Tuesday, September 25, 2012


1) Why do I have so much trouble when getting my hair cut?  As some of you know (the ones who have seen me in person, anyways), for the past year or so, I've been growing my hair long again.  I'd decided to do it so that when Sara's wedding rolled around, I could actually get my hair styled up, because my regular haircut was too short to really do anything interesting with.

Almost the only thing I'd been doing with any regularity was getting my bangs cut, and even something as simple as that wasn't without its problems.  You'd think that just getting about a quarter of an inch of hair snipped off of a relatively small part of my head wouldn't be difficult, but every stylist who ever cut it managed to do it differently than the last.  After many, many trips to the salon, I'd finally figured out what to tell them to get my bangs to look consistent-ish, and I shouldn't have changed anything.  Alas, Friday afternoon I made one simple request: I asked him to make the edges of my bangs a little bit longer so they would blend into the rest of my hair.  He said he'd have to cut some of my longer hair to make that happen and I didn't argue.

While he was cutting, we began to talk, and I didn't really start paying attention to what he was doing until he'd grabbed a handful of my hair and ran a pair of scissors across it.  Oy.  To make a long story short, I walked in to get my bangs trimmed, and I walked out with a completely different haircut.  Don't get me wrong it's a great cut, probably the best one I've had in two years, but yikes!  At least there is still enough left for me to have fixed up for the wedding.  I hope.

2) I'm so embarrassed.  My Facebook friends already know about this, but I'm going to elaborate a little bit.  I had a very busy day yesterday.  You know, one of those days where your "To Do" list is stupidly long and detailed and you just go from one thing to the other without much of a break.  I can only assume that's why I didn't have any idea that my pants had split right down the back, from my waist to the back of my knee.  It wasn't even a split seam, it was a full on, ripped-through-the-fabric hole that I didn't notice.

I was folding laundry when Steve got home from work yesterday.  I was in our room, standing by the bed when Steve walked in.  He started laughing and told me about my pants.  I almost fainted.  I'd been shopping!  I'd been in public places!  I had no idea when the hole had appeared in my pants, and for all I know it had been there the whole time and no one felt comfortable telling me!  AHHH!

I've been thinking about it, very hard, and there is a chance it happened when I got back in the car after getting groceries.  I remember my pants catching on the seat belt thing in the car.  I also seem to remember sitting down in my office and thinking I sat on something, so it could have ripped when I was at home, but I can't be sure!!!!! It could have just been the ripped edge catching on things!

If you're wondering why I told people about this, if it was so embarrassing and all, I figure if I've got to deal with the embarrassment, I might as well let others get a laugh out of it, too.

3)  Mr. Lee got to see Mitt Romney last week. I don't know if that's actually anything to brag about, but I thought it was pretty neat.  He was traveling for a photo convention and stayed in the same hotel with him one night.  He said the security guys basically just held everyone up while he walked through the hallway, so it wasn't like Mr. Lee got to talk to him or anything.  He said that a presidential hopeful was staying in the same hotel as 400 or more photographers, and he doesn't think any one of them actually got to take his picture. Too bad!  I think he could use all the help he can get! :)

4) I have a lip balm problem.  It's getting out of hand.

If you enlarge that picture, you can see only a fraction of the insane clutter that is my life.  Don't judge me.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Have you ever had one of those days where you wake up feeling super confident in yourself?  You know, you feel like you have everything under control, you get to work on time, you don't spill your coffee and you're having a great hair day?

Well, that was my day today...for about an hour.

Today marks the first time during my part-time/part-time employment with the church that we've lost a church member.  When you have people super involved and connected to the church, as some of our elderly members are, when they pass away things tend to get busy. Not only is it a sad day, but arrangements have to be made, phone calls come in and go out, and all kinds of things have to be coordinated if the visitation and funeral are going to be held here at the church. Since I currently only work two days a week, I wasn't here yesterday and I missed the initial rush of information and arrangements.

This morning I got into the office, I sat talking with the current secretary while all of the morning stuff was being taken care of.  She told me about what happened the day before and we just chit chatted about Sunday school rolls and membership programs and stuff like that.  The preacher arrived, looked at me and said "You know you're supposed to sing tomorrow, right?"  Negative.  I did not know that.  Whomever was supposed to have called me to let me know had forgotten to do so.  Honestly, though, that wasn't a big deal.  I mean, singing at a funeral is very hard, but of course I'm going to do it if asked.  My main thought about it was that I didn't even know this man!  Why did they want me to sing at his funeral?  I mean, yes, I know his daughter and everything, but it seemed odd that they'd want me to sing.

About an hour later, it was time for what I call "Trial By Fire," which is a very grand term for when I take over the secretary's desk and left to my own devices.  Basically, she sits back and watches, and I can ask her questions if I need to.  Usually there are very few problems, but today so much was going on that I just lost my brain.  My first problem came when I had to do a recording for the phone tree, which is where we record a message and send it out to church members automatically so that we don't have to call people individually.  I recorded and re-recorded the message until it sounded good, and then started the automatic calls.  I then get a call from someone telling me that I'd forgotten to say what day the funeral would be on.  I felt like a moron!  I had to re-record the message again, which was fifty times harder now that I'd screwed it up already) and send a second message to the people on the phone tree.  There are now members on the list who have two messages waiting, which isn't going to give them much confidence in my ability to do simple tasks.

After that pretty much everything went downhill.  I couldn't get phone calls to transfer (which is something I've never had happen before) and it made me seem completely incompetent to the pastor. I discovered that some disgusting person had clogged up a toilet in the basement and hadn't told anyone, leaving it to fester for two days.  I had to unclog that, and not only did it almost make me puke, but then I pretty much had to boil my hands just in case.  I had people calling and asking for directions, and I couldn't get the mental picture of the roads in my head, so I'm fairly sure that a few people hoping to come to this funeral are going to end up in Tennessee or something.  The worst part, though, was when the pastor came in and asked me if I would look up some information on the deceased man so he could put it in his eulogy.  I said "Is he even a member here?"  He just looked at me like I was insane.  I told him I'd never met the man, and he insisted that I had.  He went as far as looking up an old directory, which has pictures of everyone in it, and he pointed him out to me.  Holy cow, not only did I know that man, I liked him a lot! He was so nice. For some reason, I hadn't connected his face to the name!  He loved to hear me sing, which I suppose is why I was asked to sing at his funeral.  Oh, I felt so stupid and terrible for not realizing who he was, and the preacher must think I'm the airiest of all air heads.

So now I'm just hunched down in my chair, trying not to touch anything else, hoping that whatever bad juju I've got leaves me alone for the rest of the day so that they don't change their minds about letting me work here.

Sunday, September 09, 2012


Talladega, AL
September 8, 2012

I actually thought it would take me a long time to fall asleep in a strange place, but since I felt so lousy, I just sort of dropped off.  Silver lining is that at least I got a lot of sleep!  I woke up this morning feeling almost human again.  I had two alarms set, one on the iPad and one on my iPod.  Unfortunately, I left my ear buds connected to the iPod and the alarm wasn't audible.  I am a genius.  Luckily, I had awoken on my own before the iPad alarm went off, so at least I didn't oversleep.  I lay in bed for as long as humanly possible, though, but finally I had to get up and get ready.

Before I tell you about my day, I'd just like to take a moment to thank the person who decided on using florescent lighting in the bathroom.  Oh, and for also using it over a large mirror where I might accidentally see myself naked, no less.  If I didn't have body image issues before, I have them now.  Oy.  Seriously, cheap lighting or not, no one should ever have to look at their own body in that kind of harsh, unflattering illumination.  I may never recover.  *shudder*  I also had to put on makeup in that room, and I'm fairly certain that I ended up looking like a drag queen.  The light was so bright that I couldn't gauge when I had on too much.  I kept putting more on to cover all of the ugly, but the light had some kind of x-ray quality that shone right through the makeup!  By the time I was done, I had to wipe half of it off before going anywhere.  I couldn't go into a room full of Baptists looking like a hooker!

After finally getting ready, it was time for breakfast. I honestly couldn't stand the thought of eating in the cafeteria again, not after last night.  Blerf.  I was very glad that I had secreted an emergency granola bar into my bag (since I will never again travel anywhere without food, after the debacle in the Charlotte Airport) so at least I didn't go hungry!  Yay!  The first session started at 8:00, but I hadn't found a class that had anything to do with my actual job during that time, I used that hour to clean up my room and pack the car.  When that was done, I grabbed the giant 3 ring binder that they had given us the day before and I went to the main building to wait for the QuickBook classes to begin. 

