Hi all; I hope you're doing well and having a great week. I tried, I really did, but it just hasn't worked out so far.
The foot is healing, for which I am extremely grateful. I haven't been brave enough to get back on the treadmill yet. Maybe in another couple of days. Today is the first day I've gone the whole day without pain.
The rest of life, however, has been one for the "what the hell?" files (although that's not what we really call it but hey! I'm trying to maintain some sort of decency!). Work has been one thorny issue after another, all week long. I untangle one mess and here comes another. There must be some evil imp ravaging my cubicle. I think I beat most of it into submission today. *Hopefully,* and I say that in the "if the Lord wills and creeks don't rise" sense, I did manage to get things flowing properly, balls in other courts, and I made my final visit to the State House for a committee meeting for this session today. *Hopefully* As things have shown a tendency to unravel - or worse, to pull a phoenix and rise from the ashes - I'm not counting it done yet.
Then yesterday we got word that a friend at church lost her battle with pancreatic cancer yesterday. Don't worry, I'm not going to put you through those musings again. We went through this - oh wait! Exactly a year ago today, when a friend at my former workplace died of THE VERY SAME THING!! There's much I don't understand and this scary timing is one more thing on the heap. But I suppose faith is about accepting that you don't have the answers and being ok with the questions. Or something like that.
I'm trying to find out how things keep getting past me. I don't know stuff that I usually find out without even trying. For example: Did you know the new Transformer's movie is coming out on July 1st? I knew they were making one but had no idea it was done. I also didn't know that they moved a new deposit machine just up the hall from my cubicle, that several files I've been looking for are in the cabinet right next to my desk, that you can get Microsoft Office for iPads, that the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie came out last weekend, that "True Grit" was a remake, that they were thinking about extending the legislative session, or that there's an old wives tale about more people dying in the spring because of something with the sap in the trees (another one for the "what the...? files). I think I've been working too hard and too much. Yes, I've had problems with my mind wandering lately, but this is ridiculous. I definitely need to take a break this weekend. No writing, chores, errands, visiting, volunteering, or anything.
So here I sit with all these questions and more. Like why does my parakeet sing like a canary? Why does my computer smell like my perfume (that never gets near this machine)? How did Zack chew curtains that are nowhere near his cage? Why did Chloe growl at me when I got home? What is going on with this crazy, hot weather? And many, many more.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is life in the rabbit hole! Hmm. I sense inspiration for short stories in my future. Life like this is the catalyst for it.
Well, my brain is fried so it's time to go. I hope you have a Happy Friday tomorrow. Heck, I hope I have a Happy Friday tomorrow either. It's been a challenging week, but I'm not giving up on having at least one good day in it.
I can't believe it: I twisted my ankle on the treadmill again. The last time I did this was almost 2 years ago, and I wound out with a sprain. Darn if it isn't the same ankle, in the same place, again.
I must either be clumsy, a special kind of idiot, or a little bit of both!But on the bright side, at least it's not the wrist. I got tendinitis in my right wrist a year ago. The sprained ankle hurt more, but the tendinitis in the arm was a lot more inconveient. Between my day job in professional licensing and my writing, I type a lot. That arm injury put me to a lot more trouble than dragging around a bum ankle did.
Ok, truth is that any injury is inconvenient. I guess the wrist injury just threatened me more psychologically because so much of my life depends on typing. Anyway, I'll pray it's not sprained and will heal quickly and make do until it quits pinching/aching.
In other news, I typically do my big, super duper season finale round up in my blog this time each year, but this year it won't be so big because, well, I didn't watch much TV. I guess between the mind-blowing changes of a new jobs and the in-laws moving, writing a novel, researching publishing and then promotion once I got the contract for Anywhere But Here, and Rick working on the church website, we just didn't tune it to much this season. In fact, all we really watched were our normal shows: Smallville and Supernatural. So here goes with my take on those shows:
Smallville - the final season was a good one, although I feel they really should have played up the Justice Society a lot more than they did. Still, they squeezed a lot in, and there's no denying that the finale was epic. I'd go so far to say that's the best finale I've ever seen - so well done. This show had it's ups and downs over it's 10 year run, but overall I say well done. I'm going to miss it.
Supernatural - not as good as the previous 5 years. I can't say I was overly enthusiastic about the turn they took towards creatures this season. It would seem to me that averting the Apocolypse would have bigger ramifications on the sides of angels and demons than we saw. Indeed, they built up to that late in the season, but I believe that's a story line they could have played all season, if they wanted. I also can't help but wonder if they couldn't have done more with the whole purgatory thing. I knew all along that the wall in Sam's head would come crashing down, but they did surprise me in how it happened, and that finale did not end the way I expected at all. So overall I was not as impressed with this season, but I do see potential for development next season. I would say to them to use it wisely.
