Friday, May 27, 2011

It's Memorial Day weekend! Let's all sing!

We're on the cusp of Memorial Day weekend and I'm getting ramped up!  Won't you join me?!?

This holiday weekend I'll be getting out of Dodge while all the crazies get into town for the race.  My brother and his wife are celebrating their birthdays and have a big shindig up at their lake house.  It also happens to be the beginning of my first vacation time of the year!

So, how will I be spending my weekend?

First, I think a little quality time with my puppy.  She LOVES jumping into the canal downtown, so I'm anxious to see if she love the lake too.

#4104 High Tech Cot

There will also be some camping.  It's been AGES since I've been camping and I'm sure it will sound strange to many of you, but I can't wait to break out my gear and use it.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE my tent and cot (TOTALLY worth the $217 price tag!!).

I'll most definitely get some baby love!!
But most of all, I will be swimming in some new music that I am head-over-heels, knock-my-socks-off, going-gaga-for in LOVE with.  Here's a few of my new favorites (in no particular order):
Christina Perri
This is the first song of hers that I found.  Shortly after I heard it, they started playing it on the radio.  I'm so ahead of the curve.  I'm so cool like that!
This is the latest video from her.
The Civil Wars
Ok, if you can watch end of this video and not FEEL the sexual tension, you need to go check your pulse!  NOW!
Excuse me while I go take a cold shower....


I have SERIOUSLY played this song no less than 100 times in the last week.  If you don't believe me, you can just ask my friend Jenny.  I swear!
Ok, my job of sharing great music is done for now.  Go enjoy and have a wonderful weekend!

Sometimes you just have to put on your Big Girl Panties!

Although I may be in my mid-thirties, there are way too many times I feel like a petulant teenager and I just want to scream, "You're not the boss of me!"

Most of the time, I have the luxury of doing what I want when I want to do it.  If I want to stay up late, I can do it.  Eat ice cream for dinner?  I can do that too.  (I don't recommend it though!)  Go for a motorcycle ride instead of washing the sink full of dishes?  Yep!!

The problem with this freedom is that left unchecked, you can end up tired, fat and living in a dirty house.  Sadly, all of these things are true for me right now.

This bohemian, slacker, hedonistic lifestyles has unfortunately also spilled into my professional life.  As an actuary without letters behind my name, I have a LOT of professional exams that need to be passed.  I came out of college all gung ho to pass them, but 1) they are HARD to pass and 2) there are way better (more fun) things to be doing on a lovely warm Saturday in August (...insert any other month here!) than studying for an exam!

Fortunately my company and supervisor have been understanding.  I may not have letters behind my name, but I do a great job and they don't have to pay me as much as they would otherwise.

But what's good for them is bad for me.  I am good at my job and not being paid anywhere near what I should be all because of a few letters!

So, as I quickly careen towards 40, perhaps it's time to realize that sometimes other people really are the boss of me.  It's time to get serious.  It's time to get paid!

Here's where I need your help.  I hate to set goals because most of the time I feel like a failure, but I've set a schedule of exam progress that I'm going to TRY to stick to.  If all goes well, I will have letters behind my name by September of 2013.  For those of you who don't know much about Actuarial Exams, this may seem like the distant future, but believe me when I tell you it's not!

I'll try to keep you all posted on here, but in the meantime, if you've got some spare prayers you could send up, some words of wisdom or witty quotes to keep me motivated I could really use them.  If you know me in real life or just want to leave me a comment, ask me how they are going.  I should be making SOME progress each month, so I need to stay accountable!

Most of all, when I tell you to mind your own business or to get off my case, ignore me.  When I tell you that you're not the boss of me, remind me that I gave you permission to be the boss of me...for a while anyway.

It's time for some tough love.

I'm off to try on my big girl panties!

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Public Service Announcement..... all those men who seemingly have more testosterone than brains...

I had a lovely evening last Thursday night.  I was supposed to meet some people from church for a excuse to drink beer bible study at a lovely place downtown that had outdoor seating.  The night was a perfect temperature, so I couldn't resist riding my motorcycle to the event.

Long story short, no one else showed up (running club, soccer games, etc etc), but I made the best of it by spending the time reading my kindle and enjoying a big iced tea.

When I decided to leave, I gathered up my stuff and headed out to the bike.  As I stowed my to-go box in the saddle bag and put on my motorcycle jacket, a man walked up and said (I thought to me), "Nice bike!"

Now there was no one else around the bike, on the sidewalk or otherwise near that could have been mistaken as the owner of my motorcycle and yet this man's response when I said, "Thanks" was......."OH!  It's YOUR bike?"

What the eff?