The QuickBook classes were technically why I had come to the workshop, so I was  anxious to get started.  The program makes my brain hurt, because it does so many things.  I think it's basically like balancing a very complicated checkbook, really, but it's intimidating.  The lady who was teaching the class (or rather a crash course, since it was more of an overview than an actual class) was in her 60s, and I have a feeling she thought I was much younger than I really am.  When she started talking, she said she'd been working with the program since 1999, when everyone thought computers would quit working when the year rolled over.  She looked at me and said, "...but you probably don't remember that."  I'm clearly older than 12, but I wonder how young she thought I was?  Actually, I don't care.  I think I'm going to send that lady some flowers! :)

I'd love to say I learned a lot about the program, but the two classes left a little to be desired.  The instructor was clearly an expert, so it wasn't her fault at all.  There was a lady in the class (who had also been in a couple of the other classes I'd taken) who kept interrupting the teacher with questions specific to her church.  She apparently works for a church unlike any I'd ever heard of, that has some complicated bookkeeping issues.  I don't begrudge her asking the questions, but she talked so much that we pretty much got an overview of how to use QuickBooks for HER kind of church, and it didn't apply to the other 99% of the people in the classroom. Grrr.  In fact, she talked so much that the rest of us had to walk out of the class while they were still talking, because the session was over.  Sigh.

It was lunch time by then, and I still wasn't feeling the desire of eating in the cafeteria, and since there was only one other session after that, I decided to leave.  There weren't any classes for me in the last session anyways, and besides, I had an adventure planned! 

There is a place called Wright Dairy in Alexandria, AL, and I'd wanted to go there for months.  I'd been looking for a local place to buy cheese and milk and had found information about this one during my search.  Since I realized I'd be nearby, I decided to visit!  I suppose it doesn't sound very exciting, but I love the idea of a family owned dairy, and I wanted to get some cheese and milk from them and take it home.  Don't worry, I had brought an insulated bag to carry it in.  I was ORGANIZED!  I set the GPS and drove about an hour out of my way to get there.  I didn't have any trouble finding it, but when I got there, there was a sign that said it was closed for renovations and wouldn't reopen until the 15th!  BOO!  I had checked and rechecked their website to make sure they would be open when I went by, and according to their site they should have reopened on September 1, but alas, I guess their renovations had gone over time or something.  I felt very Clark Griswold-ian at being thwarted, but there was no moose to punch, so I just drove away. :(  Oh well, you never know what is happening with a place like that, and if it is family owned, there are a million reasons why it wouldn't be open, so I forgave them.  Certainly I'll be back down there one of these days.

So I gave up on that adventure and headed back home.  I actually drove into a pretty vicious rainstorm in Boaz that made driving almost impossible, but I passed through pretty quickly.  I remembered that I was going to have to go out later that evening and get a frozen lasagna to bake for the youth's fundraiser lunch the next day, so my adventure turned out to be stopping at a Piggly Wiggly not too far from where I live.  I don't think I've been in an actual Piggly Wiggly since I was 7 years old, and it was classy.  Any place that plays the Bama game over the P.A. must be top notch. After that,  I came home and crashed.  It had been a long couple of days. 

Friday, September 07, 2012


Talledega, Alabama
September 7, 2012

After getting on the road this morning, I finally stopped feeling so anxious.  I guess I had just freaked out about the whole thing so hard that I'd broken through to the other side. Well, that and I took an anti-anxiety pill. Those things are very helpful!

I had only been driving for about 5 minutes though, when suddenly everything was engulfed in a thick, white fog.  Greeeeeeeeeat.  It was probably the worst fog I'd seen in years and when I ran into it, I was trying to drive along a curvy, mountain road. That was not fun at all.  I kept expecting the fog to lift, because the sun was already up fairly high, but it couldn't get through. It was like Silent Hill. You couldn't see the cars ahead of you until you were practically right on top of them, and you couldn't see anything along the sides of the road, so it was very creepy.  The fog lasted almost the entire drive to Talledega.  I also got behind the slowest people in the universe, so I didn't make it to the campus until later than I had hoped, but I was still there in plenty of time. Yay!

Getting checked in was super easy, and I was given a giant folder full of stuff immediately, so all of the worrying I did about wondering around aimlessly was for nothing. Eh.  My fist class was for new. Treasurers and financial secretaries, and it was fairly interesting. Well, at least my mind didn't wander off while he was talking.  We headed to lunch after that, and while I was standing in line, I got a bunch of text messages all at once. It was weird, because I don't usually get many texts at all. I couldn't ignore them because they were actually about something really important, so I hope the other attendees didn't think I was being standoffish. I'm not usually one to use my phone while I eat, but this couldn't be helped.

The food was sort of bland and industrial tasting, so I couldn't make myself eat very much. I ended up throwing most of it away and going to the chapel, where our next session would be held.

We had a fairly brief session out there, and I had a very bad moment when I thought one of my ex boyfriends was there and about to get up on stage to talk. I thought he was the guy I dated the summer before my senior year who was so much older than me, and there is no way that meeting wouldn't have been awkward, but thank goodness it was just a guy who looked like my ex. Yeesh. I feel bad, though, because I know the man on stage saw me staring at him very intently while trying to decide if he was the guy I thought I knew. I'm sure he thought I looked unhinged.  Sorry, guy!

We had a couple of other sessions, and most of the information just flew right past me. I've been trying to pick workshops that pertain to what I will actually be doing at church, but the thing about tax forms pretty much blew my brain apart. She talked so fast, and she said a bunch of stuff like, "you have to fill out form w-4 and then make sure it has a w-3 cover letter, and then the next thing you have to do is make sure the T-2000 is stapled to the BMX and then filed under purple, because the IRS always checks for purple." She might as well have been speaking in Klingon. I'm just glad I get to keep the book, because I'm going to have to go back and read everything again to see if it makes any more sense.

At dinner, I did something that makes me feel so rude, and it was completely unintentional. I was sitting alone, trying to choke down another meal when a lady asked it she could sit next to me. I think she was just looking for someone to talk to, because almost everyone there had a coworker along, so she was lonely.  I'd eaten about as much as I could make myself, and I sat and did. Little chit-chat with her, but I was starting to feel kind of yucky and I didn't want to sit at the table anymore. I told her, kind of abruptly, that it had been nice to talk to her, but I needs to go back to my room to see if my air conditioning had been fixed. (It hadn't been working at first.) I didn't mean to be rude, I promise, but she looked kind of taken aback. I feel really bad if I was rude, because I wouldn't have done that on purpose.  I was feeling quite awful by the time I got back to my (thankfully) much cooler room.  I had begun to think I was comings own with the flu. My muscles hurt all over and my stomach hurt, and I was cold and  dizzy. Maybe it was the food, who knows, but I proceeded to be unwell in that room.

I was still cold and sore and so very tired when I finally managed to pull myself together again, and since I still had one more class to attend, I went back to the classroom.  I sat there trying not to fall asleep, or get sick again, while she talked. The class seemed to take forever. We were supposed to have some kind of "fellowship time" after the class was over, but I just couldn't do it. I came back to my room, changed into my pajamas, and wrapped myself up in a blanket. These people probably think I'm a huge snob, or at least quite unpleasant, because I haven't been too friendly with anyone. Well, I'm not being mean, I guess, just being kind of to myselfish. I hope no one thinks I'm being rude, I just don't feel well.  Tomorrow I'll be attending the Quickbooks classes, and maybe I'll feel better then and can be more chatty.  Who knows?


OK, so adventure seems like a strong word to use here, but whatever.  Anything can be an adventure, right? :)

I'm on my way (or, at least I will be soon) to the financial workshop I mentioned in my last post.  Whee.  I finally got in touch with someone who would tell me where I needed to go when I got there, so that helped me out tremendously!  Now I know where to check in and where the thing is going to be. 

I've realized that I am not as laid back as most people would be about attending something like this, or at least that's the impression I'm getting.  I don't like not knowing what I'm supposed to be doing!  If this were a vacation or something I wouldn't care. I don't worry about about schedules for that kind of thing.  However, someone paid for me to go to this workshop and I'd rather not be moseying in two hours late to something because I'd been circling the compound, going from building to building asking where I'm supposed to be.  It's been 17 years sense I've been to this place, and since I was in a big van with a bunch of other teenagers, I wasn't exactly paying attention to what was going on when we got there. 

I think I'm way more anxious about this sort of thing than I need to be, honestly.  Part of it is that I don't tend to drive long distances by myself very often (and ever since I ended up in that person's barn, I'm not sure I trust the GPS completely.)  The next part is that I'm worried it'll all be over my head.  Damnit, Jim, I'm an artist, not an accountant!  What if I can't retain anything?  The other part is that I'm a complete flake and I'm worried that I'm going to do something dumb.  That probably speaks volumes about my self esteem, but seriously, I do dumb stuff all of the time without realizing it and I don't want to do anything that reflects badly on my church.  I'm rarely ever appropriate, especially when I get awkward, and since I'm going to be in a room full of people I don't know, I'm going to get awkward. Oy.  Can you get excommunicated from the Southern Baptist Convention?

This is the first time I've ever traveled for work, for any reason.  I've never even stayed in a hotel by myself before, so this is a whole new thing for me!  All I want is to get there and back safely, and hopefully learn the hastared computer program/financial stuff in the process.

Anyways, so there you go!  Keep your fingers crossed for me!  I'll either come back a tiny bit more comfortable with the idea of dealing with our church's finances, or I will have been chased from the place with torches and pitchforks. 

Of course, maybe I'll just skip the whole thing and make a detour to Auburn to watch football with some friends.  Would that be so wrong? :)

Monday, September 03, 2012



2)  Yesterday we had another "fun" weather day.  It actually didn't get too bad until right before we were going to have to leave for church in the evening, though.  That kind of sucked.  Honestly, we probably wouldn't have gone since the weather was getting ugly, but since Steve plays in the church orchestra and I run the A/V stuff, we didn't just want to not show up in case they had decided to have services after all.  The whole "snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night" stuff also seems to apply to Baptist ministers.

We were pulling out of our driveway just as the guy on the radio was saying "Please take cover now."  Great.  It wasn't raining or anything yet, and it didn't even seem to be that bad outside, so we pressed on.  Of course, by the time we had gone more than half-way, we finally saw the wall cloud of death hanging right over where our church is located.  Honestly, the sky looked like that scene in Ghostbusters when the gateway for Zuul was opening over the apartment building.  It was scary.  We were too close to the church at that point to turn around and drive home, so we drove as fast as we could to get there.  The bottom proceeded to fall out of the sky right as Steve and I were getting out of the car, and by the time we made it inside we were both soaked.  There was a little, crazy old woman standing by the doorway, convinced that she was going to drive herself and her 85 year old husband home through what was now an almost solid sheet of water, and we all but had to tackle her to keep her from trying.  I still don't understand why staying dry in a safe church with a basement was less appealing to her than driving over a mountain through a flash flood/tornado.

We ended up having a short service down in the basement, but luckily the tornado never materialized and we were all able to leave safely afterwards.

3) This is the weekend I'm scheduled to go to Talledega for the conference on the computer program we use at church.  I feel weirdly unprepared for the whole adventure, honestly.  All I was sent was an itinerary.  Maybe I'm just thick or something, but isn't it unusual for a conference of any kind NOT to send you some type of information packet if you're attending?  I mean, yes, I got the itinerary of the classes and lectures I'll be going to while I'm there, but there was zero information about what part of the conference center to go to, what time to be there, when to check into the room, whether or not I needed to bring a laptop and other little things like that.  Is that the way things like this usually go?  I even contacted the people who were running the conference to see if I needed anything else and they said no. I told my pastor that's I'd just show up, but that there had better be signs or something, or I might end up spending the weekend at a youth fellowship.  I could pass for a teenager, right? :)

4)  I've been giving  a lot of parenting advice lately. Of course, my ideas of parenting are not contaminated in any way with experience, so I think that makes them superior, no?  :)  Heh, just kidding!  I'm sure all my friends take my advice with a whole bag of rock salt.  At least I hope so.  Yesterday I offered a couple at my church, who have a troublesome 3 year old, Bear's old kennel to shut her up in when she's having a tantrum.  It probably sounded bad, but come on...throw a couple of My Little Ponies in there, a blanket and a juice box and she'd be fine.  :) 

5)  I've realized that almost every time I go into a building these days, I'm sort of unconsciously scoping it out to see if it would be a good place to be during a zombie apocalypse.   Well, not necessarily just a zombie apocalypse, but any situation where civilization has broken down and I'd have to be able to hide and/or defend myself.  That probably doesn't speak well about the way I see the future, does it?  I think reading "The Stand" at an impressionable age has warped my mind.

6) Oooh, I've been working on more stuff for Sara's wedding and this is a box I've done as a card holder for her reception.  I think it turned out pretty well.

I didn't even know I knew how to decoupage!  I love to decoupage!  This wedding is going to be awesome!*

*Not because of the decoupage.  Just in general.  Still, the decoupage** is also awesome. 

**I also like to say the word decoupage, but it really stops looking like a real word after a while. Decoupage.