas time I wear red and green. I looked up the team colors so I could cheer for "my favorite sports team" (which was the Giants for that day. I wanted the underdogs to win, because thats what us Americans do). Both teams use red, blue and white. That didn't work so well.
We went to a super bowl party at church, had a keg of root beer, laughed at a couple commercials and that was about it.

Super Tuesday was fun. I L-O-V-E to vote. I've voted in every election since I turned 18 except for one. Cause I vote, I can gripe about the state of our country all I want. If you don't vote, you aren't allowed to whine. I am not so happy with the MO results. Supposedly Missouri is a state where whoever wins tends to be the one to win the election in November

January 29, 2008

State of the Tanya

So after hearing Bush's State of the Union, I started thinking. I have told a lot of stores, but haven't written an in general "This is how I'm Doing" blog in quite some time.

Work - As often as I write about "Office Wars" really I have a great job. My boss is great he listens to our concerns and does not micromanage. The hours are good and flexible, which means some mornings I can spend the extra 20 minutes in bed. The work is not hard, nor is there too much of it. People like me and consider me an expert in my area, which makes me feel good about myself. The drive is about 12 minutes and if I hear of an accident on the highway I have a great alternate route. The only change I would be would a raise, but really who doesn't want that?

Church - We are still attending Mosaic, but are not as happy there as we used to be. We volunteer in the Tech booth (sound, lights, the projector). It fees like we are there all the time, and spend most of our time trying to get things working properly. It means we don't get so much out of the service.

Marriage - Things are great. We have adjusted to living together. He's finally learned to push me over to my side of the bed. Its amazing how much room lil ole me can take up. We are happy. No plans to have kids for a couple more years. (Since everyone likes to ask that.

Home - The house is starting to look more like a hope, we have curtains on most of our windows. The walls are still somewhat blank, I figure eventually I will find something to hang up. The kitchen is decorated with coffee cups. My favorite theme.

Friends - Our closest "couple friends" moved to VA, which is sad for us, but great for them. We are trying to find new couple friends to hang out with, as well as maintain those friendships we already have. No we don't feel like we always have to hang out with others in groups of two. I just don't like making people always feel like a 3rd wheel.

School - I myself don't go (not unless I'm being a fake student), but my husband does. He is in the final stretch though. About a year left and then he will be free!! I can't wait for that day.

January 24, 2008

More Adventures of a Fake Student

So I went to class again last night with my husband. Last week was pretty fun. This time I decided that instead of hanging out in the hall with my laptop and a engineering ethics book (stolen from my husband) I would explore the school. The university I attended had 5 buildings including the library and the gym. His school, however, has five buildings committed to one area of study. I decided to start at the building on the left.

Since it was so late at night, the halls were mostly deserted. I went through the first building and saw nothing too exciting. I did run into an Asian kid. I must have looked rather lost. He asked "Are you looking for something?"
"No, just wandering around." I replied. He seemed like he didn't quite understand that, so he asked me again if I was lost. I knew it was engineering, but perhaps he could sense that I did not like math.
Finally I said, "Can you tell me where the normal people are? Where is the English building?" He did not like my joke.
He said, "This is en-ju-neering." I finally let him tell me how to leave the building.

I walked into the next building, it must have been chemistry. there were signs on the doors that said radioactive. I quickly left and walked across the courtyard, I did not want to turn into some kind of mutant Tanya.


I walked up to another imposing fortress and noticed that it connected to the next building on the second and third floors. I walked up three flights of stairs, could not find the walkway, went down two flights and found a door to go outside. The place is like a funhouse. A maze to navigate and changing levels to freak you out. That place must be haunted or something. It does look pretty from the outside.