Stopping just short of adding "Jackass" to my response, I said, "Uh, yeah!"  With probably more of an attitude than I had intended.

Don't worry.  I didn't offend him.  Apparently he didn't even notice my annoyed response because he continued his oral blunder by saying "That's an awfully big bike!  ....I used to have one a motorcycle with one of those things...."  (Uh, a WINDSHIELD?!!?!)  "Yeah.. it was good at keeping the bugs off!"

At this point I was beyond annoyed with him and just wanted him to go away.  Which he did...eventually...

But then as I'm backing the bike out of the parking space, he has the nerve to come over and say, "Do you need some help?"  GET.A.WAY!!!  Instead of showing my further disgust, I simply said, "No, I'm fine.  Thank you."

I don't want to sound ungrateful or like a shrew and I wish I could say this was the first/last time I have had this conversation with a man like this.  But, alas, it is not.

So, here is my advice to all of those would-be-men......

When you're about to approach a woman on a motorcycle, PLEASE think before you open your mouth.  This is the 21st century.  More and more of us are riding our own bikes and no longer relegated to be the "bitch" on the back.  If you see us stopped in a parking lot or gas station and you want to talk to us, starting out a conversation by questioning our ability to ride (ie, Is that YOUR bike?!?  Did you ride it all the way here?!?) is not advised.  Instead, take a moment to think of a clever/witty/insightful query.

For example, you could be curious:  "How do you like the way this bike handles?"
You could be sincere:  "I really admire a woman who rides.  How long have you been riding?"
You could be funny:  "Hey, could I be the bitch on the back?"
You could be cheeky: "I love a woman who knows how to tame a beast."

But, gentleman, whatever you do, please stop being neaderthals.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It's one of those months.

Do you ever have one of those days (weeks/months/years)?

Those days when it seems all you touch turns to crap?
Those days when the only thing around the corner are more corners?
Those days when making the decision to get out of bed was clearly a mistake?

Oh's been one of those days months.

It's been one of those months when I'm actually AFRAID to ask what else could go wrong...because it probably will.

A short list of:

The mundane

*  All I've wanted to do lately is sew.  Seriously.  I could be locked up in a room with fabric, a sewing machine and sewing supplies and I could be a happy camper for a LONG time.  Unfortunately because of the events of the last few weeks, there's not a whole lot of sewing going on at my house.  The machine just mocks me from the corner of the room.

*  Due to the amount of rain we've had and the fact that my "lawn service" is at college, my front yard has become a jungle.  The dandelions are so long they could be mistaken for small trees.  I feel like "that house" in the neighborhood and I'm certain the people who are trying to sell their house across the street are NOT pleased.

The annoying

*  I was a really smart kid growing up.  How is that a bad thing?  Because I never had to study in school.  Consequently when I got to college (when things matter!), I skimmed by with mostly Bs, some Cs and a smattering of As.  In the grand scheme of things that wouldn't seem so bad.  Except now I am paying the consequences of my slacking.  I have to spend time and money on continuing education credits to get letters behind my name in the form of a professional designation all because I got a C in a couple of classes in college instead of a B-.  The price tag:  about $2000.

*  My dog got a UTI and had to have her annual shots all at once.  The price tag has been over $300.

*  On Easter Sunday as I prepared to leave my parents' house (100+ miles from my house), my dad discovered a bubble in the sidewall of my tire.  After limping back home, I was told by the repair shop that because there was a ding in the rim of the tire, I must have hit something so the repair wouldn't be covered.  The price tag to replace the tire:  $100.

The catastrophic

* Apparently my electric company switched me to electronic billing and the bills went to my junk mail. I came home a week ago and the electricity had been turned off! Nothing remotely like this has ever happened to me. Yes, I should have kept track of WHICH bills I'd paid, but when a bill comes in, I pay it. End of story. ARGH The price tag: $300.

* I came home 4 weeks ago, started down the steps to my basement and was horrifed to discover no less than 5 inches of standing water.  There are fewer sights more blooding curdling.  The price tag:  I don't even want to think about it!!
So, while I would like to start enjoying my summer, instead, I will be ripping (moldy) drywall out of my basement dressed in attire resembling a hazmat suit.  I will also register (and pay for) and study for online courses this summer while the weather is gorgeous and the motorcycle riding should be good!
And don't get me started on all the ways I've failed my blog family.  I've been MIA for weeks.  (I SWEAR there some excellent posts floating around in my head!)  I was going to try to blog every day this month, but that seriously didn't happen!  I could say I'll try to do better, but don't they say to under promise and over deliver?
Maybe things will look better tomorrow, right?
I'm off to take some meds.


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