Now I ask the question I ask every year this time: What am I going to do now that everything is in reruns for the summer? I should be hearing from my publisher on Anywhere But Here in the next month, so I expect that ball will be rolling this summer. More reading, of course, and more researching on improving my writing and promoting it. Hopefully this writer's block will life and I'll be able to get back to writing short stories like I planned this summer. And, of course, we have Netflix - so between that and a summer of super hero movies, I imagine I will be well entertained in the coming months (if Thor is any indication, amazing stories and special effects will rule this summer!). I don't believe there's any chance of me being bored during this long, hot summer - which, by the way, has already started. It was 97 degrees today. No joke! And forecast to be more of the same through mid week. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, summer has hit the Southeast U.S. whether we're ready or not!
That's all for this time. I hope you have a great week and will try to check in again soon. Take care and stay cool!
Hi all; I hope you're off to a great start to the new week. It's going better for me.
First thing's first. I found out why the power went out Friday. Turns out the power company cut it off on purpose because a tree fell on a car up the road. Now tell me, what are the chances of that? A car is merrily on it's way and BOOM! A tree falls on it. Folks, that's just a "truth is stranger than fiction" one there. I'm glad the people are ok but, well, that's just weird.
What's stranger is that as soon as Rick and I finally sat down to watch "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I," Sunday night, the power went out AGAIN. And AGAIN, a tree fell and knocked it out. So both times I tried to watch TV over the weekend, the power went out. At least this time it was on DVD, so we finished watching it last night.
And again, that's just plain weird. But at least I have answered the proverbial question: If a tree falls in the woods and nobody is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Absolutely. It's the sound of everybody living in the surrounding area saying "oh crap!!" when it knocks their power out.
That being said, I have learned an important lesson. I will not get hooked on any more TV shows. Once Supernatural goes off the air, I'm done. If they run another Star Trek series I may give it a chance but otherwise - no. I'm done.
And folks, that's life in the rabbit hole!
In other news, yesterday was our wedding anniversary. We've been married 13 years. Man, that's unbelievable in this day and time. What's more unbelievable is that I realized that the kids that got married 13 years ago are gone. Yea, we've grown up. It's been progressive in some ways and butt kicking shocks in others, but it's happened. I don't think the quest for finding your authentic self ever ends. Every new thing life brings makes it continue. I know. A year ago, two major changes caused me to fight to protect my right to define myself and to lead my own life. It's only now that the battle is over that I have the chance to ponder: Who is this person I fought such a bloody battle to protect? Who am I now?
That is the continuing question not just for me, but for us all. And once we find that answer, life will pull it's usual trick of shaking things up and causing the snow dome of reality to swirl and shift once more. No, I'm not the same person I was 13 years ago when I got married, and I won't be the same person 13 years from now. And such is the nature of life.
Ok, that's enough for now - plus, it's thundering and lightening out there now so I better shut down, lest another tree should fall. :)
Here's hoping you have a good rest of the week. See you later.
Last night was the big, huge, series finale of Smallville - one of my favorite TV shows. You notice I said series finale, as in this is the last episode of this show they will make forever and ever. I worked my butt off all week to make sure all the chores and errands would be done so I'd be free to watch it because, of course, I've looked forward to this epic episode ever since they announced the date and that Michael Rosenbaum would return to reprise his role as Lex Luthor. So last night, I made supper and went to special efforts to feed the birds, do the filing, and take my shower before the show came on at 8:00.
At 7:55, the power went out. Surprise! We had an unforecasted thunderstorm. The power was out for nearly an hour, meaning we missed half the show. Then the weather service kept breaking in during the remainder of the show with alerts of storm warnings as the storm moved to counties to our east. So not only did we not really know why things got where they were, but we missed a good portion of what we were able to watch. And no power means no DVR so - there. Gone. Just like that.
Now before you say "But Sherri, you can watch it online!" stop. I've heard that 4 times already, so just stop right there because it really pissed me off all 4 times. They missed the fundamental point. I know they will not only post it online, but that an encore presentation is scheduled to air next Thursday (and I may be able to buy it from iTunes too). Having to wait a bit longer is a minor frustration. I'm frustrated because I was looking forward to having the experience of watching a new episode of one of my favorite TV shows one last time, and it was taken away from me. It's not that I missed the show. It's that I missed the experience of seeing a new episode, as has been my habit for years, for the last time. I'll never get that back.
If this were just one thing passing out of my life, perhaps I wouldn't be so upset. But considering all of the major changes I've seen in the past year and all of the things that have passed out of my life already, it's a bitter pill to swallow. It's not just this. It's this on top of everything else that's passed out of my life over the past year, much of which I also did not get to bid a proper farewell to because they passed out suddenly, unexpectedly, or not as I planned. That seems to be a pattern in my life.
The point of this entry is not to gripe, but to tell you to please be sensitive to people. If they're sharing something with you that seems trivial, it's not that simple to them. It's something that's hurting them on a deeper level because, after all, if the simple solution worked then they probably wouldn't bother to share it at all. To throw out the first thing that flies through your brain, while seemingly helpful, can be slapping a dab of ointment and a Band-Aide on a wound that needs stitches. So please, don't be dismissive with a plithy reply. It may be that they aren't looking for answers. They're looking for somebody to understand and respect the fact that something small hurt them in a big way.
I'm not upset because I missed a TV show. I'm upset because I missed having an experience for the last time. I am consoled to know they will rerun it Thursday. I don't understand why they can't do it over this weekend, but considering that CW has been wanting this show to go away for at least 2 years, I guess we'd better be glad they're being gracious enough to show it a second time at all. And since they used to run new episodes of Smallville on Thursday, this may be a better experience for me. It won't be the same, but maybe it will be good. At any rate, nothing better get between me and the TV Thursday night. Or Friday either, for that matter, since the season finale of Supernatural comes on then. I already checked the weather and the weather is supposed to be clear. Then again, they didn't call for anything but the possibility of a stray shower last night and we had a wrathful storm that knocked out power out, so I don't trust the forecast too much!
That's it for this time. A deep entry, but we're done swimming for now. I pray for better luck for the rest of the weekend and that your weekend will be a good one.
Hi all; I hope you're doing well and off to a great start to the week. Well, summer's here. Oh, I know the calendar says not for over a month, but here in the South, it's summer. How can I tell? The obvious signs, of course!
1. It's hot, plain and simple. Highs in the 80's. Lows in the 50's - 60's. Time for sunshades in cars and AC on day and night.
2. We have to run the sprinklers again. Significant rain stops in May and starts again around November. Sure, we get occasional wrath-of-God thunderstorms, but it's never enough rainfall to save you from sprinkler duty for long!
3. Days are longer. Light lingers in the sky until after 8PM.
4. Season finale's of TV shows start running this week. (I still can't believe Smallville is running their last episode Friday!)
5. Pack up the socks and polish the toenails! Every day is sandal day now.
6. Nature is singing - the roses are blooming and the birds are eating like crazy (wild and domestic, but please don't tell Chloe I put it in such an "undignified" way!).
7. Rick wants ice cream in the freezer at all times.
8. Standardized testing at the schools!
9. Big movie releases every Friday.
10. Writer's block! My muse has slacked off, thereby signaling the end of the winter writing blitz.
Hey, everybody's definition of summer is different and this is mine. It might be a bit early, but I don't see the harm in starting it a bit early. Why not? All signs point to the summer pattern starting now. Let's hope it's a good one. And not too many 100+ degree days this year!
Yes, that's me with South Carolina Governon Nikki Hailey. She was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule to speak at our staff appreciation picnic today. We hear so much about "dirty politics" that often we fail to acknowledge when a politician does something kind. Yet the truth is, they face challenges each and every day that few of us see, and they do it in an effort to work for the good of the people.
Truth is, I've gained a whole new appreciation for people that work in politics over the past couple of years. Through the legislative changes that resulted in my work move in July 2010, I got an inside look on what really happens inside the State House. Let me tell you, the "School House Rock" on how a bill becomes a law doesn't even scratch the surface! There are subcommittees, committees, floor hearings, and so much going on behind the scenes that it's a chaotic atmosphere crackling with activity each and every day. Senators and House Representatives have so much coming at them that they find it difficult to keep up. In fact, I heard one Senator say that during a one year session, it wasn't unusual for over 10,000 bills to cross his desk. He said that the ones people talk to him about are more likely to get his attention, and to get appropriate votes, because he knows what the people it will affect are really thinking and understands how it will impact them on a day to day basis.
Many people I've shared this with are surprised, but it's true. In the day to day realm of hearing and voting on bills, what it really comes down to is knowing what the people think. They do want to know how it's perceived by the people it will affect and depend on people attending and speaking at subcommittee and committee meetings to help them gain a better understanding on what they're voting on. In fact, the first question I've always heard in these meetings is "how does this affect people and what's their reaction to it?"
Sure dirty business happens in politics, and this is what makes headlines. In the day to day realm, they're trying to make the best decisions they can with the information they have available. So don't be afraid to contact your representatives. The State Legislature has a website with everything posted, from bills for consideration to schedules for meetings to biographies of Senators and House Representatives. Let them know what you think and how proposed bills affect you. Prepare a case and speak at a subcommittee meeting (anybody can speak at subcommittee meetings). They need to hear from you. They want to hear from you. They depend on hearing from you so they can fully understand the impact of the decisions they make. You'd be surprised at the big impact just a few voices can have.
Yes, I have a new appreciation for politicians and even lobbyest. While I may not always agree with them and their decisions, I do have respect for their office and the responsibilities they face. I support them whether I voted for them or not because they are our appointed leaders, and they need our prayers for wisdom and strength every day so they can fulfill the responsibilities before them. I hope you will to.
I was shocked when I woke up to the news that Osama bin Ladin is dead. Really? Can this be? After 10 years, did we really get him? Yes, we did! It's all over the Internet and the news! Ding, dong, bin Ladin's gone! And many in the world rejoice! The tyrant's dead! Hip hip hooray!
I understand their celebration. How many people did he send to their deaths? Countless, no doubt. Many people are finally feeling a sense of closure and that vengeance, finally, is ours. I think we all saw this coming. Sooner or later, someone was going to take him out. That was the only possible ending to his reign of terror. Too many people were hunting him and it was inevitable that one day, someone would get him. In this case, it was the U.S. Navy SEALS. Thank you, U.S. Armed Forces, for all you do to keep us safe and for being ever watchful. May God bless you and your families, now and always!
I also find it a bit sad. It's sad that one person could be so horrible that the world celebrates their death. I don't think it's any coiencidence that it also happened 66 years, to the day, after Hitler was confirmed dead. Once again, we are reminded that some people can be true monsters. And even though evil doesn't prevail and they always come to an end, it's an uncomfortable reminder that they have a way of returning, time and time again, to unleash their terror on the world.
Take a look around, and you'll see that the "war on terror" is never really over. Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden are examples of how it ends, but there' still plenty of evil running amock in the world. I'd point to Lybia and Iran as examples of our continued fight on tyrants that think they can rule the world with their horrors. Indeed, Satan never runs out of imps to dampen what would be Paradise.
Right now, bin Laden is facing the ultimate judgement, and it's far worse than any Earthly tribunal could offer. All of them will face it someday. But let us be cautious in our joy. Yes, the tyrant is dead, but more will come. We thought Hitler was the worst and we'd never see terror like that again. We were wrong.
Yes, one monster is gone. Now let us be viligent and watchful. The forces may be scattered, but they will orgainze and another one will rise. Let us not get complacent. Let us be ready.
It's easy to make a list of your favorite things, but what about your SECOND FAVORITE things? Ah, that takes a bit more introspection. And so without further ado, for today's entry I give you:
Sherri’s List of Second Favorites (Favorites are in Parentheses)
Hobby: Reading (Writing)
Thing I’ve Written: Anywhere But Here (Splinter)
Thing to Write: Short Stories (Novels)
Book: The Lord of the Rings (The Bible)
Type of Jewelry: Earrings (Rings)
Gemstone: Sapphire (Diamond)
Drink (non-alcoholic): Sprite (Pepsi)
Wine: Red Muscadine (Strawberry – both wines from Smokey Mountain Winery in Gatlinburg, TN)
Meal I Cook: Chili (Burritos)
Snack: Nachos (Popcorn)
Coffee Type: Gourmet Folgers (Dunkin Doughnuts)
Color: Yellow (Pink)
Movie/Series: Star Wars (The Lord of the Rings)
TV Show: Smallville (Supernatural)
Star Trek Series: The Next Generation (Deep Space Nine)
Website: Writing.com (Mine!)
Off Character Movie for Me: The Wedding Singer (Titanic)
Day of Week: Saturday (Friday)
Flower: Lilies (Roses)
Domestic animal/pet: Cat (Parrot)
Technological Device: iTouch (Laptop)
Back Up Data Storage Device: Replacement for Dead Technology: Flash Drive (External Hard Drive)
Season: Summer (Spring)
Holiday: Thanksgiving (Christmas)
Bible Verse: Romans 8:28 (Philippians 13-14)
Perfume/Fragrance: Rose (Rapture by Victoria Secret)
Subject in School: Religion (Psychology)
Fairy Tail: Jack and the Beanstalk (Cinderella)
Comic Character: Snoopy (Garfield)
Game: Yachtzi (Parcheesi)
Dead Technology I Used To Love: Floppy Discs (Cassette Tapes)
Hobby I Gave Up: Vegetable Gardening (Cross Stitching)
Hobby I Failed At: Photography (Fishing)
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it's what crossed my mind. These are things that I have pretty stable opinions about. Other things like my favorite food, song, non-series movie, place to vacation, etc tend to change with my mood, so I left them out on purpose.
I hope you enjoyed